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Duration: 1 hour and 30 minutes


Explore the secrets of the Blagden Alley/Naylor Court Historic District and learn about the hidden safe spaces in alleyways where communities sustained each other away from prying eyes in Washington, DC. Join Off the Mall walking tours and discover the true history of this city planning feature that provided affordable housing for the economically disadvantaged and escaped enslaved people.

-Come join Off the Mall on a walking tour through the mysterious alleyways of DC!

-Discover the hidden secrets of the Blagden Alley/Naylor Court Historic District, where communities sustained each other away from prying eyes.

-Enjoy your walk starting at 909 M Street NW DC, taking a pit-stop at La Colombe Coffee, and ending in Blagden Alley.


When do I choose a date?

After purchase, you can request your preferred dates and times by following the instructions in the email you receive. If it's a gift, the recipient will also get an email with booking instructions.

Offered multiple days a month

Practical information

Any restrictions to participate?

  • Age: All age groups are welcome
  • Physical limitations: Must be able to be on their feet for at least 2 hours. Not recommended for people with back problems.

Who can you accommodate for?

  • Individuals with disabilities: Wheelchair accessible 
  • Languages: English
  • Pets: Service animals are allowed

What to expect on the day of the experience?

  • Duration: 1.5 hours. Tour/experience may go slightly longer based on participant engagement throughout the tour/experience.
  • What’s included: Admission to the tour
  • Who will be present: You will have a guide with you at all times as well as up to 20 total participants. This experience will be cancelled if the minimum participant requirement is not met.
  • Spectators: No spectators are allowed, everyone must have a ticket/reservation.
  • Photo/ video: Photos are encouraged!

How to prepare?

  • Weather dependency: This experience is weather dependent
  • Arrival: Plan to arrive at the meeting spot a few minutes in advance
  • Parking: There is street and private parking near all meeting points
  • What to wear: Clothing appropriate for the weather, good walking shoes
  • Restrooms/ lockers/ changing rooms: No changing rooms, but there will be bathroom breaks during the tour.

Full description

The alleyways of DC served a distinct purpose as a city planning feature, but they also provided a hidden safe space where escaped enslaved people and the economically disadvantaged could find inexpensive housing and live their lives away from prying eyes. While city officials condemned life in the alleyways as dangerous, dirty and diseased, they were in fact a place where communities sustained each other and provided security. This walking tour takes you through the Blagden Alley/Naylor Court Historic District, and reveals their secrets.

Tour starts at 909 M Street NW DC and ends in Blagden Alley. Guests will have a half-way stop at the La Colombe Coffee for a bathroom break and optional refreshments. Tour runs approximately 1.5 hours.

2nd Sunday of the Month at 2pm.

Returns, exchanges and cancellation

Unused Experience Vouchers can be returned within 30 days for a full refund to the original purchaser, no questions asked.

If you have any unused Experience Vouchers, you can exchange them for anything else in our marketplace, no matter when. If you choose an experience that's more expensive, you'll need to pay the difference, but if you choose one that costs less, you'll receive a credit towards your next booking.

No refunds are allowed once the experience is booked, but you can reschedule up to 24 hours before your experience, for a date within a year of the original booking. To reschedule, contact the experience provider directly. No-shows or rescheduling less than 24 hours in advance means losing the value of your experience.

Duration: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Regular price $53
$53 Regular price Sale price
You save $-53

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Here's what others have to say!



Based on 0 reviews

Jimmie G

Katie's tour of Washington D.C.'s alleyways shed light on a fascinating and little-known history. I am thrilled that I took this Off the Mall tour and have been sharing the facts I learned with my friends all week! I highly recommend any of Katie's Off the Mall tours if you're visiting DC, and even if you're a native. Our tour included two DC local couples who also found it enlightening. My 13-year-old daughter had a great time too!

Angela L

This tour is a must-see! Katie's in-depth historical research on the communities that lived in D.C. alleyways is captivating. The tour is fascinating and engaging from start to finish, making it one of the best I've ever been on!

John R

Katie was an excellent tour guide who tailored the experience to our group. Her storytelling was captivating and her research extensive. The tour revealed a previously unknown culture and was a delightful experience.