We did the walking for you to find the best of The Mall in Washington, D.C. Here are our most treasured museums, attractions, memorials, restaurants, and things to do in America's Backyard.
- Most of The Mall's museums close at 5:30 p.m. daily. Use the Metro stop by the Smithsonian Castle. If you drive, park in the deck behind Union Station (less than $20 per day), or try for one of the coveted free spaces near the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial or the Tidal Basin area.
- Make reservations in advance to tour the Capitol at www.visitthecapitol.gov.
- Need to get to the Lincoln end of The Mall from the galleries and museums? Save your feet and grab a cab for a one-way break (about $5).
- Are your kids plane crazy? The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Dