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Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial - An Overview


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial
© Elvert Barnes via Flickr


The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial honors the man behind the freedom movement who spead a message of freedom, equality, justice and love. It is the first on the National Mall devoted, not to a United States President or war hero, but a citizen activist for civil rights and peace.


On August 28, 2011, the 48th anniversary of the groundbreaking March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial was dedicated. Dr. King’s message of love and tolerance through the means of his powerful gift of speech and eloquent writings inspire to this day. His inspiration broke the boundaries of intolerance and he became a symbol, recognized worldwide of the quest for civil rights of the citizens of the world.

When to Visit:

The public may visit the park 24 hours a day. Rangers are on duty at the Memorial Sites to answer questions from 9:30 A.M. to 11:30 P.M. daily. Washington, D.C. has four distinct seasons with summer typically hot and humid and winter typically cold and full fo snow. Sprong and fall tend to be mild and a good time to visit.

Getting There:

The memorial is part of the National Mall & Memorial Parks. If you are driving into Washington, D.C., Interstate 395 provides access to the Mall from the South. Interstate 495, New York Avenue, Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway, George Washington Memorial Parkway, and the Cabin John Parkway provide access from the North. Interstate 66, U.S. Routes 50 and 29 provide access from the West. U.S. Routes 50, 1, and 4 provide access from the East.

For visitors flying in from other states, you have three major airports to choose from: Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport, and Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

Washington, D.C. public transportation is also a good idea if you have the option. You can avoid traffic and save money on parking! The nearest Metro station to this site is Smithsonian at 12th Street and Independence Avenue, SW; allow about 10-15 minutes for the walk.


There is no entrance fee to visit the memorial.

Things to Do:

Visit all the memorials: The National Mall is full of history and places to explore, including the Washington Monument, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Lincoln 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, the National Mall, East and West Potomac Parks, Constitution Gardens, 60 statues, and numerous other historic sites, memorials, and parklands.

East Potomac Golf Course: This course is actually part of the National Park System. East Potomac features three courses with varying features and levels of difficulty.

East Potomac Tennis Center: Located on Hains Point, which is a short walk from the National Mall, the center is open year round with both outdoor and indoor courts.

Tidal Basin Paddle Boats: View the Jefferson Memorial and Japanese Cherry Trees from the water!

Become a Junior Ranger: Pick up an activity book at any memorial or talk to any ranger. You even can print one out and bring it with you to the park.


There are no accommodations at the memorial. Visitors can find numerous hotels, motels, and inns within Washington, D.C.


Pets are allowed within the National Mall but are prohibited inside the Washington Monument, the Jefferson, Lincoln and World War II Memorials, Ford’s Theatre, and the Petersen House. Guide dogs for visually or hearing-impaired persons are allowed. Pets on a leash are allowed in the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial.

Pets must be physically restrained at all times either by crating, caging or on a leash no more than six feet in length.

Contact Info:

By Mail:
National Mall and Memorial Parks
900 Ohio Drive SW
Washington, DC 20024

Phone: (202) 426-6841

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