Spooks, Spies & Saboteurs: Clandestine Organizations and Betrayal in Washington DC

Washington, D.C.

  • Mugshots of the eight Nazi saboteurs.
  • Air America helicopter in Laos.  Photo: Air America Association.
  • An Air America airplane on the tarmac.
  • Nazi saboteur George Dash.
  • The Mayflower Hotel.
  • Ames on the cover of Time Magazine (March 7, 1994) after his arrest.
  • Aldrich Ames in handcuffs.
  • Oliver North's mug shot when he was arrested.
  • The July 20, 1987 cover of Time Magazine.
  • Czech spies Karl and Hana Kocher.
  • Ralph Van Deman, "The Father of American Military Intelligence"
  • The Old Executive Office Building

1 hour and 15 minutes
1.2 mi
Guided by Jason
Jason Donahue


Ciphers and dead drops, double agents and black ops. Since its founding, Washington DC has served as a city of secrets and spies. Among DC's embassies, agency headquarters and meeting spots, are stories of espionage and betrayal. Join us on a walk just steps from the White House to discover a clandestine shell company operated by the CIA, the Soviet spy headquarters and the home of the nation's modern-day spycraft. Along the way, we'll introduce the heroes, traitors, seducers and saboteurs that fuel the city's intrigue.

About Your Guide

I am all about exploring local history, architecture, food and art to learn about how places came to be. You can find me in search of hidden places, tasty dim sum, high-design speakeasies, skyline vistas and other ingredients to build the perfect day.

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Guide Points

  1. Air America Headquarters

    You are standing at the former headquarters of Air America, a passenger and cargo airline company established in 1950. Its slogan was "Anyt…

  2. Mayflower Hotel

    The Mayflower Hotel is arguably the most infamous hotel in Washington DC when it comes to treason and betrayal. There were not one but two …

  3. The Former Soviet Embassy

    We find ourselves at a stately Beaux Arts style mansion built in 1910. Russia acquired it in 1913 to serve as the Russian (and then Soviet)…

  4. Off the Record @ the Hay-Adams Hotel

    The Hay-Adams Hotel is one of DC's most historic landmarks. Not only does it sit in Lafayette Square across from St. John's Episcopal Churc…

  5. Exchange Saloon

    Welcome to the Exchange Saloon. The sports bar may not look like much today, but in the 1970s it was a completely different beast. Back the…

  6. Van Deman Offices

    Here we are at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, or as it is better known, the "O.E.O.B." (Old Executive Office Building). Located …

Sidewalk Reviews

  1. 2 Reviews

    1. Anonymous

    Dec 28, 2020

    1. Anonymous

    This was so fun and informational; thank you so much!

    May 23, 2020

About Sidewalk

Sidewalk is an app that provides free, guided walk experiences that can be created by anyone with stories to share about places they know and love.

The app navigates people through a neighborhood walk using GPS turn-by-turn directions, rich imagery and storytelling.