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This Year's WalkingTown DC and BikingTown DC offers More Tours, More Times, More Ways to See DC | People

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This Year's WalkingTown DC and BikingTown DC offers More Tours, More Times, More Ways to See DC

This story comes to us from Jessica Marlatt:

Journey with Cultural Tourism DC from the National Arboretum to the National Zoo during this year’s WalkingTown DC and BikingTown DC.  The 2011 WalkingTown DC and BikingTown DC is the largest event yet, with more than 175 free guided walking and biking tours over ten days, September 23 – October 2, 2011, through all eight wards of Washington, DC. This newly expanded ten-day WalkingTown DC and BikingTown DC will feature more tours at more times with even more distinct ways to explore the city’s neighborhoods.  This year’s event will include Happy Hour tours, Bite-Sized tours, special Civil War themed tours, bilingual tours offered in Spanish and English in honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, a special launch party, bike clinics, and much more.  A complete list of tours is available online.

 WalkingTown DC and BikingTown DC tours are led by neighborhood historians, DC experts, professional guides, and community leaders. Popular tour companies, including Washington Walks and DC by Foot, offer their tours for free as part of this yearly community celebration of DC’s history, art, and culture. Community leaders participating in this year’s WalkingTown DC and BikingTown DC include Councilmember Mary Cheh, Ward 3; Secretary of the District of Columbia Cynthia Brock Smith, Councilmember Yvette Alexander, Ward 7; and Fitness Consultant and Personal Trainer to the First Family of United States of America and Presidential Appointee to the President’s Council on Fitness Mr. Cornell McClellan. “Walking and biking is an essential element of living and working in DC. It is amazing how a good walk or bike ride can show you the flavor of a community” said Linda Harper, Executive Director of Cultural Tourism DC.“WalkingTown DC and BikingTown DC is a vital asset for people who want to discover DC’s neighborhoods and culture.” Many tours require advance registration at www.CulturalTourismDC.org. Wheelchair and stroller accessible tours are also available.  Participants in a need of a bike for a BikingTown DC tour may rent one at a discount from Bike and Roll, Washington DC. The launch party for WalkingTown DC and BikingTown DC will be held September 22, 2011 6 – 8:30 pm at Meridian Pint: A Neighborhood Gathering Place3400 11th Street, NW.  WalkingTown DC and BikingTown DC participants, tour guides, and volunteers, will gather to meet and plan their tour schedule for the upcoming ten-day event. Meridian Pint will donate a portion of the bar sale to Cultural Tourism DC’s WalkingTown DC. The kickoff party is open to the public, no reservations required. Press is invited to join Cultural Tourism DC for the first tour on Friday September 23, 2011. For more information email Info@CulturalTourismDC.org.   New to the 2011 WalkingTown DC and BikingTown DC
  • Bite-Sized Tours: Offered weekdays September 26 – September 30, these abbreviated tours start at noon and are less than an hour making them the perfect lunch-time break. Highlights includeHidden in Plain Sight in Lafayette Park, NoMa: From Beatles to NPR, and DC’s City Hall: Musical Chairs. 
  •  Happy Hour Tours: A healthy alternative to the traditional DC Happy Hour, these after work tours are chance for walkers and bikers to gather with old friends or make new ones as they discover the history and culture of Washington, DC. Tour highlights include: The Most Haunted Houses, Architectural Walking Tour of Judiciary Square and Gallery Place, and the biking tour Edgewood Murals.
    • Bike ClinicsTo help participants gear up for BikingTown DC, Cultural Tourism DC is partnering with local bike clinics to help riders diagnose and fix bike issues, and learn about bike maintenance and care. BikingTown DC free bike clinics are held on the weekends at DC farmers markets starting September 17. Participating clinics include the Bike Clinic at Mt. Pleasant Farmers’ Market, Saturday 10 am – 1 pm; DC Greens Bike Clinic at Glover Park-Burleith Farmers’ Market, Saturday, 10 am – 1 pm; Bike House Bike Clinic, Saturday, 12 noon – 3 pm; and Bike House Bike Clinic at Bloomingdale Farmers’ Market, Sunday, 11 am – 1 pm. All BikingTown DC bike clinics are free and open to the public. More information, including bike clinic location is available at www.CulturalTourismDC.org.
    • Civil War ToursThis year’s WalkingTown DC features a special series of tours in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.  Participants journey through DC’s neighborhoods, as they are led through the history of DC’s involvement in the War.  While many explore the history of specific neighborhoods, others look at the Civil War through the eyes of historical leaders, such as Abraham Lincoln’s Washington by Washington Walks and Walt Whitman’s Civil War.
    • Hispanic Heritage Month: In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, Cultural Tourism DC presents a series of tours exploring the contributions of Hispanic Americans to the culture and history of Washington, DC. This year Hispanic history tours includes the return of the popular tour, Spanish Stroll, and the premiere of the Traveling Light: Five Chilean Artists & Common Place Exhibitions tour, both offered in English and Spanish.
    • More Neighborhood Heritage Trails: This year’s edition of WalkingTown DC will feature abbreviated guided tours of all 11 of Cultural Tourism DC’s Neighborhood Heritage Trails, the Official Walking Trails of Washington, DC, and a special sneak peek of the upcoming Heritage Trails, Hub, Heart, Home: H Street NE Neighborhood Heritage Trail, launching in Spring 2012. WalkingTown DC is the only time during the year that historians and community leaders conduct tours of these trails, which are otherwise self-guided.
    WalkingTown DC and BikingTown DC New Tour Highlight:More than 40 new tours offer a fresh perspective on DC’s neighborhoods. Highlights include:
    • DC Coffee House Bike Crawl: a biking excursion to some of DC’s most notable independent coffee houses.
    • DC Punk: Tour of a Cultural Revolution: a journey through the influential punk underground of the 1980s’ and 1990s’ DC.
    • Fitness Walk of DC’s Circles and Squares: The first dog-friendly WalkingTown DC tour takes humans and their canines on a walk around DC’s many traffic squares and circles. 
    WalkingTown DC and BikingTown DC Returning Favorites Highlights:This year also see the return of many crowd favorites, many offered only during WalkingTown and BikingTown DC.
    • Rowdies, Madams, and Painted Women: An Adults-Only Tour of Hooker’s Division: a walk through "Hooker's Division," DC's premier red-light district from the Civil War to the eve of World War I.
    • Vampire Dogs, Watergate Cake, and other Eccentricities of the Adams Morgan Heritage Trail: a lively overview of the history of the Adams Morgan.  
    • Gimme 5! – From the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception to the National Arboretum, this bike ride take riders past all of the attractions and landmarks of DC’s Ward 5.