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Visit the Washington State Capitol

Tours

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A variety of tours are offered at the Washington State Capitol; please select an option below to learn more.

Thursday, December 12th – No 2:00 or 3:00 public tour offered.
Monday, January 6th – No public tours offered due to staff training.
Tuesday, January 7th – Public tours begin at 1:00 p.m.

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 is crowned with the tallest freestanding masonry dome in North America. The interior is decorated with Tiffany chandeliers and clad in marbles from five countries. The tour of the Legislative Building includes the North Foyer, Rotunda, State Reception Room, and Legislative Galleries.

Free, guided public tours of the Washington State Legislative Building (Capitol Building) are available daily and are open to everyone. 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. If you are a group of 10 or more, please reserve space in advance by calling the State Capitol Tour Office at (360) 902-8880. Advanced reservations are limited to 20 spaces per tour.

Public tours last approximately 50 minutes and begin on the following schedule:

Day Tour Starting Times
Mon – Fri 10am 11am 12pm 1pm 2pm 3pm
Sat - Sun   11am 12pm 1pm 2pm 3pm

 

The Legislative Building's weekday hours are 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Weekend hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Legislative Building is closed on Thanksgiving, the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.

This tour provides an introduction to representative democracy and the three branches of government and includes information on the Legislative Building's function, operation, symbolism and history. Students also visit the Temple of Justice, home of the state Supreme Court, where they participate in a mock court hearing. The tour explores the Rotunda, the State Reception Room, Legislative Galleries, and offices of elected officials. Total tour time is three hours (including a lunch period).

Civic tours are available to 4th-12th grade classes of 20 or more students from mid-January through June. The Department of Enterprise Services Visitor Services Program accepts requests for civic tours throughout the year, but we suggest that you sign up as early as possible due to limited availability. Please fill out the Civic Tour Reservation Form to request a tour. For detailed information about this field trip, visit our Information for Teachers page. For questions, contact us at (360) 902-8880 or email tours@des.wa.gov.

Groups with fewer than 20 students are encouraged to contact the State Capitol Tour Office at (360) 902-8880 to discuss other educational tour options that might be available.

The Governor's Mansion is the oldest standing building on the Capitol Campus. This redbrick, Georgian-style Executive Mansion has been home to Washington's governors since 1910. It has been fully restored and furnished with many antiques from the American Federal period.

The mansion is open for public tours on most Wednesday afternoons by reservation; reservations must be made at least 24 hours in advance. Groups, families and individuals can request a reservation by submitting a Governor's Mansion Tours Request Form. Total group size is limited to 25. This tour is available for school groups of 4th grade and up.

Tours are provided by the Governor Mansion Foundation.

Most of the West Capitol Campus is a National Historic District, featuring landscaping originally designed by the famous Olmsted Brothers. The West Campus contains many magnificent tree and shrub plantings, many of which have stories waiting to be shared. Both East and West Campuses provide examples of sustainable landscape practices. Learn about these practices as the grounds staff continue to pilot projects with a goal of integrated ecological management.

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. Botanical tours can be for individuals or groups of up to 25 people.

For more information about the trees on campus, you can view a Trees of the West Capitol Campus Brochure.

The Washington State Capitol Campus is home to many veterans memorials including the Winged Victory, POW-MIA, Medal of Honor, WW II, Korean War, and Vietnam Veterans memorials. Self-guided memorial brochures are available at the Tour Information Desk and at the Visitor Services Office, or you can use the Memorials & Artwork layer of the interactive map on your mobile device.

If tour times do not align with your schedule or you prefer to go at your own pace, you are welcome to take a self-guided tour. Brochures about the Legislative Building (Capitol building) are available at the Tour Information Desk and at the Visitor Services Office.

Additional self-guided materials are available for school groups who are unable to attend a civic or public tour. For more information about these materials, please contact visitor services at (360) 902-8880 or email us at tours@des.wa.gov.

Completed in 1912, The Temple of Justice houses the Washington State Supreme Court and the State Law Library. Open for public viewing 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.