Washington D.C.
Go Learn

Monuments and Museums: Exploring Washington, DC's History - Sold Out!

September 15-21, 2024
Double Occupancy: $3250 per person
Single Occupancy: $3950 per person
Airfare is not included.

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Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.
— Thomas Jefferson

Library of Congress

Experiencing Washington, D.C. is an adventure! It is truly an international city — evident by the many peoples and languages we experience walking The National Mall numerous museums. For Americans, It is the nation’s Capital City — the epicenter of national political life and ongoing governmental decision-making. It is the seat of power for our nation’s three branches of government — Executive, Legislative, Judicial.

Although nearly two centuries “younger” than New York City or Boston, Washington, D.C. is America’s historic city where decisions of war and peace have been debated. When one visits the U.S. Capitol Building or the U.S. Supreme Court or the Library of Congress or the White House, there is a sense of awe that can be almost overwhelming. The wonderful Smithsonian Museums keep America’s history and culture alive and ready to explore. Washington’s monuments and memorials are exciting to behold. Arlington National Cemetery nearby is profound hallowed ground.

Five and one-half days are far too brief a time to fully experience America’s Capital City; however, Tim and Cathy Chambless will provide both a historical and cultural understanding of this unique city, and also provide a behind-the-scenes examination of the political life and governmental actions that make each day in Washington, D.C. a must-visit experience!

Tour Highlights May Include:

Washington D.C. Tour group

  • Tour of US Capitol and meetings with Utah’s Members of Congress
  • In-depth discussions with journalists and lobbyists
  • Tours of the Supreme Court and Library of Congress
  • Lunch at the exclusive National Press Club
  • Free Time to explore the historic National Mall and Smithsonian Museums
  • Visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture and Holocaust Museum
  • Free Time to visit Arlington National Cemetery
  • Tour of the White House on Saturday morning, if possible (book your flights for later in the day)
  • Accommodations in bustling Georgetown
  • In-depth lectures with Tim Chambless and various guests

Photo courtesy xiquinhosilva

Daily Itinerary

Day One: Sunday September 15, 2024

Capitol DomeArrive in the Nation’s Capital! Check in and get comfortable at the Washington Marriott Georgetown located in bustling Georgetown. Evening meeting at the hotel with Tim and Cathy for overview, discussion, and orientation.

After you have settled in, we will gather for a lovely welcome dinner at a nearby restaurant and then it’s back to the hotel for an early night. The adventure begins tomorrow!

Hotel: Washington Marriott Georgetown
Meal: D
Activity Level: Moderate

Day Two: Monday September 16, 2024

Washington MonumentAfter a good night’s rest, we’ll have an early breakfast at the hotel before we begin our first day with a visit to the Mall (no, not that mall!). Together, we will visit the Washington Monument for a guided tour and enjoy the view from the observation deck (the best view on Washington!). Later, we will stroll the Mall visiting the rest of the monuments located there including the WWII, Vietnam, Lincoln, Korean War, Martin Luther King, FDR Memorial and more.

We will continue our walk and make our way to the unparalleled National Museum of African American History and Culture (NAAMHC). Established by Congress in 2003, the museum is the newest member of the Smithsonian Institution. We will obtain advance timed entry tickets and we’ll eat lunch in the D.C. famous cafeteria on-site. Don’t worry, you’ll have ample time to visit the gift shops.

We’ll re-group in the evening to enjoy a discussion with Tim and a political reporter for a renowned investigative news organization – who follows events in Utah and the US.

Afterwards the rest of the evening is yours to explore Georgetown and soak up the atmosphere!

