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Guided Tours

Learn more about Dumbarton Oaks' museum and gardens by joining a guided tour.

For inquiries regarding tours, please contact

Please note: Museum walk-in tours are suspended until further notice.


All docent-led walk-in tours are free and first come, first served.

Garden Tour

2:10 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, weather permitting.

This 30-minute introductory tour shows visitors select areas and introduces them to the history, design, and development of the gardens. Garden tours are year-round, except August and federal holidays, and subject to cancellation without prior notice due to inclement weather, closures, or docent availability. Meet docent at the booth near the garden gate. Limited to 10 people on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Accessibility: In keeping with its topography and historic design, our hillside gardens present several challenges to visitors with limited mobility, including steep inclines, slippery surfaces, loose gravel walkways, staircases, and other impediments. 


We are currently unable to take bookings for group tours. Please explore our walk-in tour opportunities above and check back for updates.

Guided Garden Tours for Colleges and Universities

Guided Garden tours for colleges and universities led by the Director of Gardens and Grounds are on weekdays only from 8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. and last approximately 90 minutes. Group size is limited to 30 people; minimum of 10. These free tours are weather permitting, not available on federal holidays, and subject to the Director’s availability.

Director-led Garden tours for colleges and universities are kindly requested as follows:

  • Fall term (October – November) by August 15
  • Spring term (March–May) by February 15
  • Summer term (June-July) by April 15

Requests will be reviewed in the order received and those submitted after the deadline will only be considered if space is available.

Director-led guided tours are limited to five visits per term and to undergraduate and graduate courses related to the historic gardens to a significant degree such as from landscape architecture, horticulture, and environmental science programs from colleges and universities. Due to the Director’s limited availability (especially in Spring), these guided garden tours are not offered to gardener extension programs at colleges or universities, garden clubs/organizations, other allied professional organizations, social clubs, commercial tour groups, senior groups, etc. Such groups may wish to join a docent-led tour, if available.

Self-guided visits to the Gardens by college and university classes are welcome during public hours (Tuesday-Sunday except for federal holidays; closed on Mondays). Large classes are kindly requested to split into smaller faculty-led groups of up to 15. Pre-purchased daily tickets are required during the Regular Season (March 15–Oct. 31, 2:00-6:00 p.m.). Admission is free during the Winter Season (Nov. 1–March 14, 2:00-5:00 p.m.). Visitors are welcome to sketch in the gardens with pencil or charcoal on pads no larger than 12” x 18”.

Request a guided garden tour for colleges and universities led by the Director of Gardens and Grounds by submitting this form. Please understand that submitting a request is not confirmation of your tour.