The National Mall is America’s most visited national park, where the past, present and future come together. The monuments and memorials in this park honor American forefathers and heroes who paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to this country. From the “I Have a Dream” speech to the AIDS Quilt, the Mall is the national stage where movements and celebrations take place, where people gather to have their voices heard.
Seeing the Washington Monument rise majestically to the sky, surrounded by the stately U.S. Capitol Building at one end and the dignified Lincoln Memorial at the other, it’s hard not to think of America’s history. Explore the swath of land nicknamed “America’s front yard” and you’ll find inspiring monuments and memorials, museums and family fun.
But the National Mall is much more than a lesson in history through memorials made of stone. East of the Washington Monument lies world-class museums with something for everyone, including the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, the newest addition the Mall’s impressive lineup of museums.
Pause for remembrance and learn about the fragility of freedom at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, interpret the meaning of original Da Vinci and Van Gogh works at the National Gallery of Art, soar into the stratosphere at the National Air and Space Museum or pick your own adventure from the many other Smithsonian Institution Museums.
Wander along the wide, pedestrian-friendly, tree-lined boulevards and take in the history and scenery of America’s front yard, or admire the scenery during the comfort of a Big Bus Tour. There’s always something to see and do, as the Mall plays host to events of all sizes almost every week.
Locals know the difference between Washington and DC. The latter is a city made up of neighborhoods, where people live and visit, where restaurants and pubs buzz, where cabs are hailed, hotels are busy and friends laugh. No politics. No power plays. No problem. There’s so much to love about each one of DC’s neighborhoods, from history on Capitol Hill and high-end boutiques in Georgetown to performing arts in Penn Quarter and a 24-hour diner in Adams Morgan. Get familiar with the lay of the land and find your place in DC.
From Adams Morgan to Navy Yard to Chinatown, Washington’s neighborhoods are inviting and offer wonderful attractions that even rival the National Mall, including the Smithsonian National Zoo (Woodley Park) to shopping the luxury labels at CityCenterDC (Downtown) to munching at Union Market (NoMa).
Learn more about neighborhood attractions at Destination DC.
According to the American Institute of Architects, half of Americans’ top 12 favorite architectural masterpieces on the National Mall. There’s no denying the significance of the Mall for its symbols to American history and for its uniquely designed marvels.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, located at West Potomac Park near Lincoln Memorial on Ohio Drive, SW. In honor of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s four terms in office, the memorial is divided into four outdoor “rooms,” where statues and murals stand to represent issues from the Great Depression to World War II.
Jefferson Memorial, located at 15th Street, SW. The memorial honors Thomas Jefferson, the third president. The memorial holds a bronze statue of Jefferson and the walls are inlaid with excerpts from his letters, speeches and the Declaration of Independence.
Korean War Veterans Memorial, located at Daniel French Drive and Independence Avenue, SW. Our nation honors those who were killed, captured, wounded or remain missing in action during the Korean War.
Lincoln Memorial, located at 23rd Street between Constitution and Independence Avenues, NW. A 19-foot statue of Abraham Lincoln sits overlooking the Reflecting Pool and the Washington Monument from his permanent seat on America’s front yard.
Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial, located at 1964 Independence Ave SW. The memorial pays tribute to the famous American pastor, activist, humanitarian, and best-known leader in the civil rights movement, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Set on the Tidal Basin, a 30-foot statue of Dr. King is surrounded by walls inscribed with excerpts of his sermons and public addresses.
Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Constitution Avenue and Henry Bacon Drive, NW. This memorial honors members of the U.S. armed forces that fought, died in service or were listed MIA during the Vietnam War. It is divided into three separate parts: the Three Soldiers statue, the Vietnam Women’s Memorial and the well-known Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.
Washington Monument, located at Constitution Avenue and 15th Street, NW. The memorial to President George Washington is closed at this time for repairs to the elevator.
Women in Vietnam Memorial, located at Constitution Avenue and Henry Bacon Drive, NW. This sculpture portrays three women in the military with a wounded soldier.
World War II Memorial, located at 17th Street, between Constitution and Independence Avenues, NW. The World War II Memorial, which honors the spirit and sacrifice of the 16 million men and women who served overseas and the more than 400,000 that perished, opened to the public in April 2004.