With many things to do still closed, one fun thing to try is to play tourist for the day and visit the National Mall. DC summer sunsets are gorgeous photo ops with the monuments in view. Also, with travel still limited this year, there should be far less out-of-towners. Enjoy these seven beautiful sights along the Mall.
The Washington Monument — As of June 10, 2020, the Washington Monument is temporarily closed. You can of course admire it from the outside. Built in the 1800s, it is still the tallest freestanding stone structure in the world.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial — The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is one of the most famous and gut-wrenching places on the Mall. Its famous dark wall is where visitors leave tributes under the names of dead or MIA Vietnam vets. There are actually three parts to the memorial—the Wall, the Three Soldiers and the Vietnam Women’s Memorial.
The Korean War Veterans Memorial — The 19 figures of a squad on patrol are eerily lifelike, frozen in time. Representing all branches of the armed forces, the statues are reflected on a wall, a symbol of the 38th parallel that is the border between North and South Korea.
The World War II Memorial — Opened in 2004, this monument is an homage to the 16 million Americans who served in World War II. It is now one of the most visited sites on the Mall.
The Lincoln Memorial — Next to the Washington Monument, images of President Abraham Lincoln’s 19-foot-tall statue may be the most recognizable symbol of the city. Dedicated in 1922, the monument occupies one end of the Reflecting Pool, opposite the Washington Monument. It has been the setting for many important events, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963.
The Jefferson Memorial — Modeled after the Pantheon of Rome, this monument contains a bronze statue of Thomas Jefferson and walls bearing portions of the Declaration of Independence and his other writings.
The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial — This sprawling monument to President Roosevelt’s four terms overlooks the Tidal Basin. It captures some of the most important events in the country’s history from the Great Depression to World War II.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial — In 1963 Dr. King led the famous March on Washington and delivered his memorable “I Have a Dream” speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. The following year he received the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to achieve racial equality in this country without violence. Assassinated in 1968, the monument honors the fallen Civil Rights leader. It was dedicated in 2011.
Kate Oczypok updated this article on June 10, 2020