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Washington D.C. - National Mall

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You've seen it explode countless times in movies and TV shows, you've seen it during presidential elections or in historical speeches such as "I Have A Dream." So why not go check it out in person? Washington DC's National Mall is filled with culture, history, and natural beauty, and it'll keep you entertained for days! From the museums to the monuments or simply the huge patches of grass perfect for a picnic, there is a little bit of everything for everyone! 

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The Capitol of the United States, a symbolic representation of D.C., was originally completed in 1800. It is where the United States Congress is situated and it is also the home of the legislative branch of the U.S. federal government. It is a beautiful building, and it looks equally as beautiful at night time all lit up, so we definitely recommend coming back after the sun sets.

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From here, you get a great view down the National Mall, which has the Washington Monument in the middle and the Lincoln memorial at the very end. As you will see, the White House is situated off to the right when you get to the Washington Monument. This is where our route begins. This route can be a lot shorter or longer depending on what you would like to check out. Ig you are interested in going inside the Capitol, you should check out http://www.visitthecapitol.gov.

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At Garfield Circle, right as you descend from the Capitol Hill, you will find the James A. Garfield Monument. President James A. Garfield served only 4 months seeing as he was assassinated in 1881. The Hop On Hop Off buses, like the one you can see above, usually make a stop here seeing as it is such a central place to begin your walk. The National Mall extends for a lot of kilometers, so if the weather isn't great,  you are with small children, or not a fan of walking (or biking which you can also do here) then one of these buses is the ideal option for you to see this whole area more comfortably.

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In front of the beautiful Capitol Reflecting Pool you will find the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial. This memorial stands honoring the 18th United States President who was also an American Civil War general. It is facing the Lincoln Memorial, who was Grant's wartime president. 

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One of my favorite things about this area is that it is full of museums and they are all free admission! During the summer months you may have to get tickets ahead of time (done for free online, they serve simply as a placeholder to avoid museums getting overcrowded), but the rest of the year you can simply walk in as you please. You can visit the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, which has a very cool planetarium, the National Gallery of Art, the National Museum of Natural History, amonsgt many others, and they are all in this area.

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The National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden is a very cute pit stop along our way. The sculputures are modern and very interesting, and pleasing for adult and children alike.

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Along your way you will find maps and signs like these ones. This will allow you to locate yourself as well as see what attractions are around you. On this sign you can see all of the museums in the area, as well as the most popular ones, ones good for families, art lovers, history lovers, etc. 

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The bronze building which can be seen in the picture above is the National Museum of African American History and Culture. It is fairly recent, established in 2003, and is now part of the Smithsonian.

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In front of you now you will find the unmissable Washington Monument. Not a lot of people know this but every morning they give out free tickets to go to the top and get a chance to see the view. The view from up there is absolutely mesmerizing, but to score yourself a ticket you should plan to be here around 8:00am.

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The Washington Monument was built to honor George Washington, the first Presdient of the United States as well as a commander-in-chief of the Continental Army. It is right between the Capitol and the Linconl Memorial to either side, and in front of it to the right you can find the White House if you walk for a bit. It is mostly composed of marble and granite, and was completed in 1888. According to the National Geodetic Sruvey, it is the world's tallest stone structure standing at 169 meters. 

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If you follow this route you will first encounter the Southern Facade of the White House, most commonly known as "the back." This area is usually crowded with tourits, and the picture opportunities here aren't as good as with the Northern Facade seeing as this view is far from the fences. It has been the home and office of the United States Presidents since 1800.

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This beautiful building which you can see standing right next to the White House is the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, or EEOB for short. In the past it was known as the State, War, and Navy Building and served for those functions, but now it is occupied by Donald Trump's Executive Office. It is also where the office of the Vice President is located. 

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The famouse Northern Facade of the White House, located on Pennsylvania Avenue, can be seen above. 

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When you walk back to the National Mall your next stop will be The World War II Memorial.  This is a beautiful oval design with stone columns. There is one for each of the states, and then one big one on each side for each of the oceans (Pacific and Atlantic). It is honoring the Americans who served as well as the civilians who took part in World War II.

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There are beautiful inscriptions and quotes on these columns. One of the them reads " They fought together as brothers-in-arms. They died together and now they sleep side by side. To them we have a solemn obligation."-Admiral Chester W. Nimitiz

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Up next is the Lincoln Memorial. This memorial was built in honor of Abraham Lincoln, America's 16th President. It is at the exact opposite end of the National Mall from the Capitol, and marks the end of this route. Coming here near sunset makes for very beautiful pictures across National Mall.

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It was finally completed and dedicated in 1922. On the walls you can find important historical texts which are very interesting and definitely worth the read. If you would like to learn more about this president, the monument features a mini library to one of the sides (it's very small so easy to miss) where you can buy little information booklets or even novels and books. We hope you enjoyed your walk around Washington D.C. with us! 

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