The brick and limestone facade of the French Ambassador's residence in Kalorama

What Does "Kalorama" Mean?

Diplomat and author Joel Barlow named the estate he purchased in 1807 Kalorama for the expansive views to be had from its place overlooking today’s Rock Creek Park. The name is derived from the Greek word for "beautiful view." No more exquisitely beautiful enclave exists in America’s capital as the Sheridan-Kalorama Historic Distrct.

Where the Elite Live

Kalorama has always been a prime residential area, its glory the urban mansions located on the high ground between Massachusetts and Connecticut Avenues.  This walk begins by ascending the “Spanish Steps” to reach the heights where Washington’s diplomatic community is evident everywhere you look, many of the original single family homes now occupied by ambassadors or embassy offices.  It's also were Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns one of the largest residences in D.C.

Neighborhood of Presidents

Former police and fire call boxes punctuate the neighborhood as imaginative works of public art. See if you can identify the oldest house in the District and discover the Woodrow Wilson House. Wilson was the only U.S. president to retire in D.C. and chose Kalorama as his place of residence. In January 2017, however, another former U.S. president followed suit: Barack Obama and his family moved from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to a Kalorama home overlooking Rock Creek Park.  The walk also includes the former residences of Herbert Hoover, William Howard Taft, and Warren Harding.

The Kalorama walking tour highlights the Sheridan-Kalorama Art on Call project.

"Learned lots of little known facts and got a better appreciation for the significant history of the area. Highly recommend!" - TripAdvisor reviewer

Discover more great D.C. walking tour adventures: Rock Creek Cemetery and Dupont Circle

Guides that may lead this tour: 
Portrait of Carolyn

CAROLYN attributes her devotion to walking tours to perambulations through her new hometown when she arrived to earn an M.F.A. in Acting from The Catholic University of America. She is the founder of Washington Walks.

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Portrait of Cheryl

CHERYL grew up in the D.C. area and has seen Washington change a great deal over the years.  Having traveled nationally for her work and internationally for fun, she still thinks D.C. is one of the most fascinating cities in the world.

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Saturday, May 25, 2024 at 11:00 a.m.

Available for private and group tour bookings. Please email info@washingtonwalks.com for more information.

Approximately 2 hours
Reservations REQUIRED and limited to fifteen (15) participants on public tours.

$35 per person

Please email us for a private tour quote.

Embarks from the corner of 22nd Street and Decatur Place, NW by the old police and fire call boxes.
Questions? Answers here.

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