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A black and white photo of Off the Mall Walking Tours founder, Katie Kirkpatrick standing in front of the U.S. Capitol Building

"Get Off the MalL 
to explore the deep  history of the  Nation's Capital"

FEATURED JUNE TOURS

QUEER Black Broadway

JUNE 23rd at 6pm

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The U Street Corridor was known as "Black Broadway" was also the center for social justice and fringe movements that fought to bring more opportunity for marginalized groups, including a secretive but active Queer community that was associated with the Harlem Renaissance, the Pansy Craze, underground crime worlds, and the wide world of entertainment. This 1.5 hour walking tour begins at 2204 14th Street and ends at Howard Theater. A portion of proceeds goes to benefit the Rainbow History Project. 

Brookland: Idyllic

and Ideal- June 30 at 2pm

OTM is getting into the NE quadrant with a walk through the northeast neighborhood of Brookland. This idyllic neighborhood used to be the very outskirts of the city, and has a long history of racial and religious diversity. It was also the home of many notables, including Ralph Bunche, the first African American Ambassador, Pearl Bailey of Black Broadway fame, and more. Come explore the history of this idyllic and beautiful neighborhood on June 30th at 10am. 

Full Summer Schedule

 (see full Tour Descriptions below) 

Schedule

REgularly Scheduled Tour Descriptions (2024) 

Tour Descriptions

 Tours are $30 per adult, $20 per child unless otherwise specified.
If desired date does not show up right away, use arrows to move forward in calendar.

Madams of DC

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Washington experienced an unprecedented rise in prostitution during and after the Civil War. During this period, Pennsylvania Avenue became DC's most notorious red light district, from the ramshackle "boarding houses" of Murder Bay to the glamorous pleasure houses of Marble Alley, all within sight of the Capitol. Also, a new profession for women was rising, that of the "female lobbyist." This tour will introduce you to some of the most notorious women of mid-19th Century DC.

 

Route starts at the Willard Intercontinental and travels down Pennsylvania Avenue, which was the main thoroughfare along which DC's red light district arose. There is a half-way stop at Hill Country BBQ for a bathroom break and refreshments. Tour ends at the National Museum of the American Indian. Tour runs approximately 2.5 hours. Tour runs 1st and 3rd  Friday of the Month at 7pm.

Women of Cold 
War Washington

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An ill-fated artist, an Ambassador's wife, a Baroness, and the most powerful woman in journalism.....What do they all have in common? They were part of the most exclusive club of power-players in Cold War DC. These amazing women made their mark in a man's world using every tool at their disposal.

 

Tour runs approximately 2 - 2.5 hours and begins at Thomas Sweet Shop at 3214 P Street NW DC, and ends at Oak Hill Cemetery at 3001 R Street NW.  1st Sunday of the Month at 2pm.

Ellington to Langston - the Jazz Era iN DC

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Come on a winding journey through an era in which the U Street neighborhood of Washington, DC was giving rise to a vibrant jazz scene and establishing the roots of a new movement in black intellectualism. Also known as "Black Broadway", the U Street corridor was where the big names in jazz came to play at one of the dozens of clubs and theaters, and hobnob with writers and thinkers such as Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and Alain Locke.

 

Tour begins at the historic Howard Theater at 620 T Street NW and ends at the corner of 14th and U Street NW. The tour also makes a halfway stop at the famous Ben's Chili Bowl for a bathroom break and optional refreshment. Tour runs the first Saturday of the month at 3pm. 

History of Black GeorgetowN
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Before it was a part of Washington, DC, Georgetown was an independent, bustling port city that boasted thriving trades in many goods, including slaves. At one point African Americans counted for as much as 30% of the Georgetown population. Descendants of enslaved peoples and free black folk have lived in Georgetown for generations, but their contributions to its history do not often receive recognition. This tour will reveal the stories of the black citizens who made their mark on one of DC’s oldest neighborhoods.


The tour starts at 3206 O Street NW DC and ends at the Mt. Zion/Female Union Band Cemetery at 2501 Mill Rd. NW. There is a half-way stop at Thomas Sweet Shop for a bathroom break and refreshment. Third Saturday of the Month at 2pm. 

Historic

AlleywaYS 

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The alleyways of DC served a distinct purpose as a city planning feature, but they also provided a hidden safe space where escaped enslaved people and the economically disadvantaged could find inexpensive housing and live their lives away from prying eyes. While city officials condemned life in the alleyways as dangerous, dirty and diseased, they were in fact a place where communities sustained each other and provided security. This walking tour takes you through the Blagden Alley/Naylor Court Historic District, and reveals their secrets. 

 

Tour starts at 909 M Street NW DC and ends in Blagden Alley. Guests will have a half-way stop at the La Colombe Coffee for a bathroom break and optional refreshments. Tour runs approximately 1.5 hours.   1st Sunday of the Month at 2pm.

 District of

 PUNK

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In the 1980s, the Reagan Administration was reinstating the Selective Service, hippies were turning in yuppies, and the punk scene rose as a reaction to what they saw as a conformist, soulless government. While punk is often associated with London, New York, and LA, there was a substantial scene in DC that had anchors in downtown and elsewhere. The original 9:30 Club and other spaces were the venues where bands like Minor Threat and Bad Brains got started before going on to world renown. On this tour you'll discover what made the DC punk culture distinct from others, the major contributors to the scene, and its lasting impact on the local music scene today.

 

Tour begins outside of the F and 7th Street Exit of Gallery Place Metro Station (red, green and yellow lines) and ends at the MLK Jr. Memorial Library, 901 G Street NW DC. 4th Saturday of the Month at 2pm. 

The Mall Beyond the Museums

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The National Mall is known for museums, monuments, and memory on a national scale. However, the "People's Park" contains a history that goes well beyond these massive edifices. Explore a different side of the National Mall while viewing the major sites. Tour begins at the Grant Memorial Statue on the west side of the Capital, and ends at the corner of 6th and Pennsylvania Avenue NW.

Tour is every Saturday at 10am.

Booking by Date
If on mobile version, click Book Now to be taken to schedule
If desired date does not show immediately, click on "Following Days" 

Private Tours

Tours by Private Request Only
If you're in Washington, DC and looking for a unique experience, we are available for private tour requests. Choose any of the tours described above or below, or with enough advance notice we can customize something special for you!  Write to offthemallwalkingtours@gmail.com and tell us your travel dates, available times,  and interests, and we'll work with you to create an amazing tour.  Minimum $300 for up to 10 people and then rates vary depending on time and number of people. 

Queer Black Broadway

The U Street Corridor was known as "Black Broadway" in its heyday of the early 20th Century, and was also the center for social justice and fringe movements that fought to bring more opportunity for marginalized groups, including an active Queer community that was associated with the Harlem Renaissance, the Pansy Craze, underground crime worlds, and the wide world of entertainment. This 1.5 hour walking tour begins at 2204 14th Street and ends at Shaw Tavern. 

Echoes of Navy Yard

The Navy Yard is DC’s oldest neighborhood, and was also one of the largest sources of employment for the city's citizens, the entry point into the capital, a destination of DC’s first mass transit system, and much more. This  2-hour walking tour will show you the hidden historic side of this amazing and rapidly changing neighborhood. Tour begins at the New Jersey exit of the Navy Yard - Ballpark metro station (green line), and ends at the Capital Waterfront. 

Lesser Known Notables of Oak Hill Cemetery

The Oak Hill Cemetery in the Georgetown neighborhooddates back to 1848, and contains the graves of many notable but lesser-known men and women. From confederate spies to union generals, educators to architects, Civil War to Cold War, this tour will take you around this beautiful cemetery and recount wild tales of those who use it as their final resting place. And yes, there is at least one ghost story. *Cemetery hours are only 9am - 4pm, so this tour is limited to those times only. 

 History ofJewish Washington

OTM's partner guide Ami Greener leads this tour about notable Jewish contributions to DC history!  It will also answer such questions as: Who was the first US president to visit a DC synagogue while in office, and why did he donate $10? Why did the first synagogue built in DC have wheels? Which historic synagogue was saved at the last minute from turning into a nightclub? And who were the first Jews to live in this new city on the Potomac? You'll get the answer to these questions and more on that fascinating and insightful tour.  ​​​

 French 
Connections

France and Washington, DC have a very special connection, and this tour will show you the many ways in which our Gallic friends have influenced the nation's capital.  This 1.5 walk takes you around Lafayette Square and the surrounding neighborhood covering such topics as the Revolutionary War hero General Marquis de Lafayette, the city's heavily French-influenced architecture, African American DC residents who lived in France to escape segregation in America in the early 20th century, and the original planner of Washington, Pierre L'Enfant.   Tour begins at Lafayette Square's SE Corner (Lafayette's Statue) and ends at the Willard Intercontinental.

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 give the gift of History 

Have that person in your life who has enough things, but values unique experiences? Off the Mall Tours has you covered!  Gift vouchers are available in $25 increments, are good for one year, and applicable to any tour. All of your holiday shopping can be done right here! 

About Off the Mall TourS

Off the Mall Tours is a unique walking tour company that brings a fresh perspective to the history of the nation's capital. Its mission is to introduce locals and tourists alike to the DC that awaits "Off the Mall" and into the neighborhoods of this fascinating, energetic city.  After one of our tours, our guests are delighted with their newfound understanding of its multi-layered and multi-cultural heritage.

 

About your Guide

Katie Kirkpatrick is the founder of Off the Mall Tours. She is proud to call herself a DC resident since 2002. She moved to the capital after college for graduate school, and then worked in government for many years. However, history was always her first love.  She started her touring career by giving historical ghost tour pub crawls, and discovered a passion for sharing the varied and layered history of the capital area. So, she started her own company, drawing upon her interests in unique stories, a flair for costuming, and her love of DC. 

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