Skip to main content
Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Study Tours

Tour

Shakespeare in Staunton

Saturday, October 8, 2022 - 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. ET

Experience one of the Bard’s plays in a way that Londoners of 400 years ago might have found when you spend a day at the American Shakespeare Center in beautiful Staunton, Virginia. Explore theatrical history in a fascinating director-led workshop, enjoy lunch in local restaurant, and then settle into the Elizabethan-style theater for a performance of The Tempest. Afterward, there’s time to explore historic Staunton on an optional guided tour.

Tour

George Washington's Places: Alexandria and South Fairfax County

Wednesday, October 12, 2022 - 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET

Join historian and writer Laura Macaluso for a day of adventure that travels from Old Town Alexandria along the George Washington Parkway to Mount Vernon and beyond. From an 18th-century tavern to a venerable church, a towering Masonic memorial to estates along the Potomac, the locations recall the life and legacy of George Washington as a general and president.

Tour

Monuments and Memory

Friday, October 14, 2022 - 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET

Join staff members of the new Capital Jewish Museum on a walking tour that explores the connection between Washington’s monuments and collective memory. Beginning at the museum, move through the heart of the historic downtown Jewish community to visit monuments and memorials connected to local and international Jewish history.

Tour

The Rise of DC’s Black Intelligentsia: Paul Laurence Dunbar and Alice Dunbar-Nelson in LeDroit Park

Saturday, October 15, 2022 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Northwest Washington’s LeDroit Park neighborhood became home to the city’s most prominent African American residents. Join author and literary historian Kim Roberts on a walking tour that visits the homes of Paul Laurence Dunbar, the first African American to gain national eminence as a poet, and his wife, poet and activist Alice Dunbar-Nelson, as well those of other members of the city’s African American intelligentsia who were drawn to LeDroit Park and the surrounding Shaw neighborhood.

Tour

The Potomac Eagle: A Rail Ride Through the Trough

Sunday, October 16, 2022 - 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET

Spend a day with Joe Nevin in the Shenandoah and South Branch valleys that focuses on regional and railroad history and offers some spectacular Appalachian scenery as well. The centerpiece is a 3-hour excursion on the diesel-powered Potomac Eagle, the perfect vantage point from which to take in the wild, wooded gorge locally known as the Trough.

Tour

The Rise of DC’s Black Intelligentsia: Paul Laurence Dunbar and Alice Dunbar-Nelson in LeDroit Park

Sunday, October 16, 2022 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Northwest Washington’s LeDroit Park neighborhood became home to the city’s most prominent African American residents. Join author and literary historian Kim Roberts on a walking tour that visits the homes of Paul Laurence Dunbar, the first African American to gain national eminence as a poet, and his wife, poet and activist Alice Dunbar-Nelson, as well those of other members of the city’s African American intelligentsia who were drawn to LeDroit Park and the surrounding Shaw neighborhood.

Tour

Gold-Rush California

October 16 - 21, 2022, 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 a.m. ET

A sparkle of gold flashed in a river near Coloma, California, touching off a massive wave of gold seekers to California. The Gold Rush of 1849 forever altered California and the nation’s destiny. Join fellow travelers on a 6-day tour around Northern California to see where the adventure unfolded. Highlights include Old Sacramento, the California State Railroad Museum, Sutter's Fort, Chaw'se Indian Grinding Rock and Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Parks, a 2-night stay at the Historic National Exchange Hotel, Empire Mine & Malakoff Diggins State Parks, and scenic Lake Tahoe. 

Tour

The Rise of DC’s Black Intelligentsia: Paul Laurence Dunbar and Alice Dunbar-Nelson in LeDroit Park

Saturday, October 22, 2022 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Northwest Washington’s LeDroit Park neighborhood became home to the city’s most prominent African American residents. Join author and literary historian Kim Roberts on a walking tour that visits the homes of Paul Laurence Dunbar, the first African American to gain national eminence as a poet, and his wife, poet and activist Alice Dunbar-Nelson, as well those of other members of the city’s African American intelligentsia who were drawn to LeDroit Park and the surrounding Shaw neighborhood.

Tour

Monuments and Memory

Saturday, October 22, 2022 - 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET

Join staff members of the new Capital Jewish Museum on a walking tour that explores the connection between Washington’s monuments and collective memory. Beginning at the museum, move through the heart of the historic downtown Jewish community to visit monuments and memorials connected to local and international Jewish history.

Tour

Monuments and Memory

Sunday, October 23, 2022 - 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET

Join staff members of the new Capital Jewish Museum on a walking tour that explores the connection between Washington’s monuments and collective memory. Beginning at the museum, move through the heart of the historic downtown Jewish community to visit monuments and memorials connected to local and international Jewish history.

