Memorials, Monuments, Museums, and Points of Interest
The National Mall
The National Mall - the great swath of green in the middle of our capital city and stretching from the foot of the United States Capitol to the Potomac River - is the premiere civic and symbolic space in our nation.
National Mall and Memorial Parks protects the national mall and its iconic monuments and memorials and over 1,000 acres of greenspace in Washington, D.C. Come to visit the National Mall and stay to explore all that National Mall and Memorial Parks has to offer.
National Monuments and Memorials:
- Lincoln Memorial
- Washington Monument
- National World War II Memorial
- Korean War Veterans Memorial
- Vietnam Veterans Memorial
- Thomas Jefferson Memorial
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial
Founded in 1846, the Smithsonian is the world's largest museum and research complex, consisting of 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park, and nine research facilities. Museums in the D.C. Metro Area include the African American History and Culture Museum, African Art Museum, Air and Space Museum, American Art Museum, American History Museum, American Indian Museum, Freer Gallery of Art, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, National Zoo, Natural History Museum, Portrait Gallery, Postal Museum, Renwick Gallery, and Smithsonian Institution Building (The Castle). Most museums are open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and are free of charge.
National Gallery of Art
The National Gallery of Art was conceived and given to the people of the United States by Andrew W. Mellon (1855–1937). Mellon was a financier and art collector from Pittsburgh who came to Washington in 1921 to serve as secretary of the treasury. In 1936 Mellon wrote to President Franklin D. Roosevelt offering to donate his superb art collection for a new museum and to use his own funds to construct a building for its use. With the president’s support, Congress accepted Mellon’s gift, which included a sizable endowment, and established the National Gallery of Art in March 1937. The National Gallery of Art is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
The National Archives
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is the nation's record keeper. Of all documents and materials created in the course of business conducted by the United States Federal government, only 1%-3% are so important for legal or historical reasons that they are kept by us forever. The National Archives Museum is home of the original Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights. The National Archives Museum is open every day except Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
The United States Botanic Garden
The U.S. Botanic Garden is a museum with a difference - our artifacts are the living treasures of the world. As a living plant museum, our collections, including plants, their leaves, flowers fruits and labels should not be removed or disturbed. Guests are invited to return again and again, to watch the garden grow and see the ever-changing exhibits. The Conservatory and National Garden are open every day of the year from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Bartholdi Park is open every day of the year from dawn until dusk.
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is America’s national institution for the documentation, study, and interpretation of Holocaust history, and serves as this country’s memorial to the millions of people murdered during the Holocaust. Located just off the National Mall, the Museum is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. During the months of March through August, timed passes are required to enter the Permanent Exhibition. Please visit the Museum website for information regarding tickets. The Museum recommends the Permanent Exhibition for visitors ages 11 and older.
Rock Creek Park
Rock Creek Park is truly a gem in our nation's capital. It offers visitors opportunity to reflect and soothe their spirits through the beauty of nature. Fresh air, majestic trees, wild animals, and thousands of years of human history emanate the delicate aura of the forest. Rock Creek Park is operated by the National Park Service and is open during daylight hours. Please visit their website for more information on the Nature Center, Planetarium, Old Stone House, and Peirce Mill and Barn.
National Zoological Park
The National Zoological Park is part of the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum and research complex. The words ‘National Zoo’ represent a large, complex, and diverse organization with a multifaceted mission: demonstrate leadership in animal care, science, education, and sustainability. The Smithsonian’s National Zoo is located in the heart of Northwest Washington, DC and spans 163 acres. The National Zoo is free and open from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. from April to October and from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. from November to March.
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery conducts between 27 and 30 funeral services each week day and between 6 and 8 services on Saturday. The grounds of Arlington National Cemetery honor those who have served our nation by providing a sense of beauty and peace for our guests. The rolling green hills are dotted with trees that are hundreds of years in age and complement the gardens found throughout the 624 acres of the cemetery. This impressive landscape serves as a tribute to the service and sacrifice of every individual laid to rest within the hallowed grounds of Arlington National Cemetery. The Cemetery is the final resting place of President John F. Kennedy and President William Howard Taft. Visitors’ hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. October through March and 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. April through September.