Part of the "Awesome People You Should Know in DC" series
Pop quiz: How many female stories and landmarks in Washington, DC can you name off the top of your head? 3, 2, 1 ... Go!
How did you do?
The history of DC is filled with the names of male patriots, and their stories are easy to find. But women have always been busy making their own history in tandem, too. There might not be a towering obelisk to mark their contribution, but you can find monuments, murals and historic markers to female activists, educators, artists if you look a little closer.
Kaitlin Calogera founded "A Tour of Her Own' in 2018 to help find and amplify those female stories, The first tourism company in DC to focus exclusively on women's history or "herstories" as Katilin calls them, the mission of A Tour Of Her Own is to elevate women’s stories into a more prominent place in American history and culture.
Because no one knows the city better than local guides, we asked Kaitlin about some of her favorite spots and ways to explore DC beyond the familiar iconic images.
What local spot in DC brings you joy and why?
The Washington National Cathedral brings me so much personal and professional joy! I am a licensed tour guide there and appreciate how their diverse platform focuses on storytelling, inclusivity and human rights. Stepping into the main nave is a different and unique experience every time. Sometimes the stain glass windows shine color prisms across the gothic limestone columns. Other times, the organ is playing and you can feel the vibrations of the music. The cathedral is not just a place for religion and worship but rather a local institution that encourages history, creativity, and community.
What recommendations do you have for people to explore and discover DC while staying local?
Anyone with a car should drive around to explore the city without traffic. For folks staying indoors, these sites can also be visited digitally through blogs, social media, and virtual tours. Our friends at Free Tours By Foot have been putting out really good podcast episodes called “Tour Guide Tell All” about fascinating locals like Julia Child who is known for cooking but was also a WW2 spy!
Share your tips for ways locals and tourists can discover the "real DC."
No one knows the “real dc” more than a local tour guide. Book a private tour and trust that even locals will gain new perspective after exploring the city with a knowledgeable professional tour guide. The tourism community was hit really hard during the pandemic and will need help from our community to bounce back!
Discover female stories and new destinations in DC on a private "A Tour of Her Own" tour, masks required. Visit www.atourofherown.com and follow @atourofherown on Instagram for updates and learn factoids and anecdotes about hidden women in history whose stories deserve to be told.
You can also check out the company's Facebook private group, Women's Tourism DC, if you are interested in learning more about women's history, culture and tourism and becoming involved.
Curious? There's more!
Look up, down, and all around. Adventures can be found everywhere -- if you're curious enough to look. k for it