National Mall, a national park in downtown Washington, D.C., is a key point to explore all the major attractions in Washington, D.C. Nestled on the banks of the Potomac River, the Mall is a treasure trove of world famous museums, memorials, and iconic buildings. There are lots of tourist spots here and some of them are just incredible. Here are just seven of those major attractions that you should not miss.
United States Capitol
The domed U.S. Capitol is one of the most famous historical buildings in the USA. Situated at the opposite end of the National Mall, this iconic building is the political nerve centre of the US. Due to security reasons, the general public may only access the Capitol on a guided tour.
National Gallery of Art
Boasting one of the largest collections of masterpieces on the planet, this world-class museum is a paradise for art connoisseurs. The different collections include notable paintings, photographs, decorative arts, and sculptures that have influenced the world. The admission is free.
Smithsonian Castle houses over 16 museums that showcase millions of artefacts, drawings, and other pieces of acclaimed works. It is impossible to explore the entire castle in a day. The IMAX movies are especially popular here; do book the show tickets well in advance to avoid inconvenience.
The Washington Monument
The tallest structure in the world made of stone, the Washington Monument is an obelisk-shaped tower that was built in the honour of George Washington, America’s First President. With a height of 555 feet, the intimidating tower looks splendid from the ground but that is not the best part; ride the elevator to the top and you can enjoy the most spectacular views of the city.
The memorial features a colossal 19-foot tall statue of Abraham Lincoln sitting in contemplation. On both sides of the statue, you can see the inscriptions of Lincoln’s most famous speech, the Gettysburg Address. The reflecting pool lined by pedestrian trails and lush greenery offer great views. More than six million people visit this iconic statue each year.
National Museum of Natural History
Admire the 45.5-carat Hope Diamond in all its glory, marvel at the history of dinosaurs, explore the famous Mammals Hall or watch the world’s largest African bush elephant – there is no way you can have a dull moment here. The National Museum of Natural History is one of the finest museums of its kind in the world. Check out the IMAX shows too.
U.S. Botanic Garden
If you love nature, this incredible plant museum is sure to impress you. U.S. Botanic Garden is a state-of-the-art indoor garden that shelters about 4,000 seasonal, tropical, and subtropical plants. The park also hosts special exhibits and educational programmes all round the year.