Tour

The Road to Nashville

November 6 - 10, 2022, 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. ET

Nashville is a 21st-century boom town, a cultural melting pot that attracts residents from across the nation and around the world. If the Ken Burns documentary Country Music sparked your appetite to learn more about the form’s roots and influences, this 5-day  tour offers the perfect way to do it.

Tour

Autumn Hiking: Sugarloaf Mountain

Tuesday, November 8, 2022 - 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

Discover beauty and fascinating history as you spend an autumn day hiking to the summit of Washington, D.C.’s local mountain guided by popular study leader and author Melanie Choukas-Bradley. She offers insights into Sugarloaf’s origins, plants and wildlife, geology, and seasonal changes, as well as remarkable preservation stories about this regional natural treasure.

Tour

Autumn Hiking: Sugarloaf Mountain

Wednesday, November 9, 2022 - 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

Discover beauty and fascinating history as you spend an autumn day hiking to the summit of Washington, D.C.’s local mountain guided by popular study leader and author Melanie Choukas-Bradley. She offers insights into Sugarloaf’s origins, plants and wildlife, geology, and seasonal changes, as well as remarkable preservation stories about this regional natural treasure.

Tour

Autumn Hiking: Sugarloaf Mountain

Thursday, November 10, 2022 - 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

Discover beauty and fascinating history as you spend an autumn day hiking to the summit of Washington, D.C.’s local mountain guided by popular study leader and author Melanie Choukas-Bradley. She offers insights into Sugarloaf’s origins, plants and wildlife, geology, and seasonal changes, as well as remarkable preservation stories about this regional natural treasure.

Tour

Caverns and Cabernets: A Fall Day in the Shenandoah Valley

Saturday, November 12, 2022 - 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. ET

Virginia’s beautiful Shenandoah Valley has a rich geological heritage, shaped over millions of years of natural history. Gregg Clemmer, an experienced caver and explorer, takes you deep into that ancient past at two of the state’s most notable caverns, and offers a chance to sample some of the products of the valley’s fertile soil on a visit to a regional winery.

Tour

An Artful Day in Philadelphia: Modigliani and Matisse

Sunday, November 13, 2022 - 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

The art of 20th-century creators is in the spotlight during a visit to two of Philadelphia’s outstanding collections led by art historian Ursula Rhen Wolfman. Begin with a guided tour of the Barnes Foundation’s newest exhibition, Modigliani Up Close, then spend the afternoon at the Philadelphia Museum of Art for a guided visit to the special exhibit Matisse in the 1930s. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Tour

The Holidays in Old Town Alexandria

Sunday, December 4, 2022 - 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET

Step back in time as you stroll along Old Town Alexandria’s red-brick sidewalks to explore how Christmases of yesteryear were celebrated here. The rich history shared by guide Lynn O’Connell covers the people, places, and traditions that make Old Town a picture-perfect spot during the holiday season.

Tour

Radio City Music Hall: Front and Center for the Christmas Spectacular

Thursday, December 8, 2022 - 6:45 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. ET

There’s no more iconic holiday performance in New York than Radio City Music Hall’s famed Christmas Spectacular. And there’s no better way to see the precision dancing of the Rockettes than from prime orchestra seats in the fabulous art deco theater where the show has been a tradition since 1933. A behind-the-scenes tour of the Music Hall adds to the experience.

Tour

The Holidays in Old Town Alexandria

Friday, December 9, 2022 - 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET

Step back in time as you stroll along Old Town Alexandria’s red-brick sidewalks to explore how Christmases of yesteryear were celebrated here. The rich history shared by guide Lynn O’Connell covers the people, places, and traditions that make Old Town a picture-perfect spot during the holiday season.

Tour

Holidays at Winterthur and Longwood Gardens: Featuring Jacqueline Kennedy and H. F. du Pont: From Winterthur to the White House

Sunday, December 11, 2022 - 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET

Kick off your holidays in grand style with a day spent visiting two special destinations. Begin at Winterthur to view the opulent holiday décor and take in the exhibition Jacqueline Kennedy and H. F. du Pont: From Winterthur to the White House. An evening visit to nearby Longwood Gardens offers time on your own to relax, wander the grounds, and take in the spectacular seasonal decorations.

Tour

The Holidays in Old Town Alexandria

Saturday, December 17, 2022 - 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET

Step back in time as you stroll along Old Town Alexandria’s red-brick sidewalks to explore how Christmases of yesteryear were celebrated here. The rich history shared by guide Lynn O’Connell covers the people, places, and traditions that make Old Town a picture-perfect spot during the holiday season.