But you can still get a pretzel!

Yesterday, Good Morning America announced The National Mall in Washington, DC to be one of the 7 Wonders of America. Since I live in DC, I’ll have to admit that I was pretty surprised. But then again, I’m not. The National Mall and Memorial Park, the district’s biggest tourist hub is actually a great walk. On any beautiful day, Washingtonians can be found runing down the dirt paths that interlink each of the monuments, (Although, note that joggers are prohibited to run IN the memorials or a security guard will shout at you… not that this has ever happened to me… =), picnicking on the side lawns with their dogs, or playing tour guide to their visiting guests.

Three things to know about The National Mall:
1. Wear your walking shoes: Walk the perimeter of the Mall (not including walking into the memorials) is approximately 5 miles. Take the blue or yellow Metro line and jump off at the Smithsonian stop. When you surface, you’ll be smack dab in the middle of the Mall. From there, start walking! The Jefferson Memorial is at the far end of the Tidal Basin. Although it’s a farther walk, it’s a beautiful memorial with a great photo of the Washington Memorial. Be prepared to spend a couple of hours just walking and taking pictures.

2. All federal memorials and museums are FREE: Yep, it’s the best place to take your big ass family for a cost-efficient vacation. Plus it’s a big ‘ol history lesson. Be sure to check the schedule of events for the national mall. There’s lots of free walking and bike tours that allows you to take your head out of that Lonely Planet guide book and let someone else do the teaching.

3. More museums than you ever wanted to visit: The beautiful thing about The National Mall is that the majority of the Smithsonian Museums line the edge of the mall. Fly off into Air and Space and then come back and join the prehistoric dinosaurs for lunch. Tired from walking all day? Grab a hot dog from the vendor in front of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. For a small fee, buy a ticket at the IMAX theater in the National Museum of Natural History and relax in AC and 3D glasses and be blown away by nature.

(Find more information about the National Mall in the WanderRegions section of our site.)

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