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Look At This: The National Mall
The sights on America's front yard are historic, awe-inspiring and something you'll remember for the rest of your life.
A visit to the National Mall is a journey into the American experience. Grand symbols of unity and equality, bravery and patriotism line this national park known as America’s front yard. Visitors from every corner of the United States and across the globe make the trip here to get inspired and learn about this country’s history.
It’s always beautiful (monumental, even) on the National Mall, no matter the season or the time of day. Seeing all the monuments and memorials can take a full day (or longer), so make sure you’re wearing comfortable walking shoes!
If you want to optimize your likes on Instagram, we encourage you to visit the Mall during sunrise and sunset, when the sky lights up with pink and purple colors. And if you end up staying past sunset, you’ll get to experience another sight to behold: monuments by moonlight. Enjoy these photos of the National Mall and tag yours #MyDCcool when you visit.
Situated on the west end of the National Mall, the Lincoln Memorial is one of the most recognizable structures in the world. Walk along the Reflecting Pool or step inside to learn more about the 16th President of the United States.
If it’s too crowded during the day, come back at night to watch the sunset and spend some one-on-one time with Honest Abe.
The cherry blossoms that line the Tidal Basin each spring are one of Washington, DC’s most popular attractions. Get up close to the blossoms and rent a paddle boat.
No stroll around the Tidal Basin is complete without a visit to the Jefferson Memorial. Step inside this neoclassical memorial and read powerful inscriptions from the author of the Declaration of Independence, which celebrates its 240th anniversary at the National Archives.
Situated on the Tidal Basin between the Jefferson and Martin Luther King, Jr. memorials, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial is divided into four outdoor “rooms” representing each of his terms as president, as well as a statue of his wife Eleanor and dog Fala.
Have a question? There are National Park Service rangers all over the National Mall happy to assist you and share stories about America’s front yard.
Celebrate! The National Park Service turns 100 on Aug. 25, and will be throwing a major birthday bash throughout 2016 with events on the National Mall and across the country.
Walk up to the base of the Washington Monument and gaze up to the top of the 555-foot stone obelisk, if you do it with your back to the monument expect to get quite the rush!
Pause for a moment of remembrance at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, also known as “The Wall,” which bears the names of more than 58,000 Americans who were killed or listed as missing in action during the war.
The DC War Memorial is off the beaten path, tucked away in the Ash Woods just east of the Korean War Veterans Memorial. Rent a bike from Capital Bikeshare and bring a picnic here; it’s also one of only three spots on the National Mall where you can get married.
The World War II Memorial, which lies just west of the Washington Monument, tells the story of the conflict through 56 granite pillars arranged in a semicircle around a plaza with two triumphal arches representing the Allied victories on the Atlantic and Pacific fronts, as well as 24 bronze bas-relief panels depicting scenes on the battlefield and at home.
The American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial is one of the newer memorials in the National Mall & Memorial Parks unit, having opened in October 2014, and honors the courage and sacrifice of those who were injured while serving in the United States Armed Forces.
Visiting DC during the holidays? Make sure to visit the National Christmas Tree (and if you can, try to score tickets for the National Christmas Tree Lighting and rub elbows with the president).
And while you’re on the National Mall during the colder months, you can experience serene moments like this one at the Korean War Veterans Memorial.
Learn more about the monuments and memorials on the National Mall.