Part of the original design for the federal city, this massive open space park stretches from the US Capitol to the Lincoln ... More
Part of the original design for the federal city, this massive open space park stretches from the US Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial and around the Tidal Basin to the Jefferson Memorial. It is also where the museums of the Smithsonian, the Vietnam Memorial, the Reflecting Pool and the famous Washington Monument are located. It was intended to be a place to remember American heroes, to celebrate freedom and to be a forum to exercise freedom in the form of protests and rallies. Numerous festivals and concerts take place on the lawn throughout the year. A gravel path encircles the Mall and is a great place for a sightseeing run or walk. Watch for Senators. Certainly any visit to Washington DC should start here on the Mall.
We stayed downtown for 5 nights in a hotel about 4 blocks from the Metro Center.We walked everywhere except the Ariington Cemetary, Mt. Vernon and our first trip to China Town. China town is just 1 stop away from Metro Center, but if you are near metro center you can easily walk it. The Metro was cheap. We each bought a $20.00 ticket and still had $6 and some change left over, so we gave one to the Conceriage at the hotel and one to a guy who said he lost his wallet and needed money to get home.
Check on times the museums open. Some don't open till 10:00 or 11:00,but stay open till 7:00PM others close at 4:30 and open at 8:30.
The reflective pool is under construction, so it has no water not very pretty!
Be sure to check the weather forecast. It said that it would be raining everyday that we were there and there was a shower almost everyday, but they didn't last too long. The temperature was in the upper 60s to mid 70s. with overcast skys most of the time.
We still had a great time. If you need an umbrella you can get one cheap at the vendor set up outside Macy's on 12th St.
Ladies and gents wear tennis shoes. Nobody cares if you are wearing shorts or tennis shooes be comfortable.
Food is a little pricy and there are lost of restaurants in China Town. There are lots of Subway restaurants in the downtown/mall area.
If you want a gallery pass to go to the House of Representatives contact your Senator in advance or find out where their office is in one of the 3 buildings across from the Capitol building we were told that if you showed up there in the AM they would give you a pass.
The Capitol building is open till 4:30 M-F, but you need to be there early if you want time to explore on your own. You can also go to the Library of Congress from there. There is a free tour of the Capitol rotunda and they have tours all day long.
Don't be afraid to ask a stranger for directions. Being from Texas we found everyone very friendly and helpful. Get a map that shows the Metro routes at the Metro Station and see if you can get a map that shows the streets and attractions. We were given a map for the tour busses at our hotel and it helped us navigate around town.
If you can, fly into Reagan airport you can take the Metro into town. We had to leave out of Dulles and it cost us $40 on the blue shuttle bus to get there plus it takes longer to get there and they want to pick you up 3 hours before your flight.
My family and I took a trip to Washington DC in October. The National Mall is beautiful with lots of museums to see. However, watch out for scammers hovering near the Metro entrance/exit that claim to be working for the homeless. They're asking for a donation for what amounts to a map that you can get free at any museum or park service near by.
I've lived in a D.C suburb my whole life and grew up going to all the museums and festivals whenever we had family come to visit us... they usually all wanted to 'go downtown'.
Now as an adult with two kids of my own, I still enjoy a day down on the mall walking around and sightseeing. It's about a 30 minute metro ride for me now, not bad at all.
I love living here!
This is one of the coolest places I have ever been too. Everyone I meet there was so nice. Nonamerican would stop me and ask if they could take a picture of my German Shepard. How neat to know that my dog is in someones scrapbook of thier time in Washington DC. But the best thing is just going and sitting and watching the people. You will see some mightly strange things. It is well kept and they are redoing the grassy areas. So many trees and benches. Just a nice places in the middle of the free world. Highly recommend it, enough room to let your kids run off some of that energy too.
I take my grandchildren every year to the Mall to visit the museums,we have seen them all execpt the new Native American Museum. I pack a large cooler and we bring sandwiches and snacks, when it is lunch time we all go the truck and have a picnic, we get a needed break and save alot of money which we spend on a beautiful hotel room. All the Capital workers leave for the weekend so thats a great time to go. We go in Sept. when all the kids are in school and we have the Zoo to ourselves, it is great.
I went to DC on a school trip the end of my Junior Year that took us to DC, Philly, New York and Boston. I was least looking forward to DC. The second I walked into the Mall, I was blown over. The monuments and memorials are amazing!! It is green and all the buildings are white and have tall pillars. Washington DC really brings out the pride in your country. I really suggest going to the Monuments while they are Illumilated at night. They look beautiful!
Do not plan to come here for an hour or two. I was here for 5 hours and only got to the monuments and memorials. I didn't even get to the museums.
I highly HIGHLY suggest that you visit DC and take your time. Take pictures. Relax. It is truly a beautiful place. It is my favorite place in the world and I'm going back for the Fourth of July this year!!!
What is there to say about the Mall other than it's where virtually all the Museums and Memorials are.
So it's practically unavoidable if you are visiting DC.
It is also home to lesser well known events, such as the Ameriacn Folklife festivel held every July.
The National Fireworks with concert on the Capitol West Lawn on July 4th.
The National Memorial Day Concert also at the east end of the Mall on the Capitols West Lawn.
The Army Evening parad on Wednesday's (last I checked) during the summer on the White House Ellipse (just north of the Washington Monument).
There is a polo field where on Saturdays you can watch real life polo on horseback.
The carousel near the Natural Science Museum.
And of course all the memorials and Museums.
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