monument tour (DC travel post one)

carly blogs here

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. 

Lincoln Memorial 
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. 

via googlemaps
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. 

via googlemaps
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. 
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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. 

*I linked up with Megan for Travel Tuesday!

CARLY

29 comments

  1. Beautiful photos!! I've always wanted to go to Washington DC and I want it even more now :o) Xx

    Makeup by Candlelight

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  2. DC is one of my favorite cities!!! I haven't been to properly see the monuments in years though...looking forward to my next trip now!!

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  3. I love these photos. DC is one of my favorite cities! I was there in late March, during a crazy snow storm. Lucky you for having good weather!

    Sarah
    aroseinthecity0.blogspot.com

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  4. You got some great pics! I have never been so thanks for sharing!

    madeintheshadeblog.com

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  5. Great photos! We did this walk late last winter to see all the monuments and it was beautiful!

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  6. This is a great travel guide! I went to DC with my parents when I was younger, so my husband and I would love to go back to experience it together. I will never forget that we got to go to the top of the Washington Monument, though (before it was damaged) - I was a nervous wreck!

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  7. I haven't been to DC in foreverrrr! Is it lame that Scandal makes me want to go back?! haha

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  8. I would love to travel to DC one day, I hope your posts will come in handy ;)

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  9. My husband and I did DC in two days back in 2011. It was a lot of walking but this post would have been handy to have! Love all your photos.

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  10. I'd love to visit one day!! Looks beautiful!

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  11. This reminds me of SCANDAL! Haha. I would so love to go to DC some day- I can't even imagine living there! This is a great guide, thanks for sharing!

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  12. Great photos! I love the DC monument, and your walking tour is perfect!

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  13. I went to DC in middle school and I just loved it there, I need to go back!

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  14. Oh man, I needed this last year when my bff and I went to DC. This is a great post and so informative. We happened to do everything you mentioned but the MLK Jr and FDR memorials, which I honestly didn't know anything about!!

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  15. Tucking this little nugget of info away for a (hopefully soon) D.C. trip. Great job!

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  16. I've never been to DC but this makes me want to visit so bad! My friend is doing an internship there this summer and I'm trying to figure out if I can get in a quick weekend visit. All of your pictures are gorgeous!

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  17. Ahhh! Fun post! From someone who has been to DC this is SO helpful! There is so much to do and it is realllyyyyy easy to get one the wrong loop and end up in the wrong spot! The last time I was in DC was for the inauguration and my friends and I got into the wrong line and ended up en route to China Town. It was fun and we made a day of it but so many good tips!

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  18. Would love to visit DC!! Definitely keeping this as a future reference if I can ever make it there! :) Or maybe I would just make you be my tour guide...that works too!!

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  19. DC is one of my favorite cities. I love walking among the monuments and seeing all the sites. My other favorite thing to visit is the Smithsonian Museums - specifically the Natural History and American History. The National Zoo is also a favorite place of mine to visit.
    Amanda at His and Her Hobbies

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  20. I love this! It's been YEARS since I've gone to see all the monuments!

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  21. Love DC - thanks for sharing :)

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  22. As somebody who has never been to DC before, this post is amazing!!!! SO helpful!!

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  23. Me & my husband just said we'd love to go see all that in person. Never been. Looks so lovely

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  24. My hubby's parents live in DC and every time we visit, I insist on having a monuments day!

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  25. I visited DC when I was very, very young. Really want to visit again, looks fine seeing all the sights. Super helpful post!

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  26. This is amazing! I think this might be the next place I visit. I've wanted to go forever!

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  27. These pictures make me so nostalgic! They are completely lovely. I've missed cherry blossom season so much the past 7 (!!!) years that I've spent spring away from DC.

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  28. LOVE DC! I am hoping to move there in the next few years, as soon as the fiance and I can both find a job there. :) Thanks for linking up again! I love that the blossoms were blooming in these pictures.

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  29. This is so amazing! We went to DC a couple of years ago and only made it to The Holocaust Museum. We spent hours in there! There was so much to see and read. I can't wait to go back and be able to explore all of these other places.

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