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Tours

General public tours

Guided public tours of the Washington State Legislative Building are offered seven days a week hourly — on weekdays between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. and between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. on weekends. The last tour of the day will be at 3:00 p.m. Tours are free and will last 50 minutes. Public tours begin at the tour information desk — which is located on the second floor of the Legislative Building, just inside the main entrance doors. Tours are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Group size is limited to 25 people per tour time.

The Legislative Building is closed on Thanksgiving, the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.

Group and school tours

The Department of Enterprise Services Visitor Services Program accepts requests for tours throughout the year. Please use the online tour request form or give us a call at (360) 902-8880 or email us at tours@des.wa.gov and our staff will be happy to help you determine what works best for your group's needs.

Please see the Teacher Information Page for additional planning assistance and helpful hints.

Other useful links for school tour:

How much time do you need for your visit?

This will vary depending on the number of people, type of tour requested, and the time of year that you visit. Plan on a three hour tour if you are scheduling a school tour, one or two hours for all other groups.

Tour Options

The State Capitol Tour Office offers a variety of standard tour options. We can also tailor a tour to fit your particular time constraints or logistical needs. A tour can range from a minimum of thirty minutes to a maximum of three hours. Washington State Capitol tour offerings during regular business hours are free.

Legislative Building Tour

The Legislative Building is home to the Washington State Legislature and the offices of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, and State Treasurer. Completed in 1928, the Legislative Building has the tallest free standing masonry dome in North America and houses the world's largest Tiffany chandelier. The tour of the Legislative Building includes the North Foyer, Rotunda, State Reception Room, and Legislative Galleries. This tour is targeted to all groups and last approximately one hour.

Botanical Tours

Botanical tours of the Capitol Campus grounds are available by appointment only. Please email the Capitol Campus Horticulturist or call (360) 725-0018 to arrange a botanical tour. Botantical tours can be for individuals or groups of up to 25 people.

Most of the West Capitol Campus is a National Historic District whose landscape features were originally designed by the famous Olmsted Brothers. The west campus contains many magnificent tree and shrub plantings that all have a story waiting to be shared. View the Trees of the West Capitol Campus brochure.

Both east and west campuses contain many examples of sustainable landscape practices. Learn about these practices as the grounds staff continues to pilot projects with a goal of integrated ecological management.

Governor Mansion Holiday Tour (Available on Wednesdays only from December 7 – 21, 2016)

Make your reservations now for one of the most popular holiday tours in the state. Home to Washington's Governor's since 1910, the red-brick Georgian Style Executive Mansion is the oldest standing building on the Capitol Campus. Furnished with many antiques from the American Federal period and decorated for the holidays, the home will be available for touring on Wednesdays in December. Morning and afternoon times are available, but group size is limited to 20. To make a reservation, contact the Governor Mansion Holiday Tour Reservation Line at (360) 902-8894.

Adventure Tour (available only to groups of 15 students or more, May through December; Monday-Friday only)

Using stories, visuals and interactive exercises, this tour introduces younger children to Washington State history and representative government through a hands-on adventure tour of the Washington State Capitol. As part of this tour, each child receives an 'Adventure Tour' coloring book to take home. This tour is 45 minutes and is specifically designed for K-2nd grade. A minimum of 15 students is required. Teachers can supplement this tour with a self-guided 'I SPY' scavenger hunt of the Capitol Campus.

Governor's Mansion Tour (reservations must be made at least 24 hours in advance)

The oldest standing building on the Capitol Campus, the red-brick Georgian style Executive Mansion has been home to Washington's Governors since 1910. Fully restored and furnished with many antiques from the American Federal period, the mansion is open for public tours on most Wednesdays by reservation. Tours are only available in the afternoon. Group size is limited to 20. This tour is available for 4th grade and up.

Please note: School groups tours of the mansion are limited to a 15 minute walk-thru if part of a Civic Education Tour.

Civic Education Tour (available only to groups of 15 students or more, September-June; Monday-Friday only)

This tour is an introduction to representative democracy and the three branches of government and includes information on the Legislative Building's function, operation, symbolism and history. Also included is a visit to the Temple of Justice, the home of the state Supreme Court, where students participate in a mock court hearing. The tour includes visits to the Rotunda, the State Reception Room, legislative galleries, and offices of elected officials. The tour is three hours (including a lunch period) and is specifically designed for students ages 3rd-12th grade.

Monument and memorial sites

The Washington State Capitol Campus is home to many Veterans Memorials including the Winged Victory, POW-MIA, Medal of Honor,WW II,Korean War Memorials, andVietnam Veterans. Self-Guided memorial brochures are available at the Visitor Information Desk and at the Legislative Building Tour Information Desk.

Chief William Shelton's Story Pole

Severe decay resulted in the removal of the 70-year-old Story Pole on November 3, 2010. At this time, there is no plan for a replacement. It was formerly located at the northeast lawn of the west campus, on the south side of the General Administration building.