Hotel: Washington Marriott Georgetown
Meal: B
Activity Level: Moderate to Strenuous

Day Three: Tuesday September 17, 2024

capitol BuildingAfter another delicious breakfast at the hotel, we will make our way to the Thomas Jefferson Building Library of Congress. Thomas Jefferson Building is an architectural gem in Washington, D.C. and we will spend the next two hours touring the exhibits with Tim and Cathy to answer any questions you might have. Then we’ll walk to the US Capitol. At your leisure, you can enjoy lunch in the cafeteria and enjoy the gift shops before our meetings with members of Congress. We will make our way to the House of Representatives Offices for a meeting with Utah’s U.S. House members. We can pick up passes for admission to the House and Senate galleries if you want to watch the “floor action” later that day or even later in the week.

The rest of the afternoon is yours to explore Capitol Hill!

We will re-group later in the evening to engage in conversations about human rights vs. national security with a passionate human rights advocate – who is also a fun person!

Hotel: Washington Marriott Georgetown
Meal: B
Activity Level: Moderate to Strenuous

Day Four: Wednesday September 18, 2024

National Museum of African American History and CultureWe will breakfast at the hotel before our meeting with a Campaign Finance and Election Law Attorney, Bryson Morgan. Bryson will share his broad perspective on campaigns – how lucky we are to be in Washington during this presidential election year!

Afterwards, we will make our way back to Capitol Hill for a guided tour of the U.S. Supreme Court. Officially completed in 1935, this neoclassical style building rises 4 stories high and serves as the official workplace of the Supreme Court justices. You’ll be able to tour the public portions of the building before stopping for lunch on your own in the Supreme Court Café.

After lunch you can either view Congress in action from the Senate or House galleries or you can explore the nearby museums of the Smithsonian! The National Gallery of Art, national Museum of the American Indian, National Air and Space Museum and National Archives are all within walking distance (and don’t miss the National Museum of American History where you can visit Elmo, see the Wizard of Oz ruby slipper, Julia Childs kitchen, and other fascinating artifacts from American pop culture!)

Hotel: Washington Marriott Georgetown
Meal: B
Activity Level: Moderate to Strenuous

Day Five: Thursday September 19, 2024

Library of CongressAfter breakfast we’re heading to the Atlantic Council, an influential forum for global leaders to address political and economic challenges, to meet with director Fred Kempe. Then we will walk to the National Press Club, a private social club for professionals in the news industry, for lunch. This historic club has the same feel as when Harry Truman played the piano for Lauren Bacall!

Afterward, the afternoon and evening are yours to explore nearby sites! The White House, Lafayette Park, and the White House Museum are nearby. Old Ebbits Grill is a great place for dinner!

Later you have the option of meeting up at the Library of Congress from 5-8 to enjoy Happy Hour and free lectures. Or you could catch the Monuments at Night Bus Tour from Union Station (additional cost to be paid directly to bus tour).

Busy day but totally worth it! We’ll sleep well tonight.

Hotel: Washington Marriott Georgetown
Meals: B, L
Activity Level: Moderate to Strenuous

Day Six: Friday September 20, 2024

By now, we’re living, breathing and embracing the fast-paced, politically charged atmosphere of the Nation’s Capital. This morning we’ll slow down the pace, and shift gears and visit the Holocaust Museum. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) is the United States' official memorial to the Holocaust. Adjacent to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the USHMM provides for the documentation, study, and interpretation of Holocaust history. It is dedicated to helping leaders and citizens of the world confront hatred, prevent genocide, promote human dignity, and strengthen democracy.

Afterwards, you will have the rest of the day to yourself to reflect on what you’ve seen and learned and to visit anything left on your “to-do” list. Perhaps you will take the metro or a taxi to Arlington National Cemetery or you can check out the International Spy Museum (located near Ford’s Theatre) which is an interactive, amazing, fun, and educational private museum (entry not included).

Later we will reconvene at Carmine’s for a delicious farewell dinner and share our thoughts from the week while we enjoy each other’s company.

Last night in Georgetown, live it up!

