For many, the National Mall is the main attraction in Washington, DC, and certainly ranks among the most iconic open spaces in America. Located just west of the Capitol Hill Hotel, a series of government buildings, memorials and monuments unfolds into one exceptional walk. Highlighting some of our favorite stop offs along the way, this is a walking tour of the National Mall.

The U.S. Capitol Building

The ever-recognizable domed Capitol Building is one of the most visited buildings in Washington, DC. Inside, the United States Congress does its business while travelers take daily tours in the surrounding halls and historic rooms surrounding.

United States Capitol. East Capitol St. NE & First St. SE

The Smithsonians

The original, brick Smithsonian Castle is a Gothic stand-out amongst DC’s mostly Federal-style buildings. It’s the original building of what would soon become a massive collection of museums, most of which line the Mall, including the Air and Space Museum, the American Indian Museum, the Natural History Museum, and the new African American Museum.

The Smithsonian Institution. 600 Maryland Ave. SW

The Washington Monument

The tallest structure in the city of Washington, DC, The Washington Monument is a (literal) pillar of the National Mall and a must-visit on your walking tour. You can find links to various tours and opportunities to climb to the top on the website.

The Washington Monument. 2 15th St. NW

The Tidal Basin & Jefferson Memorial

Just south of the Washington Monument, the Tidal Basin offers walkers a lush and scenic body of water to sit and relax by. Across it, you’ll be able to spot the circular Jefferson Memorial, one of the city’s most attractive memorials.

The Lincoln Memorial

At the western end of the National Mall, the country’s sixteenth president sits on a giant stone throne overlooking the city, with his regal reflecting pool at his feet. It’s one of the more moving statues and tributes in all of Washington, DC, and one of the National Mall’s most recognizable attractions.

The Lincoln Memorial. 2 Lincoln Memorial Cir. NW

After the walk—you’re looking at over three miles from Capitol Hill Hotel through the Mall to the Lincoln Memorial—we recommend a cab ride back to give your feet some well-deserved rest!