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Touring the national monuments in Washington DC is an ideal way to spend a day with the family. Travel in from nearby cities and towns to explore, tour, and marvel at these legendary and iconic symbols of American history.
Begin this fun and historical tour at the Lincoln Memorial. As one of the centerpieces of the National Mall, the Lincoln Memorial hosts nearly four million visitors each year.
Opened in 1922, the Lincoln Memorial is 27,336 square feet in size, and was designed by Henry Bacon. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1966. You can make the short drive in from Alexandria or Arlington.
Especially great during any spring or summer visit, the Lincoln Memorial is open to view at any time of the day – ideal for the night owls and early risers.
While you can tour the Lincoln Memorial 24 hours a day, the on-site support staff is only available from the morning through the night, usually calling it a day at 11pm. So, if you have questions or larger groups, it might be best to visit on-hours.
From the Lincoln Memorial, make your way to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. One of the newer additions to the National Mall, opened in 2011, the MLK Jr. Memorial is a 30-foot high, white granite masterpiece designed by Lei Yixin.
Many travel in from nearby cities like Springfield or Falls Church to visit and explore the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.
Much like the Lincoln Memorial – and many of the other monuments at the National Mall – the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial is open to view 24 hours a day.
Plan your visit around the window of time when the rangers are on duty, available to answer your questions about the MLK Jr. Memorial.
Continue this tour of the DC monuments and make your way over to the Washington Monument.
A noted symbol of American history and freedom on several fronts, the Washington Monument commemorates the first president of the United States. Standing at just over 555 feet tall, the Washington Monument is also the tallest obelisk in the world, and the tallest granite structure in the world.
Finally completed in 1884, the Washington Monument is a must-see destination in DC. You can visit to marvel at the exterior at any time of the day.
There is an internal tour of the Washington Monument, but tickets are required. The only two days out of the year when the Washington Monument is closed: July 4 and December 25.
Whether you’re staying in downtown DC, or enjoying the scenic drive in from Fairfax City, you’re visit to the National Mall should include a tour of the National World War II Memorial.
Be one of the nearly 4.4 million people who visit the WWII Memorial each year. You’ll find the National WWII Memorial on the eastern ridge of the Reflecting Pool, between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. It consists of 56 pillars which encircle a small fountain and plaza.
There are few better ways to learn about and celebrate those served in World War II. Take the kids and explore the grounds at the National World War II Memorial – it’s open to the public 24 hours a day.
Each of the memorial columns represent each state and are in chronological order of when they were admitted to the Union; they also honor the six U.S. Territories which were in existence at the time of WWII.
There are many ways to earn a monument at the National Mall – you can be the 16th president of the United States and free the slaves like Abraham Lincoln. You can be a renowned Civil Rights activist like Martin Luther King Jr.
Or, if you’re Thomas Jefferson, you can pen the Declaration of Independence, and be the visionary of the United States. Before you depart from your DC Monuments tour, you’ll certainly want to explore and tour the Thomas Jefferson Memorial.
Known for many things – a Founding Father, member of the Continental Congress, Governor of Virginia, and the first US Secretary of State – Thomas Jefferson is one of the most integral figures in US history. The Thomas Jefferson Memorial is one of the most visited of all the monuments at the National Mall.
Completed in 1943, the Jefferson Memorial features Classical Revival architecture, and the entirety of the monument spans near 19 acres. Climb the marble steps to find the centerpiece of the Jefferson Memorial – a 19-foot tall statue of Jefferson, carved by Rudulph Evans.