If you've ever been to Washington, DC you'll know it can be a little overwhelming trying to figure out how to fit in everything that you want to do! I'm nowhere close to an expert on DC but I thought I would dedicate a few posts to a few of my favorite museums, monuments, and other not-to-miss places!
Even after living in DC for four years, one of my favorite things to do on a nice day is walk the monuments. I think the monuments (Memorials, the Capitol, & the White House too) are usually on the top of anyone's list who wants to visit DC so this first post is my suggestion for how you can fit all of them in, in a single day.
It really all depends on your transportation and where you want to start off your walk. The most obvious metro station is the Smithsonian stop on the Orange/Blue line.
Using the Smithsonian metro stop gives you the perfect opportunity to start your monument loop starting with the Washington Monument. The scaffolding just came down after they had been repairing it from the 2011 earthquake!
Next you can easily head (left) towards the Tidal Basin to stop by the Jefferson Memorial.
|view of the Jefferson Memorial from across the Tidal Basin|
If you continue around the Tidal Basin you'll next meet the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial. The FDR Memorial is special because it's spread out over 7.5 acres and has many different water features and statues. The memorial takes you through FDR's time in office and is one of the more interactive memorial's you'll find in DC.
Continuing around the Tidal Basin, you'll next come to the new Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. This was completed in 2011 and has sixteen quotes from MLK Jr.
*The paddle boats in the Tidal Basin offer a fun way to get great views of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial.*
Next on the tour is the Korean War Veterans Memorial. To get to this memorial you'll cross over Independence Avenue.
|Korean War Veterans Memorial|
Directly behind the Korean War Veterans Memorial you'll see the Lincoln Memorial. You can walk up the steps and see the famous spot where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech in 1963! Inside the Memorial you'll see the Lincoln statue itself and inscriptions of The Gettysburg Address and his Second Inaugural Address.
If you're facing out of the Memorial you'll look across the mall, over the Reflecting Pool down to the Washington Monument and directly behind that the Capitol Building.
|View from the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument (with scaffolding)-- if you look slightly to the left you'll see the Capitol behind the monument|
To the left of Lincoln you'll come to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. This memorial lists the names of over 58,000 men and women who lost their lives in the Vietnam war. This website offers information on how the names or organized.
Next, if you follow the reflection pool down towards the Washington Monument you'll run into the World War II Memorial. This is one of my favorite Memorials that looks amazing at dusk.
|World War II Veterans Memorial|
Now that's a great place to wrap for the day but there are two other options! You can continue down the mall to the Capitol-- or you can take 17th Street NW up to the White House.
Both the Capitol and the White House are located near metro stations, so you wouldn't need to trek all the way back to the Smithsonian stop. If you're headed to the Capitol the Union Station metro stop is conveniently located on the red line. The White House is in close proximity to a few stops on the red, blue, and orange lines.
If you head straight back to the Smithsonian metro station after seeing the World War II Veterans Memorial it is a little over 4 miles. The time it takes will vary depending on how long you stop at each memorial.
If you walk down the rest of the mall to the Capitol building it will be about 5 miles. Taking this route will take you by many of the Smithsonian museums!
I would plan on bringing water & a snack or two with you. There aren't too many places to stop along the way for food once you get near the Jefferson Memorial. There are a few concession/refreshment stands throughout along with a few gift shops & restrooms near each of the memorials.
If you're walking from the Capitol building you'll pass along many of the museums. The museums have cafeterias that are always a dining option, though they're extremely pricey! Union station has a large food court as well as a few other sit-down restaurants. If you venture up to the White House you'll be near plenty of dining options.
If you're not up for walking there are plenty of bus, bike, and segway tours to choose from that will also take you around town.
I hope this post was somewhat helpful and/or interesting. I realize it's picture heavy & it's a bit of an eclectic mix of pictures because I just used what photos I've had from the past few years.