National Mall Memorials: The Backstory

This is the classic Washington walk. You’ll get up close to a selection of the city’s famous memorials located on the National Mall. There’s something for everyone–neoclassical architecture, modern sculpture, haunting remembrances of war, historical insights, and even funny tales. Along the way, your guide sets the scene for the Federal City’s original plans to memorialize its national heroes and how they’ve evolved with time. At one time the triumphant general on horseback was the preferred prototype. As the 20th century came to a close, however, new kinds of memorials had begun to appear that honored ordinary soldiers and depicted less glorious aspects of battle. As we approach each site, you’ll hear its particular story, revealing how fraught the memorial-making process can be.


National Mall Memorials visits the National World War II Memorial, District War Memorial, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Abraham Lincoln Memorial. The Washington Monument and Thomas Jefferson Memorial are seen and discussed from a distance.


"A great way to learn the history behind the monuments." - TripAdvisor reviewer


People who liked this D.C. walking tour also liked: Hamilton's D.C. and Memorials: The Journey to Civil Rights

Guides that may lead this tour: 

BRENDA has lived in Washington, D.C., since 1982 when she helped launch USA Today newspaper as one of its founding editors.

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CHRISTINA attributes her love of walking tours to Sunday afternoon family strolls at historic spots in her native Ohio. She is a long-time resident of the D.C. area and had a career in electronic libraries.

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MANDY is a writer and book editor. She got hooked on D.C. history while working as communications director for Tudor Place Historic House & Garden, the Georgetown estate of one of Martha Washington’s granddaughters.

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PAUL is a journalist, history buff, actor, and former radio newscaster who has lived in the Washington area for 26 years and still discovers something new every week.

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POLLY wanted to live in D.C. ever since she and her husband Mike drove 450 miles right down to the Mall one spring day in the 1970s and couldn’t find parking.

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Available for private and group tour bookings only. Please email for more information.

Approximately 2 hours
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Embarks from in front of the Organization of American States by the statue of Queen Isabella I. (Closest Metrorail station: Farragut West)
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