on October 20, 2009
The National Mall is a large, open park strip that runs from the Lincoln Memorial all the way to the US Capitol Building. Technically, the National Mall is a national park. The most recognizable part of the National Mall is the open park area from the Washington Monument to the US Capitol. It’s quite large, encompassing some 300 acres. There isn’t a Metro station adjacent to the National Mall, but the 3 stations, Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Station, the Federal Triangle, and the Smithsonian Metro stations are just a block or so away from the National Mall.The National Mall offers great views of the major attractions in Washington DC, from the US Capitol, to the Smithsonian Museums, Washington Monument, and back to the Lincoln Memorial, and all others in between. It’s basically a one-stop-shop for a good portion of the must-see attractions in Washington DC. The US Capitol sits on the eastern end of the National Mall, then proceeds west to the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial and the United States Botanic Garden. West of those is the open park area, which is flanked by the Smithsonian museum, including the National Museum of the American Indian, National Air and Space Museum, East and West Buildings of the National Gallery of Art, National Museum of Natural History, National Museum of American History, National Museum of African Art, Arts and Industries Building, and the Smithsonian Institution itself. Westward, there is the Washington Monument, United States National World War II Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and the Lincoln Memorial on the west end of the National Mall. We could have spent days on the National Mall, viewing all the different monuments, memorials, and museums. Other attractions are a block or two away from the Mall, but easily accessible, including the National Archives, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and the Navy Memorial.The National Mall is used my millions for recreation, from taking a nice picnic during lunch, to pickup soccer games, leisurely strolls to scenic jogs. During the summertime, there is Screen on the Green, which are movies played on the National Mall on a large projection screen. The National Mall is also used for other group events, such as political protests, such as during the Vietnam War. People also flock here to watch the inauguration of our Presidents. Our own personal experience at the National Mall was great. We saw wonderful, mostly unobstructed views of the monuments, museums and US Capitol building, making for great photo ops. It’s a great way to mentally connect some of the attractions in Washington DC. We figured we would go to the National Mall and decide what attractions to go to the next day. Although it made for a good place to take a stroll, due to the shade from the trees and lack of vehicular traffic, we went in August, and the heat and humidity were stifling. It’s definitely a good place to start a self-guided tour of Washington DC’s major attractions. The National Mall isn’t just a park strip surrounded by popular Washington DC attractions, it’s become an attraction in it’s own right.
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