Travel Guide to Touring Colleges in Washington, D.C., MD, & VA

Planning a college tour can be an exhilarating adventure for high school students with dreams of higher education. Taking time to see schools can help you decide whether a school, the culture, and location are a good fit or not using this travel guide to touring colleges in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.


Touring colleges can help tip the scales in your favor for acceptance (however, it’s only if you take the official college tour). If you’re considering universities in Washington, D.C. and nearby, for your future academic pursuits, this guide is your roadmap to making the most of your visit. 

We have seven great colleges in the D.C. area and a few more that are only a few hours away, so you can get the most out of your college tour trip. Not only have we included which colleges you should add to your college tour list, but we also have recommendations on what to see on your tour, where you should dine, and sites you should see. It’s a whole college tour itinerary! 

Whether you’re a budding scientist, a future diplomat, or an artist looking to flourish, this guide will help you navigate your path to college success! 

  • Undergraduate Enrollment: 7,900 students
  • Acceptance Rate: 12%
  • Notable Academic Programs: Renowned for its School of Foreign Service and McDonough School of Business
  • Why Attend: Georgetown offers a rich blend of academic excellence and a vibrant urban campus. Its reputation for international relations and a strong commitment to community engagement make it a top choice for many.
  • Schedule a tour here.
  • Undergraduate Enrollment: 7,917 students
  • Acceptance Rate: 41%
  • Notable Academic Programs: Strong programs in international relations, communication, and political science
  • Why Attend: American University is celebrated for its emphasis on global engagement, offering students a vibrant, diverse community and a strong focus on positively impacting the world.
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  • Undergraduate Enrollment: 6,044 students
  • Acceptance Rate: 7%
  • Notable Academic Programs: World-renowned in medicine, public health, and engineering
  • Why Attend: Johns Hopkins is a research powerhouse with top-tier programs in various fields. Students benefit from a collaborative academic environment and opportunities to work with leading experts.
  • Schedule a tour here
  • Undergraduate Enrollment: 30,353 students
  • Acceptance Rate: 44%
  • Notable Academic Programs: Strong in business, engineering, and the arts
  • Why Attend: UMD offers a large, diverse campus with abundant research and extracurricular opportunities. It’s an excellent choice for those seeking a big-campus experience.
  • Schedule a tour here.
  • Undergraduate Enrollment: 17,4960 students
  • Acceptance Rate: 19%
  • Notable Academic Programs: Strong programs in business, law, and history
  • Why Attend: UVA boasts a stunning campus, a rich history, and a strong sense of community. Its rigorous academics and vibrant student life make it a highly sought-after institution.
  • Schedule a tour here.

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  • Undergraduate Enrollment: 6,797 students
  • Acceptance Rate: 33%
  • Notable Academic Programs: Strong programs in law, business, and the sciences
  • Why Attend: The College of William and Mary combines academic excellence with a historic setting. It’s perfect for students who value a close-knit, intellectually stimulating community.
  • Schedule a tour here.

Five Days, Seven College: College Tours in D.C., MD, & VA

Day 1: University Tours in Baltimore

  • Morning: Arrive in Baltimore, rent a vehicle, and check in to accommodations
  • Lunch: Satisfy anyone’s cravings at R. House, which has ten food vendors and offers everything from shwarma to poké and ice cream—only a six-minute walk from Johns Hopkins University. 
  • Campus tour at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Tours are offered at 10:25 and 2:15 and must be reserved in advance. 
  • Spend the afternoon inspired at the Baltimore Museum of Art (conveniently located on the Johns Hopkins campus). 
  • Dinner: Venture off campus and enjoy tapas at La Cuchara.

Day 2: University Tours in D.C. 

  • Morning: Grab breakfast to-go and head out of Baltimore early, heading south to the University of Maryland (about a 45-minute drive, but that depends on traffic). 
  • Morning: Explore the University of Maryland campus in College Park, Maryland. Tours are at 9:00, 11:30, and 1:00 — we recommend booking the 9:00 tour to fit everything in on this leg of the trip. 
  • Early Afternoon: Head towards George Washington University, about a 38-minute drive, but be mindful of traffic.  
  • Lunch: Grab a pie to share at &pizza in Hotel Hive. 
  • Afternoon: Campus tour at George Washington University (GWU) in Washington, D.C. Reserve your sport for the 2:00 tour. 
  • Evening: Stretch your legs and appreciate the views at the United States Botanic Garden
  • Dinner: Enjoy a New York Italian family-style dinner at Carmine’s

Day 3: D.C. Tours (Cont.) 

Day 4: Sightseeing and Travel

  • Morning: Begin your journey to the University of Virginia (UVA) in Charlottesville, Virginia. The drive from D.C. to UVA is over two hours, and traffic can be challenging, so we recommend heading out early. 
  • Afternoon: Campus tour at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. We recommend booking the 1:30 tour. 
  • Lunch: Fill up on comfort foods at Soul Food Joint
  • Afternoon: Explore the picturesque UVA campus and the historic area of Charlottesville, where there is no shortage of history. We recommend stops at Monticello or the Rotunda (on the UVA campus). 
  • Dinner: Dine on Afghan cuisine at Afghan Kabob, a local favorite. 

Day 5: William & Mary and Departure


Seven colleges in five days is an action-packed trip, but we designed this itinerary to maximize your experience. This trip will allow you to explore the campuses and immerse yourself in the local culture and history. From the vibrant city life of Washington, D.C., to the historical richness of Williamsburg, each destination offers a different flavor of academia and adventure.

Remember, this journey is not just about finding the right college; it’s about discovering the environment that will nurture your passions and ambitions. Take the time to absorb the atmosphere, interact with students and faculty, and envision yourself thriving in these academic communities.

As you wrap up this unforgettable tour, armed with firsthand experiences and a wealth of information, you are better equipped to make one of the most important decisions of your academic career. Safe travels, and best of luck on your college journey!

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