There are lots of ways to explore the National Mall. If you’re traveling with children, check out the Smithsonian Museum Complex. For adults, head to the National Gallery of Art or the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden. Or, if you prefer live entertainment, catch a performance at the Kennedy Center.
We're a little biased, but a private tour bus is hands-down the best way to get around the national mall. It's like having your own personal guide who knows all the sights and can answer any questions you may have along the way. You'll see everything from the White House to the Washington Monument in one day, without the stress of busy subways and overly long walks.
Here are our 9 tips for visiting the national mall
#1. Know Where To Go
There are several entrances to the national mall. If you don't have a tour guide and you don't know where to go, ask a tourist information center or visitor's services office near the entrance you plan to enter. They can give you directions and tell you where to park.
#2. Plan Ahead
Without a tour agency, you'll need to plan ahead for parking and security checks. Parking garages often charge higher rates during peak hours. Make sure you know where you're going before you arrive.
Security checkpoints may be located at any point of entry. Be prepared to show ID and answer questions.
#3. Bring Cash
Bring cash for purchases and be sure to tip your server, living in DC is expensive! To this day, credit cards aren't accepted everywhere.
#4. Don't Drink Alcohol
Alcohol consumption is prohibited inside the national mall. This means no alcohol is allowed anywhere within the boundaries of the national mall.
This applies to alcoholic beverages, such as beer, wine, and liquor.
#5. Avoid Crowded Areas
Avoid crowded areas. Large crowds can lead to traffic jams and delays.
#6. Take Photos
Take pictures of everything you see. There are plenty of opportunities to capture amazing images.
#7. Dress Appropriately
Dress appropriately for the weather. Wear comfortable shoes and clothing that won't restrict movement.
#8. Leave Early
Leave early to avoid traffic congestion. Allow yourself extra time to reach your destination.
#9. Enjoy Yourself
Have fun exploring the national mall. Remember to bring back souvenirs and stories to share with others.
If you want to visit the national mall on your next trip to Washington D.C., consider booking a tour with us. We offer private day and night tours of the national mall in comfortable air-conditioned vans. Our drivers will take you through the city, pointing out famous landmarks and giving you an insider's view of the area.