FYIDC: Washington on Wheels

by Editorial

Explore the city’s greatest sights at an easy pace with Bike and Roll.

By Halle Kaplan-Allen

Bikers ride past the National Cherry Blossoms in downtown Washington (Photo courtesy of Bike and Roll).

Warm, beautiful weather has hit Washington and everyone is looking for an excuse to spend time outside. Bike and Roll DC provides an opportunity to do just that while simultaneously learning about the history and culture of our nation’s capital. Bike and Roll’s three locations, in Federal Triangle, Union Station and Old Town Alexandria, offer professionally guided bike tours and quality custom-made Trek bike rentals to help tourists and locals alike see the city in a different way. Bike and Roll offers over 10 types of tours, ranging from four to 18 miles, allowing visitors to explore the city in any way they choose.

Foodies will love the International Bites by Bike, a culinary tour cosponsored by DC Metro Food Tours that takes visitors through Logan Circle, U Street and Dupont Circle from one critically acclaimed restaurant to the next, stopping to sample a variety of international dishes. The tour guides, who are all well versed in international cuisine and culture, share trivia about each of the countries explored on the tour and point out the many embassies along the way.

History buffs will love the historic tour of Old Town Alexandria, which lies just across the river from Washington and is abundant with the trendiest of boutiques and the tastiest of restaurants. The tour focuses on Old Town’s many historic gems, from the 237-year-old Christ Church to Gadsby’s Tavern, a restaurant frequented by many U.S. presidents.

A Destination DC 2011 tour visits the Washington Monument, the World War II Memorial, and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial (Photo courtesy of Bike and Roll).

Night owls shouldn’t miss two evening tours: Sites@Nite and Monuments@Nite. Sites@Nite is an eight-mile tour featuring many of the Mall’s most famous memorials, as well as the White House and the National Gallery of Art. The tour guide will pause along the way to tell the story behind each site and allow riders to admire the dazzling, illuminated views of Washington’s most celebrated buildings. Monuments@Nite is a slightly shorter version (around four miles), and circles the National Mall and the Potomac Tidal Basin, featuring stops at the picturesque Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial and the new Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. Both tours are just over three hours in length.

For the more independent crowd, Bike and Roll rents out bicycles from its Old Town location for a self-guided tour of Mount Vernon. The $48 ticket includes a bike and admission to the estate. For another $10, guests receive a ticket to return to Old Town on Miss Christin, a cruise boat with a narrated tour. To top it all off, guests can purchase a Virtue Feed & Grain picnic basket stocked with homemade bread, cured meats and fruit to keep themselves satiated along the nine-mile ride.

Finally, for those who are less athletically inclined, Bike and Roll offers a two-and-a-half-hour Segway tour of the National Mall with stops at the Capitol, World War II Memorial and the White House.

Check out the company’s website,, for more information regarding times, rates and reservations.

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