Exploring the National Mall in Washington D.C. – Not stepping into the museums this time around

The National Mall in Washington D.C. is best known for the amazing museums that line up on each side between the Washington Monument and the Capitol.  But, if you are just in the mood to enjoy the National Mall by itself, there are lot of things to do in a day.

We usually start our visits by the Lincoln Memorial.  There is a park close by, where, if you are lucky, you can find a parking spot.  The nice thing about the park is that it is right next to the Potomac river and is a very beautiful spot to start the day.  From there we walk over to the Lincoln Memorial.   No matter how many times you visit, the magic of the Lincoln Memorial never ceases.  A must do activity – sit on the steps and watch the world go by as you stare into the reflecting pool.

Next, we start walking towards the Washington Monument.  Along the way to the Washington Monument, we make sure we stop by the World War II Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. 

The Washington Monument is unfortunately closed for renovations, so, after taking a brief look, we generally walk towards the White House and spend some time there.

Of course, we realise we parked our car by the Lincoln Memorial and so we start our walk back, this time walking on the other side of the reflecting pool which helps us visit the Korean War Veterans Memorial.

Before we head back to the car, we make sure we visit the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in the park.

Once in the car, we enjoy our drive around the tidal basin and stop over by the Jefferson Memorial.    Hands down one of the best times to visit the tidal basin area is when the cherry blossoms are in full swing.

One final stop before we exit the National Mall area is to swing by the Capitol building.  We have never been disciplined enough to book a tour ahead, but one of these days we definitely will!

Surprise Hidden Gem:  The Bureau of Engraving and Printing offers tours at their Washington D.C. facility and you get an opportunity to see how paper money is printed.  Do not miss the opportunity to visit if you get a chance!  It is located between the Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial.

Final Note:  Of course you can also come to the National Mall using public transport and don’t have to worry about finding or paying for parking!


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