1 - 2 Hours
One Per Person
At Your Own Pace
Welcome to the Washington Monuments Tour
This walking tour of Washington, D.C. begins next to Pershing Park, right across from the White House south lawn. From here, you’ll make your way to the White House itself, where you can admire the seat of American power and learn some fascinating tidbits about its construction. Did you know the entire East Wing was built as a distraction?
About the tour
Head south toward Constitution Gardens and pick up some insight into D.C.’s complicated history along the way. Through the gardens, you’ll find what was once the city’s most controversial monument: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
Next, you’ll head to the Lincoln Memorial, one of the most iconic memorials on your self-guided walking tour, Washington DC.
The Korean War Veterans Memorial is next, where you’ll hear about the fraught political struggle which wracked the White House during this bloody conflict. As you continue east, you’ll be filled in on the aftermath of the War of 1812, and how D.C. grew into what it is today.
Next up on your Washington DC Monument tour you’ll arrive at will be the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, honoring the nation’s most revered civil rights leader. Then you’ll cross the Kutz Bridge and learn why the Potomac River is so significant to this city’s history. From this bridge, you’ll also be able to see the impressive Thomas Jefferson Memorial.
Then, you’ll reach the National Mall, which you’ve definitely seen on TV plenty of times. Here’s where you’ll get an up-close look at the Washington Monument, and learn the history of George Washington’s connection to this important city.
If you like museums, the next stretch of the tour is absolutely for you. Along this route, you’ll pass the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, and the National Gallery of Art. There’s a reason D.C. is known as the number one place to go for museums!
On the final leg of the Washington Monuments tour, you’ll arrive at three of the most crucial buildings in the city: The Library of Congress, the Capitol Building, and the Supreme Court of the United States. The tour will conclude here, amid these three awe-inspiring structures.
Starting point: 1445 New York Avenue Northwest
How does it work?
- Once you book a tour, you’ll get a text/email with instructions.
- Download the app (while in good wifi/signal) and use your unique password to access your tours.
- To begin touring, go to the starting point and launch the app.
- The audio starts automatically once you reach the starting point. Stick to the tour route & speed limit for the best experience.
- Please note that no one will meet you at the starting point.
What You'll See
Welcome / White House Visitor Center
The White House
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Korean War Veterans Memorial
Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
Thomas Jefferson Memorial
World War II Memorial
National Museum of African American History and Culture
Smithsonian National Museum of American History
Smithsonian Museum of Natural History
National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden
National Gallery of Art
US House of Representatives
Library of Congress
United States Capitol
Supreme Court of the United States / Conclusion
Preview the Tour
Founding DC Audio Story
Constitution Gardens Audio Story
Lincoln Memorial Audio Story
US House of Representatives Audio Story
While you might not be able to walk everywhere in Washington on foot, you probably won’t need a car, especially in the center where most Washington DC tours take place. Washington is a relatively small city, and unlike many American urban centers, the public transportation system is fairly robust. That means you can easily get in and out of downtown Washington without a car, and you’ll be able to walk once you make it there.
When your Washington monument tour takes you to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, you’ll actually be seeing two different monuments. The first is the Memorial Wall, two large granite slabs engraved with the names of those who died in the war. The other part is the Three Soldiers statue, which was added afterward when the wall itself proved to be too grim an image for the public.
Absolutely! The Martin Luther King Memorial is open every day, 24 hours a day, and is always free to the public.
If there’s one place you should not miss on your Washington DC tour, it’s definitely the National Mall.
If you’re thinking of taking a Washington monuments tour, your best bet is to either visit between September and November or March and May.
The answer is yes, absolutely! As any Washington DC tour will tell you, the capital is one of the most pedestrian-friendly cities in the United States.
Funny you should ask – we at Action Tour Guide just so happen to have a Washington monuments tour that lasts for about two hours. This Self-Guided Tour will take you to all the best and most interesting monuments on the National Mall, including the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and the controversial Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Not only that, but the tour also includes a ton of other interesting sites, like the White House, the Ford Theater, and the US Capitol building. In between stops, we’ll pepper in some information you might not know about topics like the War of 1812, President Roosevelt’s secret bunker, and even the history of graffiti.
With so many great museums on any Washington DC tour, picking the best one will depend on what you’re interested in. The Smithsonian Institute has 23 different museum branches all over the area, so there’s sure to be something for everybody. There are also some terrific independent museums in Washington as well, like the International Spy Museum or the (somewhat controversial) Museum of the Bible.
Inclusions and Exclusions
- App on your phone: A link to download the Action Tour Guide App and Password for your tours.
- Flexible schedule: Use any day, any time. Travel over multiple days or on next trip. Never expires.
- Easy to use: Stories play automatically by GPS. Hands-free. Get HELP all day: Call, Chat, or Email.
- At your own pace: No group. Take breaks for photos/ snacks/hikes. Go at your own pace.
- Offline use: No cell signal or wifi required. Offline GPS Map & route. Stop-to-stop direction.
- Don’t miss a thing: Full itinerary, travel tips, professionally narrated videos, text, and hidden gems.
- Transportation, parking fees, food, and drinks.
- Entry tickets or reservations to any attractions along the route.
- Car Rental: Please arrange a rental car at the closest airport or train station.