We love patronizing Bike ’N Roll whenever we’re in major cities (and want to save our feet from lots of walking). We’ve reviewed Bike ’N Roll in NYC, and didn’t hesitate to book a tour with Bike N Roll DC during our trip to Washington DC with kids.
We opted for the Monuments@Nite tour, because we visited DC in the heat of the summer, and hoped for a cooler ride. We also got a prettier one: the monuments lit up at night are fabulous! We booked our tour for our first evening in the city, which was perfect timing:’biking the sites’ gave us a nice orientation to the area, and allowed us to see all the major monuments in one evening. After biking them, I am convinced we could not (read: would not) have walked to them all in one day, let alone in three hours.
The Monuments@Nite tour took us from Bike ’N Roll’s location at L’Enfant Plaza (an easy Metro ride from almost anywhere) to the Tidal Basin, Jefferson Memorial, FDR memorial, the new MLK Jr memorial, all the war memorials (including the new WWII one), and of course, the Lincoln memorial and Washington monument. We saw the White House from a distance, as well as the Capitol. About half of the three hour tour was in daylight; we switched on our bike lights around the halfway mark at the Lincoln memorial.
Our guide—without exception—was the best tour guide we had in DC. This includes all the official guides we had in the Capitol, White House, and Mt. Vernon. He was great with kids, engaging them in the conversation constantly, and had a wealth of information. He impressed me right off the bat by remembering every kid’s name on the tour, and ensuring they were all safe on their bikes. I learned so much about the monuments that I never would have guessed from just looking at them myself.
Our guide also had lots of tips for how to spend the rest of our trip, making us doubly glad to have booked the tour at the beginning of our stay in DC. He had lots of info about the city in general, the various controversies about each monument, and general historical trivia.
Our tour ran from 7 pm to 10 pm, but we actually went overtime, and were not back to the Bike ’N Roll kiosk until almost 10:30 pm. Because of this, and the nature of the tour (on bikes), I’d recommend it for kids 6 and up. DC is very flat, so it’s not strenuous, but kids definitely have to be able to follow directions. We were given a water bottle and a snack en route.
A few tips: If arriving via Metro, head up the stairs to your left the moment you come out of the station to the street. The kiosk is at the top of those steps. We made the mistake of continuing out to the sidewalk and walked around the building…making us late. Gratuities are nice at the end; we always recommend tipping 10% of the cost of the tour.
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Adults are $45 and kids are $35. And it’s worth every penny. Families can book other types of tours as well, or rent bikes without a guide.
L’Enfant Plaza is just past Independence Ave (on the far side of the Mall). Take the Metro to the L’Enfant station. If you can’t find the kiosk, give them a call…they answer right away and can guide you there.
Wondering where to stay in DC? Check out our review of Grand Hyatt Washington.
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