National World War II Memorial

#12 in Best Things To Do in Washington, D.C.
National World War II Memorial picture1 of 3
National World War II Memorial2 of 3
OGphoto/Getty Images

Key Info

1750 Independence Ave. SW

Price & Hours

Free
24/7 daily

Details

Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing, Free Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
4.2scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 0.0Food Scene
  • 4.0Atmosphere

A popular memorial, the National World War II Memorial was dedicated in 2004 to the 400,000-plus Americans who died during the war. A circle of 56 pilings (representing the then 56 U.S. states and territories) looks over the Rainbow Pool. At night, with lights shining, this memorial can be quite ethereal.

Past visitors said they felt inspired after visiting the National World War II Memorial. Though you'll rub elbows with other tourists in the spring and summer, previous travelers suggest timing your visit during one of these seasons so you can enjoy the memorial's fountains and waterfalls.

The National World War II Memorial is located on the National Mall's main drag, between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial, and can be reached by taking the DC Circulator's National Mall bus or the Metro's Blue, Silver or Orange line to Smithsonian station. It's also a featured stop on many of the city's best bus tours. The sight is free to explore 24 hours a day, but it is only staffed by National Park Service rangers every day from 9:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. For further details, consult the National Park Service's official National WWII Memorial page.

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More Best Things To Do in Washington, D.C.

Lincoln Memorial1 of 25
Vietnam Veterans and Korean War Veterans Memorials2 of 25
Type
Time to Spend
#1 Lincoln Memorial

Although the Lincoln Memorial is just one of the District's many monuments, the larger-than-life Honest Abe is also among travelers' favorites. History buffs might enjoy the man of few (albeit powerful) words' two famous speeches, the second inaugural address and the Gettysburg Address, which are both etched into the memorial's opposing walls. Meanwhile, art history and architecture aficionados will enjoy admiring the building's striking design by Henry Bacon, complete with 38 Doric columns, 36 of which signify the states in the Union at the time Lincoln passed away.

Though most agree the Lincoln Memorial is worth checking out during the day or at night, many recent travelers say the most captivating time to visit is after dark when the attraction is lit and less crowded. Plus, evening temps will make peak summer visits more comfortable.

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Kevin Voelker Photography/Getty Images
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