Guide To Washington, D.C.’s National Monuments

July 7, 2016 7:00 AM

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Every trip to Washington, D.C. means that you will be visiting the National Mall. This two-mile area extends from the U.S. Capitol Building to the Lincoln Memorial. Along the way, you will be able to visit many other memorials, such as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Washington Monument. All of the monuments in D.C. offer a look into our nation’s past and plenty of opportunities to see first-hand historical artifacts, take tours and learn more about the foundation that helped create what our country is today.
whitehouse1 Guide To Washington, D.C.s National Monuments

Photo Credit: Thinkstock


White House

Make your visit to Washington, D.C. the most memorable experience you have ever had by including a visit to the White House. Your visit to the Nation’s capital will be an experience of a lifetime and will give you stories to tell to others when you return home. Tours of the White House must be arranged through your member of Congress. All tours are scheduled on a first come, first served basis and can be scheduled up to three months in advance and no later than 21 days in advance.

Washington Monument

The Washington Monument was created to remember our nation’s first president, George Washington. When visiting the memorial, you will want to take the elevator to the top, where you will have a breathtaking bird’s eye view of the area. Tickets to go up into the Washington Monument are free, but must be reserved in advance. To reserve your tickets click here.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial might be a memorial that not everyone has visited, but everyone knows what it looks like. This V-shaped granite wall has the names of more than 58,000 Americans who went missing or were killed during the Vietnam War inscribed on it. The Vietnam Memorial Visitors Center has education exhibits and programs available to those who visit the wall. This monument is located between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial, between 21st and 23rd Streets along Constitution Avenue.

Related: Best Springtime Destinations Near Washington, D.C.

Women In Vietnam Memorial

Stop by the corner of Constitution Avenue and Henry Bacon Drive to see the Women in Vietnam Memorial. This memorial depicts three military women with a wounded soldier. This memorial honors those women who served during the Vietnam War and was dedicated in 1993 as part of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Korean War Memorial

Located at Daniel French Drive and Independence Avenue, you will find the Korean War Memorial. This memorial honors those who were captured, wounded, are still missing or were killed during this war which lasted from 1950 to 1953. Stop by and stroll through the memorial that is home to statues supported by a granite wall.

World War II Memorial

The World War II Memorial is a breathtaking combination of granite, bronze and water elements set in a beautiful landscape design. This is a great location to relax and remember those who served our country during this war. Daily tours are available every hour on the hour.

Related: Best National Monuments Near Washington, D.C.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock


Jefferson Memorial

You are not going to want to skip the dome-shaped memorial dedicated to honoring our nation’s third president, Thomas Jefferson. The rotunda of this memorial is engraved with passages from the Declaration of Independence. While at the Jefferson Memorial, explore the museum and stop in at the bookstore.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial

Explore the four different outdoor galleries, all themed for each of FDR’s terms in office. The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial is set along the Tidal Basin and features many sculptures honoring our 32nd President. Before leaving, save time to stop by the bookstore and browse.

Lincoln Memorial

The Lincoln Memorial is located on 23rd Street between Constitution and Independence Avenues. This is one of the most recognizable and most visited memorials in the D.C. area. Not only will you be impressed by the massive statue of Lincoln, but you will be amazed by the engraved reading from the Gettysburg Address and the thirty-eight Grecian columns that surround the memorial.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

Stop by the memorial that honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and all of his achievements. This monument features a 30-foot statue of Dr. King, “Stone of Hope,” and includes a wall with many excerpts of his sermons and public speeches inscribed on it. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial is located on the corner of the Tidal Basin right in the heart of the city.

Arlington National Cemetery

Located just across the Memorial Bridge from D.C., you will find the Arlington National Cemetery. This cemetery spans across 624 acres and is the final resting place for more than 400,000 American servicemen. Many notable historic figures, including President John F. Kennedy, world champion boxer Joe Louis and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall are also buried at this cemetery. Stop by and pay your respects to those who fought and served our country.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock


U.S. Capitol Building

Visitors are allowed to stop by the Capitol Visitor Center, but those wanting to explore and take a tour of the historical areas of the Capitol Building will need to participate in a guided tour. Because tours fill up quickly, advance reservations are highly recommended. If you do not have reservations before arriving, you can check for availability of same-day tour passes at the Information Desk on the lower level of the Visitor Center.

D.C. War Memorial

The D.C. War Memorial honors the 26,000 citizens of Washington, D.C. who served in World War I. The memorial is made out of Vermont marble and contains the names of the men and women from the area who lost their lives in the war inscribed in the marble.

Ulysses S. Grant Memorial

The Ulysses S. Grant Memorial is located between the Capitol Reflecting Pool and the U.S. Capitol Building. This sculpture of Grant is one of the largest equestrian statures in the world. You have to make the time to see this monument honoring Grant.

Other Memorials And Monuments

There are dozens of other monuments and memorials scattered throughout the Washington, D.C. area. Here are some of the other must-see memorials and monuments you do not want to miss:

  • George Washington Masonic National Memorial
  • Tomb of the Unknowns
  • Former house of Robert E. Lee
  • Space Shuttle Challenger Memorial
  • Eisenhower Memorial
  • Coast Guard Memorial
  • Spanish-American War Memorial
  • USS Maine Memorial
  • Iwo Jima Memorial
  • Pentagon Memorial
  • United States Air Force Memorial
  • Women in Military Service for America Memorial
  • African American Civil War Memorial and Museum
  • Albert Einstein Memorial
  • American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial
  • George Mason Memorial
  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • United States Navy Memorial

If you want to take a vacation where you learn all about our nation’s past and remember those who have served out country, it might be time to visit the Washington, D.C. area. There, you can see monuments that honor fallen soldiers, past presidents and those who helped make the nation what it is today.

Heather Landon (Heather Leigh Carroll) is a freelance writer with more than 20 years of experience. She has combined two of her passions – writing and travel – to share her experiences with others. You can read more of her articles at Examiner.com.

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