More Gifts of Washington DC

Walking the National Mall

Washington DC Souvenirs are not hard to find with a walk around the mall but DON'T buy any, shop with us, and we'll mail them to your front door. With so much history in Washington DC, it can be hard to pick the best sights to see while you are on vacation. One unique way to see and learn about the history of this great nation is through walking tours. The National Mall Walking Tour is one that you should not miss.

The National Mall, which is listed as a national park, that is located in downtown DC. This park is part of the National Mall and Memorial Parks unit. The National Mall spans almost 2 miles and covers approximately 309 acres.

With its central location, the walking tour starts at the National Mall. The first stop along the way is the Lincoln Memorial. This building located on the west side of the mall and is pictured on the penny and the five dollar bill. French sculpture Daniel Chester created this larger than life depiction of Abraham Lincoln. This monument was built in 1922 and has Lincoln staring thoughtfully at the Capitol building. The 36 columns were designed to represent the states that were a part of the Union when Lincoln died. Lincoln's monument has been used as the backdrop of many famous speeches throughout the years. It was to be Martin Luther King; Jr delivered his "I have a dream..." speech. Washington monument

The Washington Monument is the next stop on this tour. Standing at 555 feet and made of marble, this is probably one of the better-known monuments in DC. In 1783, the Continental Congress wanted to create a monument to honor Washington. Congress was put off until 1833 due to the lack of money in this developing nation. A private group of citizens organized the Washington National Monument Society and raised enough money to construct it. Robert Mills won the design competition, and the construction started in 1848. The development stopped in the years during the Civil War and began again in 1878, but with a contractor. This pause caused there to be a slight change in the color of the marble that was used to construct the rest of the monument.  

The third stop on the tour is the Jefferson Memorial. It was modeled to resemble the Roman Pantheon since Thomas Jefferson had a love of classical architecture. John Russell Pope designed this monument in the 1930's. It is an open-air monument, and right in the middle of it is a bronze Thomas Jefferson. He is holding a rolled parchment which symbolized the Declaration of Independence one is most known writings.

The tour continues into the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. This place allows you to see the inner workings of how our nation's currency is produced. This nonstop printing press can print out billions of U.S. dollars, as well as postage stamps. As you continue the walking tour, you go through the area where dollar bill impressions are made on large cotton and linen sheets. The tour ends when the sheets of bills are cut and stacked then sent out to the Federal Reserve. Sorry there are no free sample given out during this tour.

The fourth stop is the Freer Gallery. Charles Lang Freer of Detriot left his huge collection of American and Asian art to the Smithsonian in 1919. And is on display in this elegant marble gallery.

The U.S. Botanic Garden is the next stop on this walking tour. This garden was established in 1820 by the U.S. Congress, making it the oldest botanic garden in North America. The tour allows you to take some time and just wonder around the garden to take in all the beautiful flowers.

The last stop on the tour is the National Gallery of Art. Andrew Mellon was the one who funded the construction of this gallery. It was opened in 1941, after being created by I.M. Pei. This monument was designed to be a trapezoid shape to make an architectural statement that also captures the boldness of modern art.