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Thomas Jefferson Memorial

West Basin Drive
Washington, DC 20024

Attractions>Sight



Situated on the South side of the Tidal Basin, in West Potomac park, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial is one of the cities most picturesque landmarks. Dedicated in 1943, on the 200th anniversary of Jefferson's birth, this simple circular classical white marble monument is in keeping with a style much favored by the third U.S. president, architect, scholar and political thinker. At its center, a towering 19-foot bronze portrait statue (the plaster one, in position until after WWII, is in the basement, too large to be removed intact) stands on a 6-foot pedestal. Panels are inscribed with excerpts of Jefferson's writing, including one that best sums up the man: "I have sworn upon the alter of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." The view from the steps is magnificent, especially at night when a halo of blue light crowns the structure. Cherry blossom season (March/April) bestows added beauty to the site. Park rangers give 15-minute talks several times an hour.


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Because the city was built from scratch, Washington's regular town plan is easy to grasp. Centered on Capitol Hill and its governmental monoliths, the District is divided into four quadrants - northeast, northwest, southeast and southwest. Dozens of broad avenues , all named after states, run diagonally across a standard grid of streets , meeting up at monumental traffic circles like Dupont Circle. North-south streets are numbered, east-west ones are lettered. There's no J Street, an intentional slight to early Supreme Court Justice John Jay, or X, Y or Z Street. I Street is often written Eye Street. Be sure to note the relevant two-letter code in any address (NW, NE, SW, SE), which shows its quadrant; 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW is a long way from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave SE.

Once in the city, stop at the DC Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center , Ronald Reagan Building, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW (Mon-Sat 8am-6pm, Sun noon-5pm; tel 202/328-4748), which can help with maps, tours, bookings and citywide information. Look for visitor information desks at the airports and Union Station. The White House Visitor Information Center , 1450 Pennsylvania Ave NW (daily 7.30am-4pm; tel 202/208-1631), supplies free maps and handy guides to museums and attractions; the most useful is the free Washington DC Visitors Guide .

 
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Popular Attractions
US Capitol Building
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Thomas Jefferson Memorial
Smithsonian Air-Space Museum
Lincoln Memorial
National Mall
Arlington National Cemetery
Mount Vernon Estate
Washington Monument

Featured Hotels
 •
L'enfant Plaza Hotel
   Walk (.4 mi) to Smithsonian
 • Sofitel Lafayette Sq.
   Bold interiors/unstuffy appeal,
   close to White House
 • The Churchill Hotel
   Historic character, 3 blocks to
   DuPont Circle




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Must See Washington DC 2017
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