Hotel: Washington Marriott Georgetown
Meals: B, D
Activity Level: Moderate to Strenuous

Day Seven: Saturday September 21, 2024

DC NeighborhoodToday after breakfast we still have one more important stop to make before we say goodbye. This morning we will (hopefully!) head to the White House for a self-guided tour of the East Wing. Just a heads up, first you have to be able to pass a background check done by the Secret Service and no bags or backpacks are allowed! The East Wing is home to the offices of the First Lady and her staff. During the tour you’ll enter through the wood-paneled lobby, where portraits of presidents and first ladies’ hang. You visit the Garden Room and pass along the East Colonnade where you will be able to view the White House Gardens.

After the White House, we’ll say good-bye to Washington, D.C.! You’ll make your way to the airport for your flight home or onward to your next destination. We hope you’ve loved spending time in our nation's capital as much as we’ve loved hosting you.

Safe travel! We can’t wait to see you at the reunion!

Meal: B

Washington Monument photo courtesy of Samad Ismayilov

Tim & Cathy Chambless

Tim and Cathy ChamblessTim Chambless, for 24 years, planned and led weeklong student seminars to Washington, D.C. for the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics. As faculty in Political Science he taught classes in Law and Politics, American National Government, and Constitutional Law for 30 years. In 2018 Tim received the Brooke Hopkins Award for Adult Teaching from the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, where he has been teaching since 2007.

Cathy Chambless was immersed in policy and government during her career as a manager of disability and health programs for Utah State government. She took many trips to D.C. to meet with policymakers and lobbyists. At the U of U Cathy taught Disability Studies and Public Administration courses and conducted policy research for the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. In 2017 Cathy received the Dignity Through Work Visionary Leadership Award for Lifetime Achievement from Columbus Community Center. Cathy is the yin for Tim’s yang.

This will be the fourth time Tim and Cathy have led this Go Learn trip that provides an exciting behind-the-scenes exploration of Washington, D.C. — epicenter of American politics and culture.

Replay webinar with Tim Chambless

Details and What to Expect


We want you to arrive in D.C. knowing what to expect. About a month before the trip you’ll meet with your fellow travelers and guides. We’ll talk about what to pack, how to get from place to place, and give you insider tips so that you arrive in D.C. ready to roll. This is a great way to meet your fellow travelers and get excited about the trip.

About Washington, D.C.Group on Stairs

We chose September because the weather should be lovely! Also, both the Congress and Supreme Court are in session, and many local leaders will be there, ready to meet you and share their experiences. Our past travelers have met local leaders such as Rachel Martin, Thomas Burr, Lily Eskelsen-Garcia, and Fred Kempe, as well as, various Representatives from Utah. Come prepared to learn about American national government first-hand through key figures.


September in D.C. can be warm and moderately humid. The temperature averages low 80’s during the day and mid 60’s in the evening. Plan your wardrobe around being physically active, and make sure to pack light, breathable materials.

Activity Levels and Restrictions

In order to fully explore the items on our itinerary, we will be walking every day. Most city walking is flat, on paved surfaces, but we will encounter stairs, and occasional hills. We may stand on our feet for prolonged periods of time. Be sure to pack comfortable shoes! We’ll rely on the Metro for most our transportation, but cabs are always available if you find you’d like to travel in a little more leisure. This is an Activity Level 2 trip. Learn more about our .


September 15 - 21, 2024

Lincoln Memorial Size

Tour is limited to 20 participants


Double Occupancy: $3250 per person
Single Occupancy: $3950 per person
Payment options are available upon request. Contact golearn@utah.edu for information.
See for payment and cancellation details.

  • Small group size to maximize learning, comfort, and flexibility
  • Two lead guides for each group activity, tour, and visit
  • Entrance fees for scheduled sightseeing activities
  • Weeklong Metro Pass
  • Tickets to all excursions
  • Local guides and experts
  • Daily breakfast and two hand-picked dinners
  • Transportation to and from daily destinations and activities
Not Included
  • Airfare to and from Washington, D.C.
  • Airport transfers
  • Cancellation and lost luggage insurance
  • Any costs outside of the itinerary

Lincoln Memorial photo courtesy of Ron Hopper