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The White House. Photo: Shutterstock
The White House. Photo: Shutterstock

Places

Walk through Washington in the steps of Frank Underwood

Netflix’s original streaming gem House of Cards shows Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright scheming and conspiring their way through the corridors of power in the U.S. capital. Now, with Scandinavian Traveler’s very own walking tour, you can take in some of the top House of Cards-inspired political sights in D.C.

Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood in Netflix's House of Cards. Photo: NetflixThe White House

Where better to start a tour of D.C.’s political sights than the White House itself? Unfortunately, you need a special appointment to visit the President’s home. American citizens can make one through a congressperson, while foreign nationals have to contact their embassies to enquire about the rare chance of a visit.

However, the view of the unmistakable building from Pennsylvania Avenue at the front, or the President’s Park at the back – the latter of which is the location shot favored by film crews – are quite breathtaking in themselves.

Monuments and Memorials

From the White House, walk down 15th Street and along Independence Avenue to visit D.C.’s stunning memorials, some of which feature in the opening credits of House of Cards. Don’t miss the National WWII Memorial, the stunning Lincoln Memorial or the distinctive obelisk of the Washington Monument. Tickets are available for those wishing to get a bird’s eye view of the U.S. capital from the top of the Washington Monument.
http://www.nps.gov/wamo/planyourvisit/index.htm

Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial

Who could forget the visit to the Roosevelt Memorial in Season 3, when the statue of Eleanor Roosevelt far away from the president causes Frank to contemplate his growing separation from his own wife.

Ulysses S Grant Memorial

Ever wanted to cozy up to the majestic bronze lions that can be seen in House of Cards’ opening credits as the menacing dark clouds roll across the sky? They are right here, at the Grant Memorial, leading up to the Capitol. 

The Capitol

The inimitable Capitol Building is home to the U.S. Congress and U.S. Senate. In Season 1, Congressman and Chief Whip Frank Underwood would have worked here. The best view of the exterior is from the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial, while those wishing to take a look inside can book tickets and tours online.

https://www.visitthecapitol.gov

Newseum

Head back up to Pennsylvania Avenue to Newseum, the news and media museum that features in House of Cards’ opening credits. Its exterior is seen emblazoned with its First Amendment quote guaranteeing, among other things, freedom of the press.

555 Pennsylvania Ave NW
newseum.org

FBI Headquarters (a.k.a. the J. Edgar Hoover Building)

Another unmissable edifice from the opening credits is the FBI Headquarters that can be spotted ominously looming screen left. It is located just a few blocks further up on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Frank & Claire’s home

Although the “real” Underwood home can be found in the Bolton Hill area of Baltimore, one would imagine that the fictional Underwoods would most probably live in Georgetown – like so many famous political couple have done in the past. Maybe in a house quite similar to this one at 3307 N St., which was the last home of John and Jackie Kennedy before JFK was elected president in 1960.

Arlington National Cemetery

Located in Arlington, Virginia, the U.S. military cemetery that Frank visits in Season 3, which also houses the famous Iwo Jima Memorial from the series’ opening credits, may not be within walking distance of the White House but is still worth a visit – in particular for military history enthusiasts.

http://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil

Text: Isabelle Kliger

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