Are you ready to head to the nation’s capital for a long weekend or to see all the national monuments? Now is the time to go as we have found cheap flights from Chicago to Washington DC for only $143 RT, on American Airlines with flights available during the peak summer travel season. Valid for travel from late June – early August. Availability is limited. Must purchase at least 21 days in advance of departure. It’s easy to ride the Metro or hop on a bike and explore all that DC has to offer. Walk the halls of free Smithsonian museums, paddle on the Potomac River or sit back on a double-decker tour bus and soak up some history. Local shops, funky marketplaces and people-watching hot spots beckon by midday, as nighttime gives way to multi-course dinners and drinks from local breweries. However you spend your time here, make it count.
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Beyond the traditional D.C. attractions — the Smithsonian museums, the U.S. Capitol, the monuments — you’ll find fresh food, arts and nightlife scenes. You can spend your morning perusing the city’s cache of farmers’ markets and contemporary exhibits and your afternoon taking in the scenery from the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument before catching a show at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. If you plan to visit at the end of March and into April, don’t miss wandering along the Tidal Basin, where you’ll find thousands of pink cherry blossoms bursting into bloom, not to mention excellent conditions for exploring the city’s outdoor spaces and museums.
Our favorite — the Lincoln Memorial
Although the Lincoln Memorial is just one of the District’s many monuments, the larger-than-life Honest Abe is also among travelers’ favorites. History buffs might enjoy the man of few words’ (albeit powerful words) two famous speeches, the second inaugural address and the Gettysburg Address, which are all etched into the memorial’s opposing walls. Meanwhile, art history and architecture aficionados will enjoy admiring the building’s striking design by Henry Bacon, complete with 36 Doric columns that signify the states in the Union at the time Lincoln passed away.
Though most agree the Lincoln Memorial is a worthwhile visit by day or night, many recent travelers say the most captivating time to visit is after dark. One TripAdvisor user describes the memorial as “moving, powerful, reverent, and gorgeous.” According to another TripAdvisor reviewer: “It doesn’t matter how many times you have seen it in pictures and movies […]. One can’t visit D.C. and not see Abe.”
The Lincoln Memorial is free and can be viewed 24 hours a day, but keep in mind that the site is only staffed by national park rangers from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. You’ll find the memorial situated at the eastern end of the National Mall. For further details, consult the National Park Service’s official Lincoln Memorial page.