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Day Trip: Washington D.C.

By Staff | Jul 1, 2016

Editor’s Note: This is a continuing series on local places of interest to visit for little or no cost.

Many of us don’t take the time to travel into Washington, D.C. too often; but it’s a great way to spend some day trips at low cost.

While we usually travel to Silver Spring to catch the Metro, there is a lot of work going on with that mode of transportation this year. Instead, we have and will travel via the MARC train. We usually travel to Brunswick to catch the train, which is quite reasonable for a roundtrip ticket fare.

Once in D.C., the options are endless on what to do for the day.

Today we focus on some of the monuments you can visit at no cost.

The Washington Monument is a favorite of everyone. It was built to honor George Washington. The 555-foot marble obelisk towers over the city. It is free to go to the top; however, the line forms early. Reserved tickets can be purchased for a nominal fee online to make sure of entry.

Another memorial to visit is the Vietnam Wall. The mere volume of names inscribed on the wall will give you chills. It chronologically lists the names of more than 58,000 Americans who gave their lives in service to their country. The memorial covers two acres.

The World War II Memorial was dedicated on May 29, 2004 to honor the 16 million who served in the armed forces of the U.S. during World War II, the more than 400,000 who died and the millions who supported the war effort from home.

The Lincoln Memorial stands at the opposite end of the National Mall of the Washington Monument. Climbing the steps allows you a beautiful view of the Mall.

The building is in the form of a Greek Doric temple and contains a large seated sculpture of Abraham Lincoln and inscriptions of two well-known speeches by Lincoln, “The Gettysburg Address” and his Second Inaugural Address. The memorial has been the site of many famous speeches, including Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, delivered on Aug. 28, 1963, during the rally at the end of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

Another monument, the Jefferson Memorial, is a neoclassical building constructed on the Tidal Basin off the Washington Channel of the Potomac River. Construction of the building began in 1939 and was completed in 1943. The bronze statue of Jefferson was added in 1947.

In addition to these monuments, there are many smaller, but just as historically significant sites to see around the National Mall and its surrounding area.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial is situated on a four-acre site along the Tidal Basin, adjacent to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial and shares a direct line of sight between the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials.

All of these memorials can be seen by simply walking around the D.C. area. However, for those who wish to take an official tour and learn some of the information about each location, there are several possibilities in planning such a tour.

The National Park Serivce, who owns and maintains many of these treasures, can help set up tours. Or, for a fee, one can tour via bicycle, segway, bus or by foot. It’s as simple as going online and doing a search for D.C. tours. The website www.washington.org, offers some guidance as well as options of other things to do.

We will continue with some museum visits in our next installment of our Day Trip series. The possibilities are endless!