Despite President and Mrs. Obama’s commitment to open the White House to as many visitors as possible, White House Tours advance ticketing requests must be made through your Congressional representative. These requests can be submitted up to six months in advance, but can be cancelled at a moment's notice due to political reasons. However, you can visit the White House South Lawn and White House Visitors Center as part of the Gray Line “DC in a Day Tour”. And, unlike on the White House Tour, you will be able to take as many photographs and videos as you like.
The White House Visitor Center provides visitors with an insight into what it's like to live in one of the most famous buildings in the world via an interactive touchscreen tour of the President's iconic home. You can also view in excess of 90 artifacts that are part of the White House collection, and view a short film titled "White House: Reflections From Within".
The South Lawn, affectionately nicknamed the back lawn of the White House, derives its name from being located directly south of the White House. East Executive Drive, the Treasury Building, West Executive Drive and the Executive Office Building all border it. The large public circular green area just across from the South Lawn, known as The Ellipse, is always popular.
The South Lawn plays host to a variety of White House annually held events, including the Easter Egg Roll which has been a White House tradition for well over a century. Meanwhile, the President's helicopter "Marine One" uses the lawn to drop-off and pick-up the President. It is also home to the popular South Fountain which features classical fish figures and several jets of water. It also has a jogging track that was built after President Clinton’s jogging habit reputedly disrupted Washington traffic. One of the newest traditions at the White house is that of the annual “South Lawn Sluggers tee ball game” which was introduced by George W. Bush in 2001.
Visiting the White House Visitor Center and the South Lawn aboard one of Gray Line’s luxury coaches, as part of their “DC in a Day Tour” really is a perfect way to make the most of your time. The tour also takes in the US Capitol, World War II Memorial, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. You will also have the chance to see many more of Washington’s iconic landmarks including the FBI Building, Ellipse, Federal Triangle, Tidal Basin, National Archives, House and Senate Office Buildings, Washington Monument, Grant Memorial and the National Gallery of Art, to name a few.
Find out more detailed overview of Gray Line’s DC in a Day Tour.