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Study Tours

All upcoming Study Tours

Smithsonian Associates Study Tours takes the educational intent of our fabulous programming outside the classroom and on the road!

About our tours

Each tour is led by one of our Study Leaders with expertise in the subject matter along with a Smithsonian Representative to handle all the logistics and comforts of the group. The study leader imparts knowledge both formally and informally throughout the tour, with methods that can include a background lecture, handout materials, narrating site visits, and stimulating social engagement with all participants during the course of the tour.

Tour types

Study tours include day bus trips, multi-day and overnight tours, and shorter neighborhood walks or visits to specific sites. We offer over 70 study tours each year, and we hope you will join us!

Select a tour type to learn more:

Day bus tours visit destinations as close as Capitol Hill and as far as New York City or Maryland's Eastern Shore. Topics for these tours are wide-ranging and cover subjects such as military history, art, architecture, railroading, horticulture, gastronomy, and literature.

Popular day bus tours have included:

  • Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater
  • John Wilkes Booth's Escape Route
  • Western Maryland Scenic Railroad
  • Sultana Cruise & Historic Chestertown
  • The Cloisters of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Overnight tours give Study Leaders the opportunity to take a group a greater distance from Washington, DC. Study Leaders spend more time with participants and explore the subject in greater detail. The majority of these tours depart from Washington, DC, however for some tours the group meets at the destination.

Popular overnight tours have included:

  • Best of Brooklyn, New York
  • Berkshires Summer Sampler
  • Exploring Frank Lloyd Wright in Chicago
  • Corning Museum of Glass
  • West Virginia Railroad Spectacular

Walking and on-site tours last two to three hours. Participants meet directly at the tour destination and spend time with the Study Leader exploring that particular subject or neighborhood.

Popular walking and on-site tours have included:

  • Inside Smithsonian Libraries
  • Architecture on the National Mall
  • Dupont Circle and Embassy Row
  • Sunrise Hike at Great Falls
  • Roosevelt Island Walks

All upcoming Study Tours

Showing programs 1 to 5 of 21
June 1, 2024
In-Person
$165 - $215

Among the battles fought in the Shenandoah Valley, none achieved more significant results and had wider consequences than the Battle of Cedar Creek on Oct. 19, 1864. It began disastrously for Union forces but became arguably one of the Union’s most remarkable triumphs and aided President Abraham Lincoln’s 1864 bid for reelection. History professor Jonathan A. Noyalas leads a daylong tour exploring the complexities of the battle and its significance in the Civil War’s broader context.


June 2 to June 4, 2024
In-Person
$1,215 - $1,800

Beginning in the early 19th century, the artists who came to be known as the Hudson River School of painting visited and lived in the Catskill Mountains, drawn to the region’s sublime vistas. Over the course of a three-day tour, share the perspectives of these artists as historian Paul Glenshaw explores the homes and studios of Thomas Cole, Jasper Cropsey, and Frederic Church. A private tour of the William Louis-Dreyfus Foundation collection, a visit to the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, and lunch at an innovative local farm highlight today’s Hudson Valley. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)


June 14, 2024
In-Person
$130 - $180

The Washington, D.C., area is becoming a greener urban environment. Bill Keene, a lecturer in urban studies and architecture, spotlights innovative approaches to the environment and sustainability that have taken root—sometimes literally—in many types of buildings around town.


June 14, 2024

The rolling hills east of the Anacostia River, with a commanding view of Washington D.C., have been settled for centuries. From the trading grounds of the Indigenous Nacotchtank to a whites-only suburb known as Uniontown to a predominantly Black community, Anacostia has seen dramatic change. Join Carolyn Muraskin, founder of DC Design Tours, for a look at the area’s architecture, which encapsulates its many identities.


June 20, 2024

The rolling hills east of the Anacostia River, with a commanding view of Washington D.C., have been settled for centuries. From the trading grounds of the Indigenous Nacotchtank to a whites-only suburb known as Uniontown to a predominantly Black community, Anacostia has seen dramatic change. Join Carolyn Muraskin, founder of DC Design Tours, for a look at the area’s architecture, which encapsulates its many identities.