SAVANA ROVIRA / THE EAGLE
October has decided to bring in the crisp fall weather a little bit sooner than usual. Nonetheless, there are still countless monuments and memorials to visit that are free and open to the public at all times. Plus, the Scene has also provided suggestions of some alternative, must-see locales.
Monuments / Memorials
Metro: Blue Line, Smithsonian
Head down to the National Mall to bask in the glory of the famed monuments and memorials that D.C. boasts. A quick stroll around the grassy knolls and Reflecting Pool will send visitors around to most of the important memorials, including:
•The Vietnam War Memorial — though the memorial is, in essence, just a large slab of stone, it has a haunting beauty befitting of its purpose.
•Lincoln Memorial — right at the head of the Reflecting Pool is arguably D.C.’s most famous monument. It looks huge in pictures, but it is much grander in person. Lincoln is immortalized in a Grecian-style temple, crafted in beautiful white marble.
•Washington Monument — the gigantic, 555-foot obelisk is a tribute to founding father George Washington. Unfortunately, the inside of the monument is still closed due to repairs, but don’t let that stop you from seeing it. The Pencil is a D.C. landmark. Revel in its grandeur and take lots and lots of pictures.
•Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial — ne of the newest additions to the National Mall, this memorial is a bust of MLK Jr. posing proudly, jutting out from large slabs of white marble.
To add to the traditional monument/memorial exploring adventure, check out the D.C. Trolley Tours. They not only do a Monuments by Moonlight Tour, but they also take visitors around to out-of-the-way sites like the Iwo Jima Memorial in Arlington, Va. The 2 ½-hour tour costs $35, and tickets can be ordered online or purchased over the phone.
•Take a trip to the U Street Corridor and visit the African American Civil War Memorial. Though not as grand as the ones you’ll find on the Mall, it’s still a must-see. In addition, its location brings you to U Street, a historic neighborhood in D.C. chock full of landmarks like Ben’s Chili Bowl.
•Hop on the bus down to Georgetown to visit Old Stone House, D.C.’s oldest unchanged building, as well as D.C.’s last pre-revolutionary, colonial building. It’s easy to overlook among the hustle and bustle of M Street, but is a beautiful respite from the city. Take a stroll in the garden in the backyard and marvel at the wonderfully preserved, modest bedrooms and ridiculously low ceilings.
•Meridian Hill Park, unofficially known to locals as Malcolm X Park, is undoubtedly one of the best landmarks in D.C. The park was originally built in 1819 as a mansion that was later home to John Quincy Adams in 1829 when he left the White House, according to its website. It later became campgrounds for Union troops, and in 1994, President Bill Clinton designated it a National Historic Landmark. The Park is a beautiful, sprawling site with numerous Italian Renaissance-style fountains and statues across 12 acres of French Baroque-style gardens. It’s a beautiful location to sit and have a picnic, all while being a part of historic D.C.