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“Awesome piece of Americana; great run route”
Review of National Mall

National Mall
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Small-Group National Mall Walking Tour in Washington DC
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Small-Group Tour of the National Mall and the National Gallery of Art
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National Mall Photo Safari by Circulator Bus
Ranked #11 of 446 things to do in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Open area of gardens, fountains, trees and monuments stretching nearly two miles between the Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial.
Morton, Illinois
Level 6 Contributor
231 reviews
112 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 273 helpful votes
“Awesome piece of Americana; great run route”
Reviewed August 4, 2009

I went recently and the place was beautiful. All along the route are the memorials to those who served as well as our premiere presidents. I only wish I wasn't so worn out from walking everywhere each day or this would be a great morning run route. If you have the time to do this, do it!

Thank Army_Dude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level 5 Contributor
63 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“The Mall has seen better days”
Reviewed July 4, 2009

Just returned from our DC trip. My teenagers were so disappointed and embarressed for our country in regards to the condition of the mall. The pond /pool was partially dried up, muddy and smelly. The grass around was unkept and growing over the sidewalks. Has the government closed maintainance on this area to save a buck? You would think our capital area would look decent. Our visit to the Lincoln Memorial was also dissappointing. Although the signs say "Quiet Please out of Respect" I don't think anyone entering knew what respect means. There was a roar of noise, yelling, etc, within the monument. Twenty years ago I remember my visit to the Lincoln memorial being a somber, quiet and reflective one. How sad respect was not displayed. The young secuirity guard on duty had on dark sunglasses-even though it was evening, and was slouched, leaning against a pole looking dismal to be there . He himself portrayed the carefree, "so what" attitude. We were also shocked by those who waded in the pool at the World War II memorial. Even though signs are clearly posted out of respect to the veterns to not wade in the waters.
How can I not recommend this attraction to others? It's a national landmark-a must see for all tourist. How sad, though that I must warn you might be shocked by the conditions.

1 Thank Tina S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Level 6 Contributor
100 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 115 helpful votes
“Great experience but plan ahead”
Reviewed June 29, 2009

I agree with a previous review. You are going to go to the mall regardless of what I write. My best advice is to plan ahead. There is so much to see and the distance is so great that if you don't give your trip some thought you will end up wasting valuable time.

First, budget a lot of time (several days). If you don't have several days then plan to start at one end of the mall and walk towards the other end seeing attractions as you go.

We only had 1 1/2 days to spend so we started our first day at the Smithsonian subway station. This allowed us to start in the middle of the mall and see sights between there and the capitol building including some of the Smithsonian buildings.

On the second day we started at the National Archives and walked all the way to Arlington National Cemetery. That's a long haul so don't try it if you have health problems, have small children, or if the weather is hot. We spent the morning at the National Archives, ate lunch at the cafe in the sculpture garden in front of the National Archives, then walked to the Washington monument, WW II, Lincoln, and Vietnam memorials. From there we walked to Arlington National Cemetery.

My best advice is to plan ahead, print maps of the mall and of the subway routes, and choose a hotel that is near a subway station. Ride the subway to/from the mall. The subway stations are convenient for most of the tourist attractions so pick your routes wisely and you will find that touring the mall can be fun and does not have to be an endurance contest. Also in spite of your planning you are going to see attractions that were not on your list of things to do. When this happens be happy to sacrifice something on your itinerary in favor of a new discovery.

13 Thank rogerm001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Des Moines, Iowa
Level 6 Contributor
145 reviews
47 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
“The place you came to DC for”
Reviewed June 10, 2009

It almost feels silly to review the National Mall, because if you are traveling to DC, you are pretty much guaranteed to spend some time on the Mall, regardless of what anyone writes. However, it really is as magnificent as you imagine, so yep, you are right to go there.

We took the Metro to the Smithsonian station to get the sense of arrival when you step off the escalator and onto the Mall itself. It really is kind of neat; as you're ascending from the station you look around to find the monuments, and finally when you step out onto street level, there you are, right between the Washington Monument and the Capitol. This is a really good spot to snap some pictures, but it's a pretty popular one too, so be prepared for crowds.

The Mall itself is a) huge and b) kinda beat-up. I always pictured a pristine grassy field, but I imagine the huge crowds led to it being a little mangy when we arrived. There are sidewalks and paths crossing the length and width of the mall, and even with the big crowds in April, seemed sufficient to handle all the traffic. As for the hugeness, we walked from the Smithsonian stop to the Lincoln Memorial and back in one 90+ degree afternoon, and I'm not sure I'd recommend that. Everything seems deceptively close since the monuments are so big, but once you start walking, it takes a while to get somewhere.

Another tip I read on here, and which I absolutely endorse, is to visit the Mall at night. We did day and evening, on two separate days, and both had their merits. It really is quite remarkable to see the monuments illuminated, and there were enough people out when we did it that we didn't feel in any way unsafe.

So, that's it. The Mall is awesome, because that's where all the monuments and museums are. More on those in their individual reviews, but just remember the Mall is really neat and really huge. Be sure to take some breaks as you walk (you can stop just about anywhere and sit down for a bit) and definitely have water with you. But you're going to go anyway, so who cares what I write here? ;)

1 Thank Cyclone05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
clarksville tennessee
Level 5 Contributor
72 reviews
53 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 191 helpful votes
“Nice place for a picnic”
Reviewed October 14, 2008

Seems like every place we went in DC kept bringing us back to the Mall area. It is a nice green area right in the middle of the city stretching for about two miles with many significant sites along the way. It seems like an extremely popular place for people to hang out. We had a nice picnic while in the area.

4 Thank lewis01utk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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