Let's not kid ourselves -- the FDR Memorial is out of the way and, unless you travel there on a tour bus, you are likely to wonder whether or not the Memorial is worth the time and huffing required to get all the way to the other side of the Tidal Basin. Wonder no more--this is one of the city's greatest memorials. Beginning on the West side, the Memorial guides the visitor through a retrospective of Roosevelt's years in the White House as told through statue and running water. To walk through the path is to gain an appreciation of the man and the times. The waterfalls and other fountains both serve to calm visitors and to remind them of the ephemeralities all around them.
During the spring Cherry Blossom Festival, the FDR Memorial can truly take on a magical quality for those who are wandering through the blooming trees. Also, the Japanese Pagoda, given by the Japanese in 1906 along with the cherry trees and symbolizing the friendship between the US and Japan is on the bank of the Tidal Basin behind the FDR Memorial.
The FDR and Jefferson Memorials' locations make them among the lesser visited, but they are arguably amongst the most incredible sites in Washington DC. Do not miss this place.