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Walking Tour of Monuments and Memorials

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West Potomac Park

Walking Tour of Monuments and Memorials is a 5.6 mile heavily trafficked point-to-point trail located near Washington, District of Columbia that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for walking and road biking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 5.6 mi Elevation gain 101 ft Route type Point to Point

Dogs on leash

Wheelchair friendly

Kid friendly

Road biking

Walking

Paved

River

Views

City walk

Historic site

Description
Waypoints (12)
Contact
Tips
Getting There

A scenic walk from the White House, along the National Mall, around the Tidal Basin to the Capitol This is a great way to see all of the Monuments and Memorials of Washington DC, each unique and important in its own way. The walk starts at the White House and continues through the National Mall, along the Reflecting Pool, around the Tidal Basin, and eventually ends at the US Capitol Building and Supreme Court. This tour will take you through many significant eras in the history of the United States, including the Revolutionary War, Vietnam War, Korean War, World War II, past several memories to inspiring presidents such as Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Jefferson, and past all three branches of government. On top of that, it is a scenic walk and quite relaxing depending on the time of year and the weather. After completing this walk, you will have seen most of the tourist destinations in Washington DC (other than the museums that surround the National Mall).

District of Columbia Convention and Visitors Assoc, P.O. Box 27489, 1212 New York Ave, Suite 600 , Washington, DC, 2005, Phone: 202-789-7000

For a shorter version of the tour you can end at the Washington Monument after looping around the Tidal Basin rather than walking down the entire length of the National Mall towards to Capitol Building.

Directions from U.S. Capitol: The walk begins on the east end of the National Mall at Capitol Hill which lies between Constitution Avenue and Independence Avenue. Union Station is a block away. Also, the DC subway, called The Metro, has a blue or orange line that stops at Capitol South.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (168)
Photos (905)
Recordings (107)
Completed (833)
Andrea Cagle
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jun 15 2020
Hiking

Washington is such a wonderful place. I love all of the massive government buildings.

Dimone Long
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun May 17 2020
Hiking

Very nice trail to tour the memorials.

Douglas Sears
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Feb 21 2020
Hiking

on bicycle, or foot, is the best way to enjoy the DC area and monuments.

Denny Newborn
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Dec 28 2019

it is a nice route with all the major attractions. There was a bathroom near Franklin Roosevelt statutes. very little street traffic. Flat urban hike. lots of tourists.

Alyssa Bormann
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Dec 12 2019
HikingIcy
View Alyssa's Recording
Jean-Claude Linossi
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Sep 20 2019
Hiking

Magnificent walk through many beautiful and historic sites.

Caitlin Scanlon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed Sep 18 2019
WalkingNo shade

It’s one of those things you have to do at some point - and I recommend doing it either early or late to avoid as many tourists as possible. Keep in mind, if you’re visiting in summer, it is HOT and HUMID and there’s not a ton of shade when you’re out in the middle of the Mall. It’s also a much longer walk than it looks like it is on the map (at least, it can feel that way). If you want to do the whole walk in one go, the Smithsonian museums afford a break from the heat, opportunities to use the restroom, and places to grab a quick bite and drink (and, you know, culture and interesting exhibits but I’m focusing on the walk). The larger monuments like the Lincoln, Jefferson, and FDR also have small exhibit spaces, gift shops, and bathrooms but can sometimes be hard for tourists to find - generally look for alcoves and old copper doors. They’re usually unassuming off-season and are closed but as far as I know are open late (I see joggers stop for a quick bathroom break in them after dark frequently). Easily the highlights of this walk are the memorials around the Tidal Basin, which is a beautiful place to be - especially when the cherry blossoms are in bloom, of course! EDIT: Oh, I didn’t even realize the trail went all the way to the Capitol! Also has a visitors center if you need to use the restroom (and a cafeteria - no, not the cafeteria your representatives eat in, unfortunately, unless you’re a very special guest, heh). Not worth the lines and security unless you’re going to enjoy a tour - and see if you can get a House or Senate viewing gallery pass from your representative or senators (you get to pick it up directly from their office and might catch a glimpse of some people you see on the news in the elevator) and even if it’s a slow day (or a slooooooow day) it’s still civically interesting to see your legislature in action... or at least, what congress considers action, haha).

GT W
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jun 03 2019
Walking

This is a LONG walk that takes you across the entire national mall. There are several outdoor monuments but also some indoor museums to break up the walk. Recommend that you spend most of the day completing.

