The Best Time to Visit the Washington, DC Monuments

Imagine that it is 85+ degrees, ultra-humid outside, and there’s a HUGE stampede of people at every corner you turn to. That’s exactly how it feels in Washington, DC and especially at the monuments during the summer time. Not to mention, the monuments, more specifically known as the National Mall, in Washington, DC are ALWAYS packed with tourists and even locals, alike. On my Instagram (follow me @_thepinkchickadee!), I shared a bit about me and my best friend Bryn’s experience at the National Mall enjoying the monuments at night. We had planned to go see the monuments while Bryn is here for the summer time for a while before hand, BUT we were in for a splendid surprise when it started to rain and the sun started to set and the crowds *just magically* disappeared.

Before I spill the tea on my rather peaceful evening along the National Mall and experiencing Washington, DC’s monuments in their truly and gorgeous glory, the National Mall can be easily accessible via the following Metro (subway system) stations that are all accessible along the Blue, Silver, and Orange lines:

  • Smithsonian – brings you RIGHT to the National Mall and ALL of the museums. Offers the utter convenience of being in front of ALL of the action of the city’s monuments and museums, including views of the United States Capital, Washington Monument, and even the Lincoln Memorial at a distance.
  • Foggy Bottom – most reachable via a 0.8 mile walk from the Lincoln Memorial and the World War 11 Memorial, which are at least a 20 minute walk from the Smithsonian Museums and Washington Monument. However, the Smithsonian station.
  • McPherson Square – a few blocks away from The White House and right by A LOT of restaurants, including the iconic historic Old Ebbitt Grill and The Hamilton.
  • Metro Center – not necessarily on the National Mall or by the monuments: it’s rather a bit off a walk to reach them all but not a long or hard walk, with the National Mall and Smithsonian museums (specifically the Museum of Natural History and the National Gallery of Art) being closest. BUT, it does offer a wide array of restaurants and shops, both local and chains and offers a lot of historic charm along the streets. Both Ford Theatre and Warner Theatre are there, too, with tours being offered.

If you know me pretty well, then you probably know that I do not like crowds, like at all. Despite the fact that I travel and have traveled to quite a bit of highly touristy places (London, Paris, Rome, Chicago, Florence, New York City, Athens, and Philadelphia to name a few!) and even life right outside a very touristy city aka Washington, DC, crowds still really freak me out – LOL! Whenever I travel, I strive to purchase the fast passes, in order to bypass the crowds where I can – I did this at the Louvre in Paris, Parliament in London, and The Vatican. HOWEVER, the Washington, DC monuments along the National Mall are NOT ticketed entry. Rather, the monuments are open to all of the public free of charge (something that I really admire about my home city is the fact that SO many things especially main tourist attractions are FREE to all). BUT, free does have its down sides with the crowds.

When going to the monuments in Washington, DC the other night, Bryn and I lucked out when we finished our dinner at the nearby Hard Rock Cafe and headed down a few blocks to the National Mall. It started to rain a bit but not too much (no pour downs – thank goodness!!!) and the crowds dispersed. Only a few people on bikes and scooters were to really be seen. As we walked towards the Washington Monument, the crowds were still mostly gone. The sun had set when we walked from the Washington Monument to the World War 11 Memorial. The rain continued. Practically NO ONE was at the World War 11 Memorial, which I had NEVER in my life seen that place so empty before. It was nice. The reflecting pool in between the World War 11 Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial was the most quiet I had ever seen it before. The rain continued but remained light the entire time until we reached the Lincoln Memorial. The Lincoln Memorial had the most people, yet, for the Lincoln Memorial on a Friday night in the summer time, it was rather empty. Needless to say, Bryn had an AMAZING TIME!!!

When in Washington, DC, I highly recommend to ANYONE checking out the monuments along the National Mall, since it is FREE and offers so much history and significance within the United States and even world as a whole. And, when given the opportunity, I 10/10 highly recommend going to the National Mall even if it’s raining (perhaps, even a pour down) – you’ll miss out on the crowds and make SO many memories (and steps!) along the way!!!

XOXO – Katie <3

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