7 Things to Do on the National Mall

Updated July 20, 2020.

Okay, so this neighborhood guide is not exactly a “neighborhood” since no one lives here and so there are no neighbors, per se. However, there is a lot to do here! You could easily spend all day on the National Mall, so here are the best thing to do!

7. Find Albert Einstein

This little hidden gem is really in plain sight! It’s fantastic for photos, but sitters beware: the metal gets hot in the summertime! You can find him at the corner of 22nd and Constitution Avenue NW, right in front of the National Academy of Sciences.

Dad and me with our new friend Albert!
Want more? Check out D.C. Off the Beaten Path!

6. Take All the Photos

Speaking of great photo-ops, the National Mall is one of the most picture-perfect places in D.C., so bring your camera and practice your poses! Get the best shots of the monuments, memorials, water features, ducks, geese, flapping flags, and more!

Take all the photos and make all the memories!
Read on: Instagrammable D.C.

5. Go for an Iconic Run

Every time I stay in D.C., I make sure to leave time for a run! The Mall is the most beautiful place to run—or walk! The green space, iconic sites, and fellow runners will all keep you motivated! There will be a few streets to cross, but don’t let that discourage you. Just make sure you cross with the “walking man” at the crosswalks!

A run on the Mall is always an iconic experience!
Read on: The Best Monument Running Route

4. Find the Jefferson Pier Marker

Did you know Thomas Jefferson wanted the Prime Meridian to run through D.C. instead of London, England? It’s true! There is actually a stone marker showing the place, and it’s just steps from the Washington Monument!

Be on the lookout for the original marker!
Read on: Obscure D.C.

3. Pop into the Smithsonian Museums

The Smithsonian Museums are full of knowledge, artifacts, fun facts, impressive architecture, and more. The best part, however, is the fact that they’re FREE! So you truly can just pop in to see one thing, then move on to the next one. Or you can spend all day exploring the one museum you came to town for! Most of the Smithsonian Museums in D.C. are on the National Mall, including the Air and Space Museum, Natural History Museum, American History Museum, Smithsonian Castle, and more!

The Smithsonian Castle is right on the National Mall!
Read on: Ultimate Guide to D.C.’s Smithsonian Museums

2. Visit the National Galleries of Art

Similarly, the National Galleries of Art are both on the National Mall and also FREE, though they are not part of the Smithsonian. Here you’ll find paintings, sculptures, furniture, and other artifacts, and you can spend as much or as little time here as you like!

The grand lobby at the National Gallery of Art West Building!

1. Explore the Monuments

This is by far my favorite thing to do in D.C. and the thing I always recommend to people if they only have a few hours or one day in the District. They are easily walkable, there are always ranger-led talks going on, and these are literally the icons of D.C. and the United States. Don’t skip the monuments!

Don’t skip the Lincoln Memorial!
Read on: Ultimate Guide to D.C.’s Monuments and Memorials

Want more D.C. tips, suggestions, and food recommendations? You can find everything on my dedicated Washington, D.C. Page!

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Published by quickwhittravel

Welcome to the blog! We do things a little differently around here: no ads, no negativity, and no checked luggage, y'all. My name is Whitney, and Quick Whit Travel Blog is your one-stop shop for all the best travel tips, packing advice, and destination information. Click around or message me on social media @quickwhittravel for more!

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