• J.J. and Soo

What's Free in D.C. Walking Tour

Washington, D.C. is one of the first cities J.J. and I traveled to as a young married couple. Every spring for the past 10 years, J.J. has toured America's 8th graders throughout our nation's capital, and every year I am lucky enough to join him on at least one or two trips. As a licensed tour guide, he is an expert of the rich history of Washington, D.C., finding the perfect trip shoe for miles upon miles of walking, and locating the nearest bathroom. We've truly been spoiled with the opportunity to visit and explore pieces of our American history.


So, today, we wanted to list some of our favorite FREE D.C. must-see's in relative location that do not need appointments.


WWII Memorial


Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Vietnam Veteran's Women's MemorialLincoln Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting PoolKorean War Veteran's Memorial

The Freedom Wall at the WWII Memorial hosts 4,048 stars representing 100 American soldiers per star that died fighting for our freedom.

Veterans, family, friends, and anonymous grateful hearts leave gifts of all kinds at the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial. Every night park rangers collect the memorabilia which stays in the care of the National Parks Service. One of the most unique gifts left was a Harley Davidson.


Find the misspelled word on the north wall of the Lincoln Memorial in Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address.

Arlington National Cemetery


Iwo Jima Memorial


In peak season, the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier occurs every 30 minutes. Don't miss the Memorial Amphitheater. There's also a public bathroom.


Martin Luther King, Jr.


Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial


Jefferson Memorial


There's a walking trail along the Tidal Basin that leads from the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial to the Jefferson Memorial, but be careful! The path gets narrow. Bathrooms available at the FDR and Jefferson Memorials. They're not always clean, but in case of emergency!



There is an incredible view of the Washington Monument and the White House from the steps of the Jefferson Memorial. In our opinion, it's prettiest at dusk.


National Mall

The National Mall hosts the majority of the Smithsonian Museums, minus the National Zoo, which is also part of the Smithsonian family. The following are some of our favorites and do not require a timed entrance ticket.

National Gallery of Art


Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum


Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History


Smithsonian National Museum of American History


National Museum of the American Indian


**The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the newest Smithsonian on the National Mall and because of its popularity, needs tickets in advance. However, it's worth the extra planning!


As you can see, the list could go on and on and on. Think of this as a Washington D.C. sampling plate of our favorite free D.C. must-see's in relative location that do not need appointments.

And if you live in D.C. and have more to add, please share!