US National Parks and Memorials at the National Mall – Washington, DC

The US National Park Service operates many historic sites, monuments, parks and national memorials in the Washington, DC area. The National Mall itself is operated by the US National Park Service.

At most visitor centres and Ranger Stations you can collect National Park Passport Stamps (cancellation stamps) – there is no area in the United States where you can collect more of these stamps at once than at the National Mall.

I was really looking forward to seeing all these things that I’ve seen so many times on TV. How many times have I seen the Washington Monument? Or the US Capitol Building?

Well now we’ve actually been there! Most of the pictures in this post are from 2013 (some taken during the day and some at night) but some are from a work trip my husband was on in 2015.

US Capitol Building - Washington, DC

On the East side of the National Mall is the US Capitol Building. Tours can be booked online at

US Capitol Building - Washington, DC
US Capitol Building - Washington, DC

Stephen told Gordie to walk back to Mommy. So he walked backwards going ‘beep beep beep’.

US Capitol Building at Night - Washington, DC
Navy Memorial - Washington, DC

This is the Navy Memorial On Pennsylvania Avenue just off the National Mall

On the National Mall - Washington, DC

The Washington Monument is the Centerpiece of the National Mall. When we visited in 2013, it was being repaired after some earthquake damage so we weren’t able to go up.

The repairs are now complete and a limited number of free same-day tickets are given away daily at the National Park Service Washington Monument Lodge, at the base of the hill east of the monument, starting at 8:30 in the morning.

The Washington Monument at Night - The National Mall with kids
The Lincoln Memorial from the Washington Monument - the National Mall

View of the Lincoln Memorial from the Washington Monument.

The White House - The National Mall with Kids

To the North of the Washington Monument is the White House. Tours of the White House are available, but must be booked in advance through your Congressional representative or through your embassy in Washington DC if you are not a US Citizen.

US National Parks Building - Washington, DC

This is one of the two National Parks Buildings – this one is a short walk the SW of the Washington Monument, the other is just to the East of the Monument. The one above is the one you want to go to for National Park Passport Stamps.

I should have taken a picture of all the cancellation stamps you can get here, but I didn’t. It is a lot. For the National Mall area, it is your one stop for passport stamps.


The World War II Memorial

WW II Memorial - Washington, DC
National Mall - Washington, DC
Jefferson Memorial - Washington, DC

The Jefferson Memorial across the Tidal Basin. The Martin Luther King Jr. memorial is on the near side Tidal Basin just east of the Korean War memorial.

Korean War Memorial - Washington, DC

Korean War Veterans Memorial

Vietnam Memorial - Washington, DC

I had seen pictures of the Vietnam War Memorial before, but I was surprised to see what a low profile it actually has. It looks like a scar in the Earth.

It has the names of all the US soldiers that died in the war and there are books that you can use to look up people you know. Family, friends and servicemen frequently leave flags or offerings at the base of the wall near their loved ones’ names.

Vietnam War Memorial - Washington, DC
Lincoln Memorial - Washington, DC

The Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln Memorial - Washington, DC
Lincoln Memorial - Washington, DC
Reflecting Pool - Washington, DC
Washington Monument at the Lincoln Memorial - Washginton, DC
The Washington Monument from the Lincoln Memorial - the National Mall

The Einstein Memorial which is just across the street from the Lincoln Memorial was really cool to see too. If you stand just in the right spot (look for a converging point on the ground in front of the statue) there is a cool auditory effect.

Einstein Memorial - Washington, DC

I was thrilled to be able to see these landmarks in person and I hope to return one day so I can explore the area some more.

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