Everyone comes to D.C. to see the monuments. Located primarily on the National Mall (with a few outliers), these monuments and memorials are dedicated in honor of past heroes, great and small. One of the best ways to enjoy touring these monuments is on a Hop On Hop Off Big Bus Washington DC Tour. You’ll be treated to a comprehensive overview of the major monuments with insightful contextual info from your tour guides. Plus, you’ll get great photo opportunities with the option to disembark at any stop that interests you. Here are the major monuments you should see before leaving D.C.
Among the most recognizable obelisks in the world, the Washington Monument stands tall at the center of the National Mall. Dedicated to our first President and open for free tours daily, the Washington Monument is a must-see.
World War II Memorial
This is one of the newer memorials on the mall, being constructed in the early 2000s. It’s a spacious, open-air memorial with 56 pillars surrounding a striking plaza and a beautiful fountain. Find the pillar representing your state when you visit!
Now the star of the Night at the Museum movie, the Lincoln Memorial has been an iconic presence at the west end of the National Mall for decades. This monument has seen a number of iconic demonstrations and speeches, too, including the famous “I Have a Dream” speech by Martin Luther King, Jr.
Jefferson MemorialLocated on the other side of the Tidal Basin from the Mall, the Jefferson Memorial is sometimes overlooked in touring itineraries. But it’s definitely worth the short trip down. Its beautiful dome and stately pillars won it a high place on the coveted list of “America’s Favorite Architecture” a few years back!
Franklin Delano Roosevelt MemorialThe FDR Memorial is perched between the Tidal Basin and the Potomac, so expect beautiful water views from all sides down here. Built in the late 1990s, this Memorial is characterized by purposefully rough stone, flowing waterways, and its attention to detail. Don’t miss the statue of Roosevelt’s dog Fala!
Vietnam Veterans MemorialDesigned by award-winning architect Maya Lin, these striking black walls bear the names of servicemen killed in action in Vietnam. The monument’s famed reflective surface makes for a truly poignant visiting experience, as you see your own face superimposed over the names of those lost in the conflict.
Korean War Veterans MemorialJust south of the Reflecting Pool, the Korean War Veterans Memorial features black granite walls and more than 2,500 archival photographs depicting those involved in the war efforts. Be sure to check out the steel statues that dot the premises.
Martin Luther King, Jr. MemorialThe only monument honoring an African American on the National Mall and only the fourth non-Presidential monument, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial was groundbreaking in a number of ways. Be inspired by the quotes engraved throughout this brand new memorial.
Save on Admission
You can opt to see many of the waterfront monuments on a Washington Monuments Cruise that sails the Potomac, or stay on land with a Monuments Express bus tour. Remember, you can save money on admission to both of these top attractions with a Washington DC Explorer Pass®!