National Mall & Memorials

When you visit DC, seeing the monument is an absolute must. If you can only do ONE thing in DC, the monuments should be it! The great thing is that they can easily be seen together in an afternoon or evening and you get a leisurely walk while you are seeing these national monuments at once! Nighttime or later in the evening is my favorite time of day there. There is just something wonderful about seeing them lit up!

Pick a spot to start and walk your way around the Monuments. The Washington Monument was closed again during our trip! We went up it just before the Earthquake closed it a few years ago (We were there during that freak earthquake. It was CRAZY in DC that day! but we visited the monument before the earthquake – which was lucky for us!). Seems like it took a long time for it to open after the Earthquake and now it is closed again. Maybe they never got it fixed right?

The WWII memorial is near the Washington Monument – one of the newer monuments on the mall. I remember when it wasn’t there. It is fun to find your state and get a picture.

Then walk down the reflecting pool to the Vietnam memorial. Besides the famous wall, don’t forget to check out the statues as well.

Head to the Lincoln Memorial and walk up those famous steps. Check out Lincoln sitting on his chair, and then turn around to see the AMAZING view of the Reflecting Pond, Washington Monument, Capitol Building, and the Smithsonian’s. The iconic view there! You can even walk around the edge of the Lincoln monument.

Walk over to the Korean War memorial, which is sentimentally my favorite, because my grandfather fought in that war. The “Freedom is Not Free,” wall is always an amazing reminder.

Then to the Washington DC WWI memorial. This one has FINALLY been taken care of. It was in sad shape for MANY years – since I’ve been visiting DC. However, they finally cleaned it up and it looks much better now.

Cut across the street to the MLK Memorial. You can also see a wonderful view of the Jefferson Memorial from here. We were at the MLK memorial not long after it opened and before its “official” opening. Another inspiring memorial.

Continue along the river to my favorite memorial, the FDR memorial. I love the waterfalls and serenity of this memorial – maybe because it has less traffic than the rest. It is great.

The hardest memorial to get to is the Jefferson. We drive over there, but you could walk. All of the memorials are close together, except this one – kinda lame. Even if you park near it, it can be quite a walk to actually get to the memorial, so be ready for a trek! This is the memorial we visit least often, mainly because it can be difficult to get to (especially if your kids are tired from walking around the other monuments!)

You can earn a Junor Ranger Badge here too! Another one to add to the collection!


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