- Historical Site
The National Mall is the epicenter of American history and a visit to Washington D.C. The Mall spans 1.9 miles from the steps of the U.S. Capitol building where Congress meets to the pillars of the Lincoln Memorial. Some of the largest rallies in the United States have been held along the length of the Mall, from protests against the Vietnam War to the March for Women's Lives.
It is very difficult to see everything along the mall in a single day even if one starts very early in the morning. Museums line each side of the length of the mall which is a long promenade with two walks separated by wide grassy medians for playing and picnicking. These museums are world-class and could each occupy a full day of studious time and commitment. The best way to approach the mall is to reserve two to three days to see the bulk of it, otherwise, the sights will seem more like a blur.
The following is a list of sites along the National Mall:
National Museum of American History
National Museum of Natural History
National Gallery of Art sculpture garden
West Building of the National Gallery of Art
East Building of the National Gallery of Art
United States Capitol
Ulysses S. Grant Memorial
United States Botanic Garden
National Museum of the American Indian
National Air and Space Museum
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Arts and Industries Building
Smithsonian Institution Building ("The Castle")
Freer Gallery of Art
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
National Museum of African Art
Hours + Fees
Map + Directions
Interstate 395 provides access to the Mall from the south. Interstate 495, New York Avenue, Rock Creek Parkway, George Washington Memorial Parkway, and the Cabin John Parkway provide access from the North. Interstate 66, U.S. Route 50 and 29 provide access from the West. U.S. Routes 50, 1, and 4 provide access from the East.