Lonely Planet Writer

Some lucky visitors will get to take a tour of the White House gardens and grounds next month

While many visitors to Washington, DC have taken a tour through the White House – or at least caught a glimpse of 1600 Penn – for two days in October, guests will get to check out a different element of President’s home – its gardens.

The White House.
The White House. Image by Visions Of Our Land/Getty Images

The White House is opening its gardens and grounds to visitors on Saturday, 8 October from 10 am to 4:30 pm, and Sunday, 9 October from 10 am to 2:30 pm. Visitors can head to the grounds’ most beautiful areas, like the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, the Rose Garden and South Lawn. As an added bonus, those lucky enough to go will also get to check out the White House Kitchen Garden, which is the first vegetable garden at the White House since Eleanor Roosevelt’s Victory Garden.

The event is free – but visitors will need a ticket and they may be hard to come by. The National Parks Service will be handing out timed tickets at the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion – located near 15th and E Streets Northwest – on each day, starting at 8:30 am. Eager guests may have to get there early, as the tickets are given out first-come, first-served basis, and one ticket is given out per person.

The opportunity to take a tour through the gardens is one many people may jump at. Tours of the interior of the White House have to be arranged in advance, and US citizens have to apply for a tour through a member of Congress from their state. Foreign citizens have to apply through the US consulate in their home country, or through their country’s consulate in Washington, with applications taken between 21 days and six months in advance. If that seems like a bit too much work, guests can just pop into the White House Visitor Center for a bit of the executive experience.

Or, anyone can check out a bit of the White House through interactive online tours through the official website or through Google Arts and Culture.