Guide to Visiting Washington DC Part 1: The National Mall
Part 1: The National Mall
There are many great things to see and sites to visit while in D.C. We are going to cover all the major and minor sites, where you can find them, and what makes them so awesome. First up in this series is the National Mall.
The National Mall is one of the most iconic spots to visit in our nation’s capitol. From the great rising spear of the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial, the National Mall holds some of the Nation’s most treasured monuments. All of the monuments are free to visit and, as such, are an incredibly popular spot for tourists and locals alike. Here is a list of the monuments to see when you visit.
The Washington Monument
The Washington Monument was built to honor our first president, George Washington. It is one of the most well-known and visible monuments in the National Mall. This 555-foot marble obelisk pierces the sky at the Eastern end of the National Mall, and is truly a sight to behold.
At the moment, the Washington Monument is close to the public until the Spring of 2019, while the elevator system is updated. However, visitors can still see the monument from afar as they tour the rest of the National Mall.
The Lincoln Memorial
The Lincoln Memorial was built to honor Abraham Lincoln, a man who shaped our nation with his courage and wisdom. It sits on the opposite end of the National Mall from the Washington Monument. The building looks like a Greek Doric temple and houses the famous statue of Lincoln himself. This memorial has had many famous speeches given in front of it, including Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
World War II Memorial
The words “Here We Mark the Price of Freedom” are etched in stone in front of the Freedom Wall at the western end of the World War II Memorial. The Freedom Wall features 4,048 gold stars, each star representing 100 Americans who died in that war. This sobering site stands as a stark reminder that sometimes the price of freedom is indeed high. There are many other features of the World War II Memorial, and each is just as powerful.
Thomas Jefferson Memorial
The Thomas Jefferson Meorial stands across from the White House at the southeast end of the National Mall. The memorial was built to mimic Jefferson’s taste in classical architecture which is displayed in Monticello (his home in Charlotte) and the University of Virginia Rotunda (which was designed by Jefferson). As the primary author of the Declaration of Independence, it’s only fitting that his Memorial stands in the National Mall alongside other well-known shapers of our country.
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is a powerful tribute to those who gave their lives for this controversial war. Listed on it’s walls are more than 58,000 names of Americans who lost their lives in service to their country.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial
The Martin Luther King, Jr. was built to honor his legacy which preached a message of nonviolence in the pursuit of freedom, justice, and equality. A statue of the man itself is a part of the memorial as well as two walls which display quotes from his long career in civil rights.
Korean War Veterans Memorial
The Korean War Veterans Memorial was built to honor those who sacrificed their lives during the Korean War. It features multiple structures, including the Pool of Remembrance, 19 stainless steel statues, and the United Nations Wall. The memorial was dedicated in 1995 to commemorate the Americans and allied partners who fought during the Korean War.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
Franklin Roosevelt was always a friend to the National Park Service. During a speech in 1936, President Roosevelt declared, “the fundamental idea behind the parks…is that the country belongs to the people, that it is in process of making for the enrichment of the lives of all of us.” The sprawling Memorial was built to honor the President who served four terms and guided us through the Great Depression and World War II. The memorial holds many water features which symbolize different events that happened during his time as President.
DC War Memorial (WWI)
The DC War Memorial was built to honor those men and women from the District of Columbia who gave their lives in the first World War. It is the only memorial on the National Mall which exclusively honors local men and women. The memorial was built to accommodate the entire U.S. Marine Band. The structure was intended to be not just a memorial, but, also, an outdoor concert area where each concert could serve as a tribute those who served in the war.
Visiting the National Mall
The National Mall is open to the public 24 hours a day and is free to visit. You can find more information on how to get there, things to do, and a calendar of events at the official National Park Service website. If you’re interested in hiring our limo service in Washington D.C. to take you to see all the sights on the National Mall, you can book your reservation online here.