We spent two nights in Washington, D.C. and like most tourists to the area we headed straight for The National Mall, a park at the heart of America’s capital city.
The Smithsonian Institute is the primary tenant in The Mall and home to nineteen free museums – enough to keep you occupied for several days. However the two of us visited The Mall on a beautiful sunny day so we kept ourselves outdoors and visited the Western section of The National Mall.
Starting at The White House, you can visit all five of these monuments within a few hours as they’re located within 2 miles of each other. A great way to see D.C. if you’re on limited time!
The White House
The official residence and office of the US President is located just north of The Mall and is a must-see for any visitor to Washington, D.C. Both the North Lawn and the South Lawn of the White House are viewable and you can even take a self-guided tour via your Member of Congress (foreign visitors can contact their embassy in Washington, D.C. for more information).
The Washington Monument officially opened in 1888 and is the world’s tallest stone structure, standing impressively in the center of The National Mall.
Unfortunately entrance into The Monument has been unavailable since it was damaged during the Virginia Earthquake in August. During our visit it was being assessed by engineers and it was quite surreal to see two people hanging off the top of this huge structure by ropes. Could you imagine doing this?!
National World War II Memorial
The newest memorial in Washington, D.C. (opened in 2004) honors the 16 million that served in the U.S. Armed Forces as well as the 400,000+ who died during World War II. It really is a beautiful memorial and you need to take your time to walk around it so that you can fully appreciate what it commemorates.
Perhaps the most impressive of all the monuments in Washington, D.C. is the Lincoln Memorial, perched overlooking the reflecting pool across to the Washington Monument. The memorial honors the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, and is quite the sight to see!
Note that the reflecting pool is currently undergoing maintenance and won’t reopen until 2013.
Korean War Veterans Memorial
The Korean War Veterans Memorial commemorates those who served in the Korean War and is hidden away just southeast of the Lincoln Memorial. It features 19 very realistic stainless steel sculptures and when reflected on the wall there appears to be 38 soldiers which represents the 38th Parallel.
Have you visited any of these attractions in Washington, D.C.?