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Washington, D.C - Around Town : The Mall and Federal Triangle (part 2) - Best of the Rest, Items in Museum Stores

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A Morning Walk by the Waterfront

Begin at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial on West Basin Drive. A Tourmobile stop is directly in front of the memorial (parking is limited). The sweeping flow of this memorial carries visitors past waterscapes punctuated by engravings of the words of the president and evocative sculptures of his times.

On the left, leaving the memorial, is the little Japanese pagoda given to the city as a gesture of friendship by the mayor of Yokohama in 1958. Graceful Japanese cherry trees line the Tidal Basin bank beyond. Continue east across Inlet Bridge. About five minutes along the walkway stands the brilliant Jefferson Memorial , noted for its delicate design in spite of its size. Looking out from the steps here to the city is a wonderful experience.

Continue around the waterfront, cross Outlet Bridge, and bear to the left to the little boathouse, where you can rent a paddleboat for a unique view of the Tidal Basin . If you prefer to stay on dry ground, continue north toward the Washington Monument and cross Maine Avenue leading to Raoul Wallenberg Place. On the right is the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. Before taking in the exhibits, gird yourself with some kosher fare in the Museum Café (see United States Holocaust Memorial Museum). Then spend the afternoon in remembrance of lives tragically lost under the Nazi regime.

Best of the Rest

  1. World War II Memorial

    This memorial includes 12 bas-relief sculptures depicting America at war. Inscriptions at the base of the fountains mark key battles .

    World War II Memorial
  2. Enid A. Haupt Garden

    These formal gardens contrast scale, color, and scent .

    • 1000 Jefferson Drive, SW

    • Open 7am–5:45pm daily

    • Dis. access

    • Free

  3. National Archives of the United States

    Home to the foundation documents of the nation, including the Declaration of Independence.

    • 7th St and Constitution Ave, NW

    • Dis. access

    • Free

    National Archives façade
  4. Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial

    The inclusion of FDR’s dog in the statuary indicates the human scale of this tribute .

    • Ohio Drive, SW

    • Open 8am–midnight daily

    • Dis. access

    • Free

  5. Jefferson Memorial

    Words of the Declaration of Independence are engraved on the wall here .

    Tidal Basin

    • Open 8am–midnight daily

    • Dis. access

    • Free

  6. National Museum of the American Indian

    This museum is a national center for Native American culture .

    • 4th St and Independence Ave, SW

    • Open 10am–5:30pm daily

  7. Korean War Veterans Memorial

    The 19 stainless steel sculptures in this memorial to the 1953 Korean “police action” wrenchingly evoke the realities of war.

    • French Drive, SW

    • Open 8am–midnight daily

    • Dis. access

    • Free

  8. Bureau of Engraving and Printing

    Workers here create and print all US paper currency – 37 million notes a day worth nearly $700 million.

    • 14th St at D St, SW

    • Tours 9am–10:45am & 12:30pm–2pm Mon–Fri

    • Dis. access

    • Free

  9. National Museum of African Art

    An accessible and absorbing collection – be sure to see the pre-Colonial art of Benin.

    • 950 Independence Ave, SW

    • Open 10am–5:30pm daily

    • Dis. access

    • Free

  10. Old Post Office Pavilion

    The view from the tower here is among the finest in the city. A popular food court and shops draw hordes of visitors.

    • 12th St and Pennsylvania Ave, NW

    Tower

    • open 9am–4:45pm Mon–Sat, 10am–5:45pm Sun

    • Dis. access

    • Free

Items in Museum Stores

  1. Smithsonian Teddy Bear

    This is the Smithsonian’s commemorative version of the Ideal Toy Company’s 1902 bear, based on a famous Washington Star cartoon showing “Teddy” Roosevelt with a bear cub. 

  2. Compass

    The Lewis and Clark expedition organised by Thomas Jefferson in 1803 was able to follow rivers much of the way, but depended on a compass like this one for guidance. Formerly in the National Museum of American History.

  3. Ceramic Teapots

    Ceramic teapots in various colours, styles, and sizes. The most popular are the decorative mini teapots. In the National Museum of Natural History.

  4. Dinosaur mania

    The ultimate action figures, plus many genuinely informative as well as fun activities and kits, are found in the Tricera Shop here in the National Museum of Natural History.

  5. Leather Flight Jackets

    Good-quality leather jackets recreate the genuine early flying jackets, and the selection and prices are reasonable. In the National Air and Space Museum.

  6. Wooden Figures and Tableware

    These marvelous carvings capture African skill and vision in the use of wood. In the National Museum of African Art.

  7. Star Theater

    A fun and educational simulation of the planetarium experience, capturing at least some of the excitement of the heavens.In the National Air and Space Museum.

  8. Geodes and Fossils

    The Gem and Mineral store has beautiful examples of geodes – sparkling crystals grown within hollows of other stones – and of fossils embedded in various matrixes. In the National Museum of Natural History.

  9. Chrysanthemum Satin Kimono

    One of the many magnificent fabric creations available at these two Oriental museum stores. They also have unusual novelties such as haiku refrigerator magnets. In the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery.

  10. Freeze-Dried Astronaut Ice Cream

    Everyone should try this at least once. It has an odd texture but it really is a dessert treat for space-farers. In the National Air and Space Museum.

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