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Contributor: Travel editor Kerri Westenberg.

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White House viewing (even though tours are cancelled)

Posted by: Kerri Westenberg under U.S. travel Updated: March 14, 2013 - 8:53 AM

White House tours are a popular draw for visitors to Washington, D.C., not to mention a highly competetive ticket. You request tickets from your Member of Congress six months before your trip, and you keep your fingers crossed. Unfortunately, due to the budget cuts brought by sequestration -- no matter who is to blame, Secret Service or the White House -- anyone holding highly coveted tickets for a tour today won't be able to admire the porcelain in the China Room or gaze at the portrait of Benjamin Franklin in the Green Room (or have a chance of meeting Michelle Obama, who has been known to stop by to say hello). It's a shame, really. But happily for anyone interested in seeing the inside of the White House, Google at least is not showing signs of budget cuts. Anyone with a computer can see the White House rooms that are open to the public for touring via the White House Google Art Project. It's not the same as walking through those hallowed halls, but it'll have to do. As the White House website says, "Due to staffing reductions resulting from sequestration, we regret to inform you that WhiteHouse Tours will be canceled effective Saturday, March 9, 2013 until further notice."

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