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National Mall

Located in the city’s heart, America’s most visited national park is a 2-mile-long tree-lined boulevard.

National Mall: Our most recommended tours and activities

Washington DC: Monuments by Moonlight Nighttime Trolley Tour

1. Washington DC: Monuments by Moonlight Nighttime Trolley Tour

See the most popular monuments of the U. S. capital illuminated at night on a guided trolley tour. The route follows streets that have been traveled by presidents and makes three stops for you to get off the trolley and explore the memorials on your own and take photos. Enjoy entertaining commentary from a professional tour guide who will entertain you with stories about the Capitol’s colorful past. The three stops on the tour are: 1. The Martin Luther King Memorial & the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial 2. The Iwo Jima Memorial (aka US Marine Corps War Memorial) 3. The Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and the Korean War Veterans Memorial Besides stops at the major memorials, you will also get spectacular views of the Washington Memorial the White House, the National Mall, the Capitol Buildings, the Jefferson Memorial, the Smithsonian Museums and Castle, the FBI & Dept of Justice Buildings, and the World War II Memorial.

Washington DC: Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour

2. Washington DC: Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour

Visit iconic and historic landmarks in Washington, DC, and enjoy sweeping views from open-top buses. Take advantage of the freedom to explore and hop on and hop off at any stop on two routes around the city. First, ride the city loop, which stops at historic sites, monuments, and landmarks including the White House, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, US Capitol, Jefferson Memorial, National Cathedral, and Arlington Cemetery. Then, enjoy unlimited access to the hop-on, hop-off bus tour, and a bike rental offer. Upgrade to the 48-hour Premium or the 72-hour Deluxe ticket for more flexibility to explore at your leisure. Finally, hop off the bus and try biking around the sites for a more intimate look at Washington. Take advantage of 1 hour of free rental with the purchase of an hour, giving you the time to cycle at your own pace before heading home.

From New York City: Washington and Philadelphia 1-Day Tour

3. From New York City: Washington and Philadelphia 1-Day Tour

Learn about American history on a tour of Washington DC and Philadelphia, both of which played important roles in the development of democracy in the USA. Visit the Lincoln Memorial, the National Mall, Independence Hall, and more on a guided day trip with roundtrip transfers from NYC. Your day will begin with an early morning departure from Times Square in Manhattan, where you’ll be greeted by your bilingual tour guide for the day. After 4-5 hours, your first destination will be the nation's current capital, Washington, DC. Once there, visit the Iwo Jima Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial. During the tour, stop for a classic outside view of the White House, home and office of the U.S. President, and the Capitol Building, home of the U.S. Congress. Your visit to Washington concludes with free time for lunch on your own. Your next destination, after a 3-hour journey, will be the first-ever U.S. capital, Philadelphia, PA. Visit its historic Old City neighborhood and the Independence National Historical Park where your guide will lead you on a brief walking tour. Then, ascend to the top of the Rocky Steps before returning to Times Square in Manhattan.

Washington, DC: Big Bus Panoramic Night Tour

4. Washington, DC: Big Bus Panoramic Night Tour

Experience the beauty of DC by night from the unique vantage point of an open-top double-decker tour. Discover the grandeur and significance of the nation's monuments and memorials dramatically illuminated by the city lights. As the official National Park Services tour partner, Big Bus gets you closest to the best DC has to offer: •National Mall •The White House •Lincoln Memorial •Martin Luther King Memorial •Jefferson Memorial •The Capitol Building •WWII Memorial Sit back, relax, and take photos as you learn the history and hidden stories of the Nation's Capital from the entertaining and expert digital commentary (earbuds provided).

Washington DC: Monuments and Memorials Bike Tour

5. Washington DC: Monuments and Memorials Bike Tour

Explore the hottest sights in Washington DC in an eco-friendly way on this guided bike tour through the National Mall and along the Potomac Tidal Basin. Learn about the war and presidential memorials that you stop to see up close along the route.  Meet your guide at the Wharf DC and get set up with your high-quality bike and helmet. Set off on your family-friendly route to the Washington Monument, Vietnam Memorial, World War II Memorial, and the Lincoln Memorial. Engage with history as your guide tells you the store behind sights like the Jefferson Memorial. Get the chance to walk around and explore the each of the memorials. Return to the Wharf DC at the end of your biking experience.

Washington, DC: Old Town Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley City Tour

6. Washington, DC: Old Town Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley City Tour

Named "Washington's Best Tour" by the Washingtonian Magazine and one of the top 10 hop-on hop-off tours in the world by Forbes, the Old Town Trolley offers the most comprehensive tour of the nation's capital. Relax while expert tour guides help you discover the beauty and majesty of Washington, D.C. This popular tour covers Washington's major attractions such as the Lincoln Memorial, the White House, the museums of the Smithsonian Institution, and Vietnam Veteran's Memorial. Expert guides share colorful anecdotes, humorous stories and well-researched historical information. Upgrade to include a trolley tour of Arlington National Cemetery, an enduring tribute to those who’ve dedicated their lives to defending the nation. You’ll be transported to some of the most notable graves and memorials. DC City Tour Trolley stops: 1. 1001 E. St. NW: Washington Welcome Center/Ford's Theatre/Peterson House 2. 1401 Pennsylvania Ave: The White House/The White House Visitor Center/WWI Memorial 3. 701 Constitution Ave NW: National Archives (West/East Gallery of the NGA, Navy Memorial) 4. 400 New Jersey Ave NW: Japanese American Memorial/Hyatt Regency 5. 50 Massachusetts Ave NE: Union Station and the Smithsonian Postal Museum 6. 1st St. NE: US Capitol (Botanic Gardens, Supreme Court and Library of Congress) 7. 600 Independence Ave SW: Air/Space Museum, Museum of the American Indian/Eisenhower Memorial 8. Maine Ave SW at 9th St. SW: The Wharf 9. 700 L'Enfant Plaza SW: International Spy Museum 10. 1398 Independence Ave SW: Washington Monument, Smithsonian Museums and Castle, Holocaust Memorial Museum 11. 16 E Basin Dr SW: Jefferson Memorial/George Mason Memorial 12. 1964 Independence Ave SW: Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial/Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial 13. 2 Lincoln Memorial Cir. NW: Lincoln Memorial/Vietnam Veterans Memorial/Korean War Veterans Memorial/World War II Memorial 14. 1400 Constitution Ave NW: National Museum of American History/National Museum of African American History & Culture/National Museum of Natural History 15. 800 F St. NW: National Portrait Gallery/American Art Museum (temp closed for Holiday Market) Arlington Cemetery Trolley stops: • Arlington National Cemetery • President John F. Kennedy Gravesite • US Coast Guard Memorial • John J. Pershing • The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier • Arlington House • US Marine Corps War Memorial Iwo Jima • Arlington Niche Wall Columbarium Courts

Washington, DC: African American History Tour

7. Washington, DC: African American History Tour

Travel back in time to some of the most iconic moments from the civil rights movement on an African American history tour of Washington DC. You will pass by the famous Emancipation Statue, the National Council of Negro Women, and more while learning about the history of the city from your guide.  Get picked up at the U.S. Navy Memorial and head to monuments such as the Emancipation Statue, Howard Theatre, and vibrant local black communities. Stand where Martin Luther King stood when he gave his famous "I have a dream" address and feel the weight of the world on your shoulders. After taking a glimpse into the past at the Home of Frederick Douglas, proceed to Howard University - one of the oldest black universities in the United States. On the way to Howard University, you will drive by Lincoln Park to visit the statue of educator, activist, and founder of the National Council of Negro Women - Mary McLeod Bethune. Following your visit to the beautiful Howard University campus, drive through Le Droit Park, Shaw Neighborhood, and Historic “U” Street. Home to the largest urban African American community in the United States in the early 1900s, it created its own “Black Broadway” - a home to entertainment legends from the past and present.  Next, see the African American Civil War Memorial and Museum to discover how the course of the Civil War was impacted by these disenfranchised soldiers. You will then take a journey into downtown DC to the sites of the national headquarters of the National Council of Negro Women, Freedom Plaza on Pennsylvania Avenue, the White House, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. Once downtown, enter the Logan Circle historic district to see the historic Metropolitan AME Church and the Mary McLeod Bethune Council house. Finish the tour at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Enter inside and explore the absorbing artifacts and exhibits at your leisure.

Washington DC: African American History Museum Family Tour

8. Washington DC: African American History Museum Family Tour

Give your family a fantastic taste of African American History and Culture with a professional tour guide. Learn how before the creation of the National Mall and the nation’s capital, much of the land that is now Washington, D.C. was worked by enslaved Africans, your tour guide will take you then for a private tour at The National Museum of African American History and Culture. Your tour guide will focus on important highlights to keep children engaged and stop them from becoming overwhelmed and losing interest. During the tour, see how the stories, histories, and cultures of African Americans are shaped and informed by global influences. With your family, explore what it means to be an American and discover how American values like resiliency, optimism, and spirituality are reflected in African American history and culture.

Washington DC: National Mall Tour by Electric Vehicle

9. Washington DC: National Mall Tour by Electric Vehicle

Glide around the streets of Washington DC on a guided tour by a battery-operated electric cart. See all the major monuments of the United States capital, like Capitol Hill, the White House, and the Lincoln Memorial with an onboard guide. After getting comfortable onboard, head first towards the Smithsonian complex. Admire the size of the largest museum and research complex in the world.  Next, discover three of the most well-known monuments in Washington DC. Admire the monuments to Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and George Washington, arguably the three most beloved presidents of the U.S. From here, take a moment to pause and remember those who lost their lives in battle as you visit various war memorials. Pause at the memorials to World War I, World War II, the Korean War Veterans, and Vietnam War Veterans memorial sites.  Get your camera ready for when you pass by one of the most recognizable landmarks in the whole world, the White House, the home of the U.S President. Finally, feast your eyes on Capitol Hill, home to the United States Congress.

Washington DC: National Mall Night Bus Tour

10. Washington DC: National Mall Night Bus Tour

Admire the atmospheric landmarks of the capital from an open-top or glass-top bus as the sun sets on Washington, DC. Take a trip to the twilight zone with mesmerizing views of the city highlights at dusk. See the most famous monuments lit up, casting a glimmering glow over the city. Begin at the U.S. Navy Memorial, before heading through the half-light to capture views of the White House, the Korean War Memorial, and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. Each monument features special illuminations at night, with regular opportunities to hop off and see the spectacular sculpture work up close, along with countless photo opportunities. Marvel at the full shimmering skyline at the start and endpoint of your tour, which also includes views of the twinkling Tidal Basin and Thomas Jefferson Memorial. Night tours don’t get much more magical than this, and pair perfectly with a day tour the following day.

Available activities

  • Entry tickets
  • Guided tours
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  • Hop-on hop-off tours
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  • Multi-day trips
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What people are saying about National Mall

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 5,204 reviews

This was an excellent overview of what the National Mall has to offer in terms of the monuments and attractions. The information shared was insightful and can inform what you choose to explore later in more detail.

We had the most amazing, educational and moving Guided Night Bike Monuments Tour with our guide Joe. He was so kind, informative, witty, friendly and insightful. We highly recommend Joe as a tour guide.

Anna Marie was knowledgeable and interesting. The sites were absolutely beautiful. I would recommend to anyone wanting to get a great orientation of the area.

Arlington is much bigger than we expected and the guided trolley is a great way to see it with helpful information from thr narrators.

Be prepared to walk. It was great to see things we have missed in DC in the past.