Visiting Washington D.C. | Trolley Tour

When we started planning our trip to Washington D.C., I kept coming across these Trolley Tours. They looked like fun, and like a great way to get from point A to B, but they aren’t cheap, and I wasn’t sure if they were worth it.

I inquired on Facebook as to the necessity of the Trolley Tours, and most people said to stick with the Metro and we’d be fine. But one or two spoke up and said that they had enjoyed the tours, and they really appreciated the break. Plus it’s a great way to get a lay of the land, so to speak.

We were undecided, so we didn’t make ticket reservations in advance, but we kept the option in the back of our minds.

After a two days of hoofing it around D.C. — where everything is farther away than you think it will be — we finally cried Uncle.

Actually, we cried Concierge. 

We visited our friendly concierge at the Omni Shoreham and inquired about the Trolley Tour. As luck would have it, one of the stops was located right across the street. You can purchase tickets at most hotels (which is what we did) and then board at any stop. You can also purchase tickets online ahead of time for a slight discount, or for full price at Union Station or the Welcome Center.

There are three continuous loops, with a couple of specific transfer spots. You can hop on and off at any time — just don’t lose your ticket!!

We loved the Trolley Tour. Here we are, waiting to board the first morning. We were SO excited not to be walking all day!!

We ended up taking two different trolleys on our last day in D.C. Both drivers were charming older men with lots of stories to tell and a great sense of humor. Quick shout-out to Bob and Frenchie!!!

It was a great way to see some of the sights without having to hoof it. We didn’t get out at the National Cathedral or Jefferson Memorial, but we still got good photos.

After two days of walking ev-er-y-where, it was just so nice to sit back and relax and get carted around and entertained for a while.

Travel Tips:

  1. The trolley stops do get crowded during tourist season, so you have to take that into account. It’s not always easy just to hop on when you want to.
  2. Have a plan and know where you want to get off and on, so you make the most of your trolley passes.
  3. Carry a few dollars to tip the tour guide.

All in all, we felt that the trolley passes were well worth it — at least for one day. You can get two and three day passes, but that gets quite spendy and probably not necessary.

While it would be nice to take the trolley tour at the beginning of the trip to get the lay of the land, I was pleased with how it worked out when we took the tour on the final day. For one thing, we were so weary of walking, we appreciated the ride a lot more than we might have the first day.

And also, by the last day, you know which sites you have missed, so you can use it to its full advantage and get off at the stops that you really want to see.

For more about our trip, see all my Visiting Washington D.C. posts!

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3 Responses

  1. We did the multiple day tickets and it worked out great. We went on all three routes and our just turned 4 year old had a lovely nap every day while mom and dad relaxed and saw the town from the top of a double decker bus. Very relaxing and the evenings were more enjoyable with a toddler who got a nap…

  2. We popped for the trolley as well. It was the best thing we did. We were able to see much more of DC and even took the trolley all the way into Arlington National Cemetary.

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