I’m taking my family on a road trip to DC this summer. I’m a huge spy buff and would like to visit the Langley campus while we’re there. Do you give tours of the CIA Headquarters? Is the CIA Museum open to the public? #AskMollyHale
We get this question a lot during the summer. Unfortunately, the CIA Museum and our CIA Headquarters compound are not open to the public, so you can’t come here in person. However, our nation’s capital is a great place to visit. It’s filled with historic sights to see, and the Smithsonian museums along the National Mall are some of the best museums in the world. (Bonus: they’re free and open to the public every day!)
For a more intel-related tour, you can also visit two museums that are run by our colleagues at FBI and NSA:
- If you contact your local congressional representative, you can look at arranging a tour at FBI Headquarters of their exhibit, The FBI Experience, which features interactive multimedia exhibits, content, and artifacts that help illustrate the importance of the FBI’s work to protect the nation.
- The NSA also has its very own National Cryptologic Museum, which is located across from NSA Headquarters and is open to the public. Their museum houses thousands of artifacts that provide an inside look at some of the most dramatic moments in the history of American cryptology.
As for CIA, although you may not be able to visit our museum in person, we do have the next best thing: We have opened our virtual doors to you!
Our website has an online tour of CIA’s Headquarters. You get to take a sneak peek inside the CIA and see sights such as our Memorial Wall, “the Bubble,” Kryptos, our Presidents and Directors galleries, and much more.
If you want to go more in-depth, we also have three publications available online that you may be interested in:
- Sites to See at CIA
- Memorial Wall Publication
- Notes From Our Attic: A Curator’s Pocket History of the CIA
The CIA Museum also has a large part of its unclassified collection online, if you’re interested in exploring relics from our past. It’s like Indiana Jones, except without all the snakes.
And if you’re looking for something to listen to while on your road trip to DC, you can always check out the Washington Post’s Retropod podcast, where our historians shared the stories behind some of our most interesting artifacts over the course of a recent week:
- That time the CIA stole a Russian submarine
- The rat that helped win the Cold War
- The painter who became the CIA’s master of disguise
- The pistols that almost fell from the sky
Hope you and your family have a great visit to DC this summer!