A Quick Tourist Guide to the National Mall

The National Mall is one of Washington D.C.’s most well-known tourist attractions. It’s home to a number of war memorials, waterways, and parks. It was first built during the 1790s in order to commemorate public figures, presidents, and famous battles. It’s a prime location for demonstrations, events, and has many recreational areas for picnics, cycling, and walking. Here’s a quick tourist guide to the National Mall for the quickest and best experience possible!

Washington Monument

Commemorating George Washington, this pillar is a unique combination of marble, granite, and gneiss. It stands over 550 feet tall as is the tallest monumental column in the entire world. It took over 60 years to complete its construction as has been repaired numerous times over the years. It’s open to the public and offers multiple tourist guides.

World War Two Memorial

This national monument is dedicated to the American soldiers who fought in World War Two. Its located between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. It was built between 2001 and 2004 despite many critics objecting and consists of 56 granite pillars. Each of the pillars stands 17 feet tall and displays the names of 48 US states. On the west side of the plaza, there’s the Freedom Wall, holding 4,048 gold stars each representing 100 Americans who died fighting.

The Reflecting Pool

This open park is in the heart of Washington D.C. and home to numerous tourist attractions. Over 25 million tourists visit it every year who walk, run and cycle around its 2000-plus feet length. It’s over 50 meters wide and up to 30 inches deep. Restored in 2010, it has been featured in numerous famous films and books over the years, most notably Forrest Gump.

Lincoln Memorial

The Lincoln Memorial commemorates Abraham Lincoln. It’s a neoclassical temple that has been the site of major race relations events for almost 100 years. The statue of Lincoln himself weighs 175 tons and stands almost 20 feet tall. In was in this temple that Martin Luther King Jr. made his famous “I Have A Dream” speech. A plaque on the steps where the speech was delivered remains visible today.

Map & Directions

Walking Route:


Terrain: Flat, with gravel walkways.

Bathrooms: There are 10 public bathrooms available.

Restaurants: Multiple cafés and restaurants available as well as outdoor eating areas.

Shopping: Multiple gift stores line the mall, with other stores just outside the grounds.

Opening Hours:*

  • Washington Monument: Daily, 9am-5pm
  • World War Two Memorial:  Daily, Open 24-hours
  • The Reflecting Pool: Daily, 6am-6pm
  • Lincoln Memorial: Daily, Open 24-hours

*as listed Sep, 2020

Have more time to spend in Washington D.C.? Want to explore the most popular tourist attractions? Here’s a guide to the Library of Congress: Thomas Jefferson Building!

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