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Adventure Inside the Beltway: An Amazing Senior Class Trip to D.C. Banner Image

Adventure Inside the Beltway: An Amazing Senior Class Trip to D.C.

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by Rhoda Venture
Education Trip

When it’s time to plan the senior class trip, make it an adventure! Embrace the heart of our nation’s government, take a deep dive into history, and investigate the unexpected. There are so many fantastic attractions and hidden gems to explore on an amazing senior class trip to D.C.

Here’s a taste of what seniors can do in our nation’s capital…

Government in Action

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and Capitol Hill will always be at the top of any D.C. itinerary – and for good reason! These are the impressive places where the business of our country is done.

The White House offers self-guided tours to the public Tuesday – Saturday each week. The White House assigns tour times to groups on a first-come, first-served basis.  All tours are also subject to change (pending changes in the White House schedule.)

senior class trip to D.C. White House

The Capitol Building hosts a limited number of guided tours for student groups Monday – Saturday. Be sure to build in time visit your state representative’s or senator’s office!

Impressive Monuments and Memorials

Tour the Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, National World War II Memorial, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, the FDR Memorial, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. All are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Reservations are not required, but it can get very busy here.

Pro Tip: Plan your monuments and memorials tour for early morning to beat the crowds or late evening to beat the heat!

washington dc memorials

Most of the popular monuments are located on the National Mall just steps away from the world-renowned collection of Smithsonian museums – another must do!

Intriguing Museums

There are 74 epic museums in Washington D.C. covering everything from the history of flight to the fascinating stories of real-life spies.

A few senior class trip favorites?

The Smithsonian Collection

Each of the 17 Smithsonian locations… admission is FREE and the exquisite collections include natural history, American history, air and space, and more.

Oh- and 11 of them are right on the Mall for easy access!

Senior class trip to DC Smithsonian

The Scottish Rite House of the Temple

Take a peek into the secret world of the masons.  The Scottish Rite House of the Temple, completed in 1915, is an adaptation of one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

It’s about 10 minutes outside of D.C. but definitely worth the stop.

The National Museum of the Marine Corps

The National Museum of the Marine Corps tells more than 200+ years of the Marine Corps’ rich history, with collections that highlight “the warrior on the front lines to the families on the home front.”  It’s a great venue for high school seniors, who can even enjoy a boxed lunch in the Devil Dog Diner!

National Museum of the Marine Corps

National Archives

The National Archives is a great spot to study how the actions of the Federal Government are based in our Constitution. It also houses the three original “Charters of Freedom,” including the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights.

senior class trip to D.C. National Archives

International Spy Museum

The International Spy Museum is an amazing stop for student groups. It is a high-tech, interactive museum highlighting the past, present and history of espionage.  It’s super easy for groups of all sizes to navigate and students are fascinated by the engaging exhibits.


Just a few blocks from the International Spy Museum is ARTECHOUSE, where art, science, and technology intersect. The space uses lasers and cutting-edge to create immersive and mind-blowing digital light shows.

A Place of Patriotic Pride

Arlington National Cemetery is one of the country’s oldest cemeteries and is still active today. It conducts 27 – 30 services for U.S. veterans each weekday and between six and eight on Saturdays. The grounds honor those who have served our country and are a tribute to the service and sacrifice of every individual laid to rest here.

DC Arlington

While at Arlington, high school seniors can visit the gravesite of President John F. Kennedy, stop at Arlington House, and watch the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. They may even choose to lay a wreath here.

It’s a poignant experience they’ll not soon forget.

Historic Georgetown

Georgetown, with its cobblestone streets and charming architecture, offers a delightful contrast to the bustling energy of D.C. Here, students can explore quaint boutiques, cafes, and historical sites.


A visit to Georgetown Cupcake is a must for sweet treats after a day of sightseeing!

Eastern Market DC

Tucked into the heart of the historic Capitol Hill neighborhood is Eastern Market, where students will encounter every corner of the world. Enjoy farm-fresh local produce or pick up a few souvenirs for your friends back home – from Indonesian jewelry to French lace!

Senior Class Trip to DC Eastern Market

Unwind on the Water

Give those feet a well-earned break and relax on a Potomac River cruise.  Students will love this water venue with exceptional views of D.C. landmarks, awesome dining, and music to get the party started!

Embassy Row

Immerse your senior class in the diplomatic tapestry of Embassy Row, where nations converge in elegant surroundings. Stroll beneath the flags on Massachusetts Avenue housing embassies from around the world.

Senior class trip to DC Embassy Row

Cultures and customs are on full display as countries strive for diplomacy and understanding.

The National Zoo

Full disclosure… it’s actually the Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute, so of course it’s amazing.  It’s also FREE! The Zoo is open every day (except December 25th) and is home to every kind of animal from A to Z.

national zoo

Ghouls, Ghosts and Graveyards

Teens love the spooky and macabre, so be sure there’s a ghost tour included in your senior class trip to D.C.

There are several options for spirited adventures – depending on taste (and tolerance!) Stories of hauntings and paranormal events keep student groups riveted as they explore the darker side of D.C. history.

The Capital Wheel at National Harbor

One more D.C. senior class trip highlight will take your group to new heights. The Capital Wheel at National Harbor stands 180 ft. high and offers spectacular views of Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.

Senior Class Trip to DC -National Harbor

The vibrant Waterfront District is a fabulous spot for seniors to spend time shopping, dining, or taking in an outdoor show.

There’s even a Topgolf – a great choice for tons of group fun!

Your Senior Class Trip to D.C. will be a Monumental Adventure!

Washington D.C. is truly a ‘monumental’ adventure for your senior class trip (couldn’t resist 😉) History, culture, excitement, and adventure converge in a place where global headlines are made every day. It’s a thrilling destination packed with student-friendly action that seniors love!

Plan Your D.C. Adventure

National Monument

Related Reading: Senior Class Trip to Costa Rica: The Ultimate Adventure

Related Reading: Unlocking the Magic of a Senior Class Trip to Orlando

Why Kaleidoscope Adventures?

As a leader in the student travel industry for 30+ years, Kaleidoscope Adventures exceeds expectations for student and performance group travel.

We’ll work with you to plan an exceptional travel experience and provide impeccable customer service from start to finish

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