Coming Tours

Arlington Angel“I thought it was great and I’d recommend it without hesitation to anyone.”  — Tracy Mosebey on Arlington National Cemetery tour.

Capital Photo History Tours are 2-3 hour tours devoted to photography and history buffs who want to enhance their knowledge of Washington’s landmarks and legends. The tour is a twofer of photo composition and historical background of sites. We like to say, “Come for the history — leave with great photos.”

ALL TOURS BEGIN AT 10 A.M. EXCEPT MOUNT VERNON. Ticket ordering links are below. We offer private photo tours year-round. Email us at monumentalthoughts@gmail.com.

Abe_explanationMonuments on the National Mall - MAY 3, JUNE 7, SEPT. 13  – Follow the trail of national icons. We start with three contrasting memorials framing the city’s western border that remind us civil wars, domestic and foreign, are always paid in blood. The Vietnam Wall serves as a vivid reminder to the 58,286 names of deceased soldiers etched in black marble. A Greek temple is the site of celebrations and demonstrations since its 1922 dedication to the nation’s greatest president – Abraham Lincoln. The Korean War Memorial shows 19 soldiers walking through a field, their eyes everywhere to detect the enemy. Their reflections in the black marble wall adding 19 more to their numbers to reach 38, as in the 38th Parallel that remains the border of North and South Korea.But there’s more. We’ll walk along the Lincoln Reflecting Pool, World War II Memorial, D.C. World War I Memorial and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. Tour begins at Lincoln Memorial bottom steps. Tour is approximately 2½ hours. Click HERE for Goldstar half-price tickets. Click HERE for half-price tickets from Amazon Local.

Click HERE for half-priced tickets from Groupon.
 BoothLincoln assassination tour – MAY 4, JUNE 14, 28, JULY 13, SEPT. 27
Why did America’s most popular actor kill the president? And how did he do it? We stroll from the White House to Ford’s Theater and many points inbetween examining many of the sites where John Wilkes Booth stalked President Abraham Lincoln before killing him at the end of the Civil War. A madman exacting revenge for his beloved South or maybe more. Rick is a distant relative of John Wilkes Booth and co-conspirator Mary Surratt so keep a wary eye on him.Tour begins at Andrew Jackson statue in Lafayette Park by White House and ends at Ford’s Theater. The tour is approximately two hours.Click HERE for Goldstar half-priced tickets.Click HERE for half-price tickets from Amazon Local.

Click HERE for half-priced tickets from Groupon. 

Arlington National CemeteryEternal flame

MAY 10, JULY 12

The sea of white marble headstones. The eternal flame. Changing of the guard. Learn the stories of our nation through its fallen heroes. The secrets of creating images that make one pause. Visit Robert E. Lee’s one-time home with some of the best views around Washington along with monuments to Confederate soldiers, Spanish-American war and many more. Arlington National Cemetery is Rick’s favorite destination around Washington. Maybe because he has a relative buried there, maybe because it’s an unending series of memorials and so many opportunities for memorable photos.

Tour begins outside visitors center on right side. Tour is approximately three hours.

Click HERE for Goldstar half-price tickets.

Click HERE for half-price tickets from Amazon Local.

Click HERE for half-priced tickets from Groupon.

Capitol_HDRCapitol Hill

APRIL 27, JUNE 29, OCT. 11

Everyone knows the U.S. Capitol, but did you know the dome is actually the third version? Why Lady Freedom faces away from downtown? Where’s the spring that includes drinking fountains and 21 seats for visitors?

When we’re done circling Congress’ home and seeing the Library of Congress and Supreme Court, we’ll head down to the Grant statue that includes breath-taking cavalry and artillery charges along with the Capitol fountains.  We’ll finish inside the Botanic Gardens learning to photograph many of the nation’s plants.

Tour begins at the bottom steps of the Supreme Court. Tour is approximately two hours.

Click HERE for Goldstar half-price tickets.

Click HERE for half-price tickets from Amazon Local.

Click HERE for half-priced tickets from Groupon.

mount vernonMOUNT VERNON

Aug. 24 (9 a.m.) – Only tour of the year!

Thanks to increasing demand for private tours of George Washington’s home, we’re offering Mount Vernon once this season when the heat lessens and crowds thin, but the beautiful gardens and orchards remain.

We’ll walk the grounds of the first president’s home that remain in keeping with Dec. 14, 1799 when Washington died. The home has separate mansion guides that are part of admission cost where you see Washington’s bed chamber, dining hall and personal office plus many artifacts like the key to the Bastille prison in France given to Washington by the Marquis de Lafayette. (Sorry, Mount Vernon doesn’t allow photos inside the mansion.) We’ll also visit the tomb that houses George and Martha Washington, many buildings on the property and the Potomac River below.

The cost of Mount Vernon admission is separate — $17 adults (12 and up), $16 seniors (62 and better) and $8 children (6-11). Buying tickets takes only a minute or two at Mount Vernon, but you can also order online at at Mount Vernon.org.

This two-hour tour begins at 9 a.m. We meet at the archway of the left entranceway. Abundant nearby parking is free.

Click HERE for half-priced Capitol Photo History Tour tickets from Amazon Local.

Click HERE for half-priced Capitol Photo History Tour tickets from Groupon.