Josh Preputnik
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun May 19 2019

It's definitely a lot of fun going sight seeing but make sure to print a map of where to go and also have a comfy pair of running shoes to wear.

Sushanth Mali
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Dec 24 2018
Hiking

On a Christmas eve when pretty much everything is closed and as it’s getting dark I have decided to do this hike. It was beautiful to watch all these Memorials and Monuments exploring by foot. The weather was a bit chilly though. National Christmas Tree is a bonus today. It was closed because of the shutdown but they have to open it today. Definitely recommended hike.

David Haupt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Oct 24 2018
Walking

Really not much to say except that it's Washington DC. More of a route to follow rather than an actual trail. Takes you by many of the major sites, monuments, and museums. Must do for anyone wanting a course to follow near and around the major sites that DC offers.

Emma Southgate
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed Sep 12 2018
Hiking

Great walking trip. Coming from someone who does zero exercise usually, it’s a very easy and enjoyable hike. In total it took myself and my parents roughly 5 hours to see everything (including loo breaks and refreshments) over a course of 7 Miles. There was flooding around the Tidal Basin sidewalks so we had to detour slightly further out. But the views are simply stunning. However it was a very humid hot day which did take its toll!

Vanessa McKnight
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jul 29 2018

Definately worth the trip, I would have preferred running in the evening or early morning. The area was very crowded with tourists, wish there hadn't been protestors at the white house but some people don't care if they're ruining the experiences of others.

Lacey Jones
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jul 25 2018

DC is gorgeous in the fall. Summer is hot. Spring is crowded.

Elizabeth Jackson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jul 15 2018

The best hike to see all the Memorials and White House. Very easy, gets rather crowded at times. If you go during summer bring water and keep children/pets hydrated. Take your time, it's an enjoyable way to visit our Nation's History.

DJ Goodman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jul 05 2018
Hiking

This is a wonderful area to walk around and see all the memorials and history. I did this walk with my father when I was a youngster; however, the views did not get old the second time around, even in the 95 degree heat. After this visit, we drove to Shenandoah National Park located approximately 1 1/2 hours away! Although drastically different, both are well worth your time.

Amanda Devi
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jul 01 2018
Walking

Awesome views & scenery; photo ops as well!

Cathy Young
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jun 25 2018

Walked this today. Great hike to beautiful and moving memorial. My favorite were the memorials around the basin.

Zaid Fadul
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jun 24 2018
Walking

While this is a hot and very humid hike in the summer, it is an awesome and rewarding walk touching on our nation's history. Well worth the time for anyone wanting to see what DC has to offer.

Nicholas DiLauro
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed May 30 2018

Nice hike, you get to see all of the historical buildings and monuments throughout Washington DC. just make sure not to go on a super hot day like I did lol

Leann Heath
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Feb 17 2018
Walking

Nice urban hike. We went during a rainy day with heavy fog which created deep and wide puddles. The area around the walkways was really muddy. We were not wearing the right shoes for it. Nevertheless, beautiful views of the monuments. Easy walk.

Karen S.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jan 07 2018
Hiking

Great walk to all the monuments.

Teresa M.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jan 02 2018
Walking
Jacob Gearhart
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Nov 19 2017

Good tour

Enjoli McIntosh
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Nov 06 2017

Great views absolutely beautiful. Lots of traffic and touristy but worth it.

Cyndi Smith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Sep 07 2017

It's always a pleasure to walk the mall

Seth Bean
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Aug 03 2017
Walking

Went to D.C. For vacation, this was the highlight of my trip. The monuments are fantastic, it's amazing to be up close to our national history. Everything is in walking distance which is great. Only downside is the tourist, far too many people, especially if your trying to get a decent photo. Little bit of advice, go at night, less people and the lighting on the monuments look much better.

June Orleander
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarThu Jul 13 2017
Walking

A definite must do. Very interesting.

JTM Bartels
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarThu Jul 06 2017
Walking

Always a great stroll especially during the Cherry Blossom Festival.

SSS Fam
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarThu Jun 01 2017
Walking

In the middle of July, dress light and put on your favorite walking shoes. The walk can be exhausting with so much historical sight seeing and crowd managing. It's a great educational walk in regards to wanting to see how our country's government began. The integration of metro city life with traditional architectural buildings and garden life makes for a full day.

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