Something that is highly underrated, and almost forgotten amongst the everyday stress and routines, are late night memorial walks. Learn to appreciate the beauty of the city you live in, on – if not every day- then at least a weekly basis.
When you live in a city like D.C, it’s easy to forget the beauty and calmness of a simple thing as memorial walking. You see the monuments and memorials almost every day, going to and from work, but when do you really take the time to appreciate them?
I’ve lived in the outskirts of D.C since January this year. I’m originally from Sweden and moved here to study. One of my favorite things to do used to be taking the metro to the National Mall and visit the monuments after sunset. My friends and I could walk around for hours just looking at the gorgeous illuminated monuments and memorials. I haven’t done that for a while now, and I ask myself why? It’s not because of the government shutdown, although that didn’t really help, or being too busy with school and work. It’s because I’ve lived here for almost a year, and nothing is really “new” anymore. It is so easy to forget the little things in your everyday life that makes the biggest difference. So take my advice, it doesn’t matter if you’ve lived here all your life or just moved here a year ago, it’s still worth remembering.
Our memorial walk takes about two hours if you don’t want to rush through it, so wear good shoes and don’t forget to take pictures!
Get off at the Smithsonian metro stop and see the Washington Monument, walk around it to the World War II memorial, an exceptionally beautiful memorial at night with the fountains all lit up. The next stop is the memorial for the 56 Signers of the Declaration of Independence, a small memorial on a little “island” in the Constitution Gardens pond. This is a memorial that many forget, but could easily be one of the best spots in D.C. Next up is Lincoln Memorial and the reflecting pond, which is also even more breathtaking at night.
Martin Luther King Jr Memorial is the fifth stop on this walk. It’s located in the northwest corner of the Tidal Basin and includes a 450 feet long inscription wall with some of MLK’s quotes.
Stop number six is the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, a memorial that is spread over 7.5 acres along Tidal Basin, where you walk through a sequence of four outdoor rooms that represent each of FDR’s terms of office.
The last and final stop is the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, which is always the one that’s least crowded in my opinion. Sit down at the edge of the water and just take in the atmosphere; it’s usually very quiet and peaceful. Safe to say, this is my favorite spot in D.C.
If you haven’t been on this walk at night, in my opinion, you have missed the heart of D.C. So what are you waiting for?