3. And We’re Walking
The National Mall, called “America’s front yard,” is two miles from the Lincoln Memorial to the Capitol, but worth every step, since many monuments are in and around the mall. Some paths are gravel, some paved. All are level and wheelchair accessible.
You’ll log a few miles visiting the attractions, especially in the National Mall. You’ve heard it before: Wear comfortable shoes. After my zigzagging, crisscrossing route through the National Mall, my new, cute shoes and I had a falling out. We officially parted ways when I found a Skechers store.
4. Take A Tour
Bus and trolley tours run the gamut from full-day tours that guide you through the Capitol, the National Archives Museum, and the World War II Memorial with USA Guided Tours, to the Old Town Trolley’s 90-minute tour with one stop at the Lincoln Memorial. With a Big Bus Tour, you hop off to explore on your own and hop on to travel from place to place. Narration is ongoing.
Buses face the same traffic snarls as you would in a car, so be prepared for schedule changes.
Bicycle and Segway tours with Bike and Roll are a great option and immune to traffic jams. They have hybrid and electric-assist bikes in their fleet. Guided tours highlight attractions around the National Mall by way of the sidewalks and paths within the green space, so there’s no dodging cars. Segway driving instructions and practice are part of the program, as are helmets. Just in case.
Pro Tip: Bicycle and Segway tours often sell out. I recommend reserving a tour in advance.
Free walking tours with DC by Foot cover the National Mall, Arlington Cemetery, the site of Lincoln’s assassination, and spots known for ghosts and scandals. Reservations are required. If you want to join a virtual tour before your in-person visit, they have video tours on their website.
5. Monuments And Memorials After Dark
Bus, bicycle, and walking tours take in Washington, D.C.’s monuments and memorials after dark. Attractions are open 24 hours a day and make for some striking photos at dawn, dusk, and when they’re lit at night.