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Things to do in The Mall

From classic must-see sights to insider hot spots and local haunts, there are countless things to do in The Mall. How do you decide? Start with our travel guide and get our favorite The Mall attractions and activities—shops, museums, parks, nightclubs, coffee shops, tours, and more.

Our international team of editors and writers handpick the best things to do in The Mall to help travelers discover authentic, local experiences. Whether a hidden boutique with handcrafted products, a popular local festival, a bakery with a cult following, or a picnic-worthy park, Travel + Leisure guides the way, providing information and inspiration. From beaches and bars to cultural attractions and up-and-coming neighborhoods, our list will help you make the most of your romantic getaway, family vacation, or trip with friends. Below find Travel + Leisure’s top picks for what to do in The Mall.

  • Bureau of Engraving and Printing

    Established in 1862, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP), a block-shaped structure of steel made with fireproof concrete, limestone, and gra... More
  • Freer and Sackler Galleries

    Located on the National Mall and connected by an underground exhibit, the Freer and Sackler Galleries form the Smithsonian's museums of Asian art. ... More
  • Jefferson Memorial

    The author of the Declaration of Independence is celebrated here with a gleaming Neoclassical temple inspired by the Roman Pantheon (one of Jeffers... More
  • Lincoln Memorial

    When Martin Luther King Jr. stood on the steps here in 1963 and said, "I have a dream," he spoke with Lincoln's antislavery legacy quite literally ... More
  • National Air and Space Museum

    The world's most-visited museum is heavenly for adults and a must for kids. A seemingly endless assemblage of artifacts from the history of flight—... More
  • National Archives

    Pieces of paper, no matter how famous, aren’t quite as fun to look at as other sights in the neighborhood. Still, seeing the original Declaration o... More
  • National Gallery of Art

    The two architecturally opposed buildings that make up this museum jointly contain one of the world’s most extraordinary art collections. The domed... More
  • National Museum of African Art

    The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art is dedicated to displaying, preserving, and educating the public about African art. Located in a m... More
  • National Museum of the American Indian

    Opened in 2004, the National Museum of the American Indian, part of the Smithsonian Institute, is located on the National Mall just across from the... More
  • Smithsonian American Art Museum

    Housed alongside the National Portrait Gallery in the Old Patent Office Building, an impressive Greek Revival structure built in 1868, the Smithson... More
  • Smithsonian Museums

    The 19 museums of the Smithsonian Institution are some of the most visited attractions in the DC area. The museums are known for their collections ... More
  • United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

    The mesmerizing and thoroughly wrenching exhibits here are required visits for any American wanting a better understanding of the Holocaust. The mu... More
  • Vietnam Veterans Memorial

    Located on the National Mall between the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is dedicated to the American men a... More
  • Washington Monument

    Five hundred and fifty-five feet of monolithic tribute, the monument to our first president stands in the center of the Mall like a watchtower over... More
  • World War II Memorial

    The World War II Memorial was dedicated on May 29, 2004 and commemorates the service and sacrifice of Americans in the war. The memorial sits on th... More

Explore things to do in Washington, D.C. for more options.

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