Ashamed to Admit that I Had Never Been to this DC Landmark Before

I’ve lived in Washington, DC for many moons, but I hate to admit that until recently I had never been to the top of the Washington Monument. Walked by it? Yes, too many times to mention.  Flown kites on the lawn? Yep, sure have! Gone to the top? Well, I can finally lift my head and proudly proclaim that I have and should have done so long ago.

555' 5-1/8" tall and quite the looker

555′ 5-1/8″ tall and quite the looker

The Washington Monument, like the White House and Lincoln Memorial, is an image synonymous with our nation’s capital. An obelisk standing 555 plus feet tall and weighing just over 81,120 tons it is rather hard to ignore. OK, well, technically I did ignore it for years, but let’s focus on the present.  Smartly, we booked tickets in advance on the National Park Service website. On the day of our visit we got lucky with a clear and sunny day. The wait was minimal and the views at the top were awesome.

Clear crisp view of the Jefferson Memorial

Clear crisp view of the Jefferson Memorial

Before heading to the top structure, and again during your guided decent to the bottom,  the park rangers do a wonderful job of providing history of the structure. Construction on the monument began in 1848. After years of delays, lack of funds and political red tap (it is Washington after all) the landmark as we know it was completed in 1884. The first US President, General George Washington, finally had his memorial. Congratulations, George!

Towering Legacy

Historical tidbits can be found in the viewing towering

The floor at the top of the monument. Another 55 feet up to the tippy top.

The floor at the top of the monument. Another 55 feet up to the tippy top.

All of Washington, DC is laid out before you in ever direction.  You’ll see the Capitol Dome, White House, Lincoln and Jefferson memorials clearly.  The fall colors were wonderful to see but I’ll have to return again in the spring when Washington looks its finest all in bloom with pink cherry blossoms.

Lincoln Memorial in Fall

Planning on visiting the Washington Monument or other landmarks in DC area?  Start with the National Park Service website and save yourself a bit of time and disappointment.  There are a limited number of tickets distributed daily.

Is there something in your hometown that you’ve ignore?  A place or thing that tourist flock to that you’ve yet to visit? Tell us about it.

Categories: US TravelTags: , , , , , , , ,


  1. I see a trip to DC in my near future!


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