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General public tours

Please note: The north doors (main entrance) of the Legislative (Capitol) Building will be closed November 16-18, 2018 as part of the dome cleaning project. Visitors will be directed to enter the building through the southeast and/or south entrances. The north doors will re-open to the public on November 19. Please contact the State Capitol Visitor Services Office at (360) 902-8880 for questions or additional information.

Guided public tours of the Washington State Legislative Building are available daily. Our free public tours are approximately 50 minutes in duration and begin on the following schedule:

Please note: Public tours will be available beginning at noon on Veterans Day.

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

 

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 Years Day.

Scheduled tours

The Department of Enterprise Services Visitor Services Program accepts requests for tours throughout the year. Please submit your request to:

Capitol Tours or Governor's Mansion Tours.

For questions about our tour offerings, you are welcome to contact us at (360) 902-8880 or email us at tours@des.wa.gov. Please note that space is limited, so groups are encouraged to reserve early.

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 type of tour requested. If you are requesting a Civic Education Tour, plan on three hours. For all other groups, plan on a one hour tour.

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'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: 15 minute walk-through tours will no longer be available to school groups as part of the Civic Education Tour.

Civic Education Tour (available only to groups of 20 students or more from grades 4-12 during January-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).

Groups with less 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.

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.