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National Mall at Washington DC
National Mall
Category: Activities
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The National Mall and Memorial Parks

This is the site for memorials to American presidents and other influential Americans. It's also a place to remember wars fought in defense of the ideals of the country. Some of these presidential monuments include the Lincoln Memorial, the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial, and the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial. War memorials include the World War II Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and the DC War Memorial. The park is part of the Greater Washington National Parks system.


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  • Screen on the Green movie festival
  • Smithsonian Folklife Festival
  • National Cherry Blossom Festival
  • Kite Festival


  • Visit the many memorials
  • Take a free tour of the memorials
  • Golf on East Potomac Golf Course
  • Take a paddleboat on the Tidal Basin
  • Swim at the East Potomac Aquatic Center

History of the Mall

It is the oldest federal parkland. Part of the plan put into place by the United States’ first president, George Washington, city planner Peter L’Enfant designed the National Mall. He had envisioned it as a “Grand Avenue” but that never came to fruition. The term National Mall commonly includes areas that are officially part of West Potomac Park and Constitution Gardens to the west, and often is taken to refer to the entire area between the Lincoln Memorial and the United States Capitol, with the Washington Monument providing a division slightly west of the center.

Events and Recreational Activities

The National Mall is an unofficial place to take part in presidential inaugurations for those without tickets. There are also several fantastic annual events including the National Cherry Blossom Festival, Earth Day celebrations, and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Independence Day is not to be missed as fireworks light up the sky and all of the National Mall’s impressive memorials.


  • How long does it take to walk the Mall?

    From the Lincoln Memorial to the Capitol stretches a distance of 2 miles. Depending on how fast a walker you are, it could take about an hour to get from one end to the other.
  • Where is the best view on the Mall?

    There are several wonderful views of the Mall, each offering something different. If standing on the National Mall facing west by the Capitol Building, one can see the iconic Washington Monument at the opposite end of the Mall. Looking east near Jefferson Drive one is enchanted by a charming urban park with rows of elm trees.

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