Thing to Do

Visit National Mall and Memorial Parks

National Mall and Memorial Parks

Aerial View of the National Mall and Memorial Parks

National Mall and Memorial Parks

Each year, millions of people visit the National Mall and Memorial Parks to recreate, to commemorate presidential legacies, to honor our nation's veterans, to make their voices heard, and to celebrate our nation's commitment to freedom and equality. From Ranger Programs to photography to recreational opportunities, the National Mall and Memorial Parks has it all!

After the First Federal Congress passed the Residence Act of 1790, President George Washington selected the exact site for the republic’s new federal government along the bank of the Potomac River. Secretary of State, and future president, Thomas Jefferson offered his assistance to President Washington's city planner Peter L'Enfant and eventually an impressive federal city emerged.

The resulting federal parkland, therefore, is the oldest such land managed by the National Park Service. In its administration of this parkland, the National Mall and Memorial Parks shares the privilege with other units of the Greater Washington National Park system.
Visitors watch fireworks celebrating the Fourth of July at the Lincoln Memorial
Lincoln Memorial

Visit the Lincoln Memorial for a variety of events year round.

The White House
President's Park (White House)

Explore President's Park—approximately 82 acres containing two trails and many significant statues, memorials and structures.

Aerial view of the Korean War Veterans Memorial
Korean War Veterans Memorial

Explore the memorial that remembers those who answered the call to defend a country they never knew and a people they never met.

Scenic Views In the City

  • US Marine Corps War Memorial.
    US Marine Corps War Memorial

    From Arlington Ridge, experience a panoramic view of iconic DC architecture behind the US Marine Corps War Memorial.

  • Fountain at Meridian Hill Park.
    Meridian Hill Park

    Meridian Hill Park offers visitors the opportunity to escape the bustle of the city and find a peaceful refuge, recreation and fresh air.

  • View of the Tidal Basin from the Washington Monument
    Tidal Basin

    One of the best places to view the Tidal Basin and Jefferson Memorial is from the top of the Washington Monument

  • People walking on Georgetown Waterfront Path.
    Georgetown Waterfront Park

    Georgetown Waterfront Park stretches along the banks of the Potomac River from 31st Street NW to the Key Bridge.

  • Exterior day view of the Old Post Office building.
    Old Post Office Tower

    Find a new perspective at the top of the Old Post Office Tower.

  • Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial.
    Arlington House

    Gaze across the river that once divided us, from the steps of Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial.

  • A young visitor dressed up as Frederick Douglass
    Frederick Douglass Home

    Talk to a ranger, tour Frederick Douglass's home or walk the grounds for a sweeping view of Washington D.C.

  • Aerial view of the National Mall.
    National Mall and Memorial Parks

    Attend a Ranger Program, paddle in the Tidal Basin, or dive into history at memorials and monuments on the National Mall.

  • Cyclists on the Mount Vernon Trail across from Capital Hill.
    Mount Vernon Trail

    A run, walk, or cycle alongside the Potomac River offers uninterrupted views of Washington, D.C.'s skyline.

Last updated: September 16, 2023