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We don’t have to guess what visitors to DC think because we have watched how they moved through memorials. Washington DC is one of the most visited cities in the country because it’s packed with American history and culture. Home to some of the most iconic buildings, DC Monuments, and memorials globally, this city is known for honouring the fallen while still maintaining its status as the heart of democracy and freedom.

Apart from the National Mall, there are many more DC monuments like monolithic men, ghostly white temples, giant bronze birds of prey. Not to mention acres of pools that are reserved for the exclusive use of waterfowl even in the heat of the summer.

Many of DC’s most famous landmarks lay within the confines of the magnificent and world-famous National Mall. From Hollywood movies to Presidential rallies to everything in between, the long grassy mall and national parkland are some of the most instantly recognizable locations in the country.

Let’s take a look at 8 Must-See Washington DC Monuments and Memorials:

WASHINGTON MONUMENT

The Washington Monument, an imposing sight, was constructed to honour our first president, George Washington. This magnificent obelisk towers at 555 feet and stands in front of a magnificent reflecting pool. Made from marble, granite, and bluestone gneiss, it is a must-see DC Monument. Remember to take the express elevator to the 500-foot observation deck and enjoy picturesque views. Also, do not miss visiting the museum on the 490-foot level.

LINCOLN MEMORIAL—THE MOST VISITED

Feast your eyes with this stately statue of the beloved President. No wonder it’s the most-visited monument in the country. Towering at 20-feet, even while seated, this colossal statue of President Abraham Lincoln depicts his strength and compassion. The design of this world-famous monument is based on the Parthenon in Greece. The Memorial has 36 columns representing the states united after the Civil War—each identifiable by looking at the top of the column. Visit the marble monument at night when the lighting lends a soft white glow to the Lincoln Memorial.

KOREAN WAR VETERANS MEMORIAL

The Korean War Veterans Memorial, located in the Potomac Park, is designed to commemorate those who served in the Korean War. This more recent addition to the park is not that far from the Lincoln Memorial. It was dedicated on July 27, 1995, to the anniversary of the Korean War Armistice. Unlike some other memorials and DC Monuments, the Korean War Veterans Memorial has a contemporary feel and encompasses different elements of the war. The Memorial includes a 164-foot long Mural Wall with over 2,400 photographs of the war obtained from the National Archives, a Pool of Remembrance, and 19 stainless steel 7-foot tall statues.

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. MEMORIAL

One of the newest additions to the list of DC Monuments is the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial. This memorial opened in August 2011 because this date marked the 48th anniversary of the march on Washington for jobs and freedom, led by Martin Luther King, Jr. himself. Located just southwest of the National Mall in Potomac Park, this DC Monument celebrates the tireless work of the visionary Martin Luther King, Jr. It is a lasting legacy to his leadership. The design and location of this Memorial deftly create a visual line of leadership, from the famed Lincoln Memorial to the magnificent Jefferson Memorial. A 30-foot stone figure of the great man, the “Stone of Hope,” stands past two pieces of granite. This statue symbolizes a line from his famous speech, “Out of a mountain of despair, a stone of hope.”

WORLD WAR II MEMORIAL

This staggering memorial commemorates the 16 million people who served in the United States Military during the second world war and the more than 400,000 who died in battle and at home. This Memorial is a tribute to honor the soldiers’ sacrifice in the face of immeasurable adversity. Those who visit this awe-inspiring monument are moved by its grandeur and its message of commitment, spirit, and freedom represented by the 56 pillars surrounding the memorial plaza. Each acknowledges the states and territories united together during the war effort. 4,000 sculpted gold stars sit on the Freedom Wall to honour the 400,000 Americans who lost their lives. The World War II Memorial is right between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. It was opened to public in May 2004 and has become one of the essential points of interest in the National Mall since then.

JEFFERSON MEMORIAL

The Jefferson Memorial is right across the Tidal Basin from the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. It pays tribute to one of our founding fathers and the 3rd president. It was built in 1943 from marble and stone, reminiscent of a Roman temple complete with a circular colonnade, circular steps, columns, and a dome. This monument also features a 19-foot bronze statue of Jefferson facing the White House and excerpts from the Declaration of Independence and a letter written by Jefferson. The Jefferson Memorial is a definite must-see and one of the most visited memorials in Washington DC.

THEODORE ROOSEVELT ISLAND NATIONAL MEMORIAL

Created as a national memorial to remember America’s 26th president, Theodore Roosevelt, this memorial and 88.5-acre island in the Potomac River is a fascinating tribute to a great man. As an outdoor enthusiast as well as an early champion of conservation, the island offers everything they believed Roosevelt would value himself. So, it includes a memorial plaza with a 17-foot statue of the President and 2-miles of trails through forest and wetlands. Visitors flock to this site to spend time getting back to nature, take part in SEE DC’s guided tours or walks, or explore the human-made forest, swamps, and uplands. The island is open to visitors daily, from 6.00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

FDR MEMORIAL

This touching monument is dedicated to our 32nd President and located on the western shore of the Tidal Basin. Our guided tour through the outdoor Memorial takes you through each of Roosevelt’s four terms of office, tracing 12 years of American history as well as his presidency. The four different outdoor rooms each feature sculptures of Roosevelt in various scenes. A bronze statue of his beloved wife and first lady, Eleanor, is also there, making it the only presidential memorial to include the first lady.

Visit SEE DC Today, a one-stop-shop for your convenience to visit all DC Monuments & Memorials

At SEE DC today, we believe Washington DC is primed for respectful recognition and peaceful contemplation. From the world-famous DC Monuments and Memorials in the National Mall to the lesser-known tributes scattered across the city, now you see why over 22 million visitors come to pay their respects every year.