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  • Address: Independence Avenue SW, at 23rd Street NW, National Mall
  • Hours: Open 24 hours a day
  • Admission: Free

Here's a local secret: if you're ever stuck in a thunderstorm while wandering around the Mall, make a dash for the Lincoln Memorial. Thunder seems to rumble like clockwork nearly every 4th of July, and everyone in the know takes shelter under the marble dome, crouching near the foot of the enormous chair in which a gigantic Lincoln holds court.

In a city of icons, the Lincoln Memorial is truly a highlight. It's the classicism evoked by the Greek temple design, or the way the memorial so perfectly anchors the Mall's west end, or maybe just the stony dignity of Lincoln's gaze and the power of his speeches engraved in the wall. Nonetheless, a visit here while gazing over the 2,000ft(600m) Reflecting Pool is a defining D.C. moment.

For these are the steps where lovers kiss, schoolchildren lounge, protesters gather, and Martin Luther King Jr’s "I Have a Dream" speech seared itself into the national conscience. This stunning location is also a favorite spot for Hollywood blockbusters. Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn discussed girls on the steps in the Wedding Crashers, while Reese Witherspoon's Elle Woods sought Lincoln's advice in Legally Blonde 2.

Practical Info

The Lincoln Memorial anchors the west end of the National Mall, perfectly balancing the long axis of the Mall, its back fronting the Potomac River. Like other attractions on the Mall, the memorial is accessible via public transportation. A visit here also serves as a respite from visiting museums, while still retaining the D.C. experience.

Tours & Tickets

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4.5 star rating: Recommended 742 Reviews

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4.5 star rating: Recommended 43 Reviews

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4.5 star rating: Recommended 68 Reviews

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4.5 star rating: Recommended 47 Reviews

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4.5 star rating: Recommended 7 Reviews

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4.5 star rating: Recommended 11 Reviews

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