Once located under the Potomac River, this site housed naval office buildings from 1917-1970 and was later dedicated by President Nixon in honor of the Bicentennial of the American Revolution. In July of 1982, the 56 Signers of the Declaration of Independence Memorial was dedicated on the small island in the lake. The park often hosts an annual naturalization ceremony for new citizens.
Dedicated in May of 1976 and designated a separate park unit in 1982.
When to Visit:
Constitution gardens is open 24 hours a day. Rangers for this area may be found at the nearby Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
Vietnam Veterans Memorial is part of the National Mall and Memorial Parks and is located at the western end of the National Mall, adjacent to the Lincoln Memorial in West Potomac Park. The memorial rests just north of the Korean War Veterans Memorial, across the Reflecting Pool.
For visitors driving into Washington, D.C., keep in mind that parking is limited and can get expensive. Public transportation is a great option. However, Interstate 395 provides access to the National Mall and Memorial Parks from the South. Interstate 495, New York Avenue, Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway, George Washington Memorial Parkway, and the Cabin John Parkway will all provide access from the North. Interstate 66, U.S. Routes 50 and 29 provide access from the West, while U.S. Routes 50, 1, and 4 provide access from the East.
If you really want to limit your carbon footprint, there are many major bicycle trails that flow through Washington, D.C. There are also several Metro train and bus routes from the suburban areas surrounding the city.
If you are flying in from out of town, there are three major airports that serve the area: Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport, and Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. All have limousine, taxi, or Metro services available that will connect with the National Mall and Memorial Parks.
There are no fees or permits required to visit the park. However, if you are planning a special event, such as a demonstration or would like to get permission for filming or photography, the National Mall & Memorial Parks Division of Parks Programs does issue 4,000 permits a year for special use. You will need to apply for a special permit, which typically costs $50. Call (202) 245-4715 for more information.
Things to Do:
The memorial is located within the National Mall which holds many amazing sites to visit, including: Washington Monument, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, Ulysses S. Grant Memorial, D.C. War Memorial, World War II Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, George Mason Memorial, Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House, East and West Potomac Parks, and Constitution Gardens. There are also 60 statues, and numerous other historic sites, memorials, and park lands to explore.
There is no lodging within the National Mall & Memorial Parks. However, Washington, D.C. has many hotel, motels, and lodging to choose from.
The National Mall has specific pet retrictions. Pets are not allowed inside the Washington Monument, the Jefferson, Lincoln, and World War II Memorials, except for guide dogs for visually or hearing-impaired persons. Pets are allowed in the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial if they are leashed. Keep your pet restrained at all times by crating, caging or on a leash no more than six feet in length. Also be sure to respectful of the parks and clean up any waste.
Areas of Interest Outside the Park:
Ford's Theatre National Historic Site: On April 14, 1865, President Lincoln was shot while attending a show here. Museum contains portions of the Olroyd Collection of Lincolniana.
Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park: Preserving America's colorful Canal era and transportation history, the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park is 184.5 miles of adventure.
Anacostia Park: Anacostia Park is one of Washington, DC's largest recreation areas with more than 1200 acres stretching along the Anacostia River from the Frederick Douglas Memorial Bridge to the DC/Maryland border.
Rock Creek Park: One of the largest and oldest urban parks in the U.S. (established in 1890), located in Washington, DC.
National Mall and Memorial Parks
900 Ohio Drive, SW
Washington, DC 20024
Park Information (202) 426-6841
Park Headquarters (202) 485-9880