With the myriad of history and culture surrounding the Washington DC area, Cultural Tourism DC has found a fresh new way for tourists to explore the city through its Neighborhood Heritage Trails. These twelve self-guided walking trails give tourists the opportunity to explore, shop, dine, and exercise among different neighborhoods, at one’s own pace.
The many diverse trails offer something for everyone. For the history buff there are facts, pictures and landmarks from our nation’s past. For the foodie, the tours offer a diverse cuisine at many local restaurants, cafes and coffee shops. And don’t forget the shopaholic….. there are plenty of unique shops and boutiques along the way.
“These self-guided walking tours of neighborhoods were created in collaboration with their communities,” said Jane Freundel Levey, Director of Heritage and Community Programs. “They are unique in the nation in that regard. They are deeply researched and presented as illustrated stories, not dry facts on a brass plaque. ”
The original members of the Heritage Trails Advisory Committee in 2000, District Department of Transportation, and Cultural Tourism DC created the policies and standards that made the DC Neighborhood Heritage Trails system an award-winning, national model for capturing neighborhood history and presenting it to tourists and residents alike.
These trails do much more than guide tourists through the city. Urban trails were developed to promote community pride, attraction of tourists to local neighborhoods and their commercial districts, capture and preserve recent history, encourage awareness of valued elements of community identity and encourage local merchants to invest in the neighborhood around them. Since the first trail was designed in 2001 Cultural Tourism DC estimates around 10,000 people read each trail in a given year.
Historical themes and neighborhood highlights are displayed on Pannier’s Fiberglass Embedded Panels throughout the city. The signs combine storytelling and historical photographs while helping visitors navigate through the historic neighborhoods. Pannier signs have superior durability and can withstand elements of the weather and vandalism. Pannier also offers a 10-year warranty, live phone support, project management and follow-up.
“We have been extremely pleased with the quality and timeliness of Pannier’s work,” said Levey. “The durability of the materials used, as well as the clarity of the many photographs that are used in a Heritage Trail sign, and the interactions with Pannier staff. They’re terrific to work with.”