This 1909 townhouse, which once served as Washington Lodge No. 5 of the Benevolent Order of Elks, will be in the Dupont Circle House Tour & Tea on Oct. 20. (Robert Drumheller)

The fall house tour season is underway.

This year, a variety of housing styles — from the historic and stately to the contemporary and energy efficient — will be on display throughout the Washington area. They include the first house occupied in Reston, candlelit houses in Annapolis and a houseboat in Southwest Washington.

Live vicariously while taking these self- or docent-guided tours and help with what is the largest fundraiser of the year for several charitable organizations. Here is a list of the tours in the region:


• 23rd Annual Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Tour of Solar and Green Homes, Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Download your free, self-guided tour booklet, which serves as your ticket and features maps and directions to 54 green homes in the District, Maryland and Virginia. Go to

• The first Palisades Village House Tour, Saturday, Oct. 19, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit eight unique houses, including Glen Hurst, a Queen Anne on the National Register of Historic Places, which was built in 1892 by J.C. Hurst, the first real estate broker in the Palisades. Tickets are $30 at and $35 on the day of the tour. Visitors must check in at Our Lady of Victory Church, Hess Hall, 4835 MacArthur Blvd. NW, to pick up their brochures/tickets, which include maps to the various properties. Hess Hall will open at 10 a.m. (Event benefits Palisades Village.)

• 46th Dupont Circle House Tour & Tea, Sunday, Oct. 20 from noon to 5 p.m. Tickets are available at for $40 in advance ($45 day of). Explore 10 homes ranging from a stately four-story mansion to a charming pied-a-terre. Tickets and tour booklets will be available for pick up on the day of the tour at the Resource Center, 9 Dupont Circle, beginning at 11 a.m. (Event benefits Dupont Circle Citizens Association.)

• 3rd Annual Southwest D.C. Waterfront Boat-Home Tour, Saturday, Oct. 26, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Gangplank Marina at 600 Water St. SW. Get your sea legs while visiting 22 houseboats, including house barges, sailboats and trawlers, and see the Southwest waterfront before it undergoes a multi-million dollar redevelopment. Tickets are $20 at ($15 for residents who live in the 20024 Zip code). Tickets will not be available the day of the tour. (Event benefits charities in Southwest Washington.)


• 4th Annual Maryland Tour of Solar and Green Homes, Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Download a free tour guide, which is your ticket and contains maps to 48 eco-friendly homes, many in Frederick, Howard and Baltimore Counties, at Or buy the guides for $2 at various markets listed online.

• 22nd Annual Annapolis by Candlelight Tour, Friday, Nov. 1 and Saturday, Nov. 2, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Visit 12 historic houses. First go to the Historic Annapolis Museum and Store at 99 Main St. to purchase tickets and get the program with a map of the route and descriptions of each house. Tickets are $25 for Historic Annapolis members, $30 for non-members and $35 after Oct.27, available at (Event benefits Historic Annapolis.)


• 70th Waterford Homes Tour & Crafts Festival, Friday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets online cost $16 for one day, $28 for two days. They can be purchased at or at various retailers, including Harris Teeter. One-day tickets cost $20 at the gate. (Event benefits The Waterford Foundation.)

• 12th Annual Reston Home Tour, Saturday, Oct. 19, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. See five private houses, including the first home ever occupied in Reston almost 50 years ago. Tickets are $25 if purchased at the Reston Museum before Oct. 13; $30 online until Oct. 19 at (Event benefits Reston Museum.)

Trish Donnally is a freelance writer.