National Mall Memorials: The Backstory

National Mall Memorials: The Backstory

The classic Washington, D.C. 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 figures and how their meaning has evolved with time.

Who do the National Mall Memorials honor?

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


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Guides that may lead this tour: 
Portrait of Brenda

Washington Walks Guide Brenda

BRENDA has lived in Washington, D.C., since 1982 when she helped launch USA Today newspaper

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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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Portrait of Paul

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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Available for private tour bookings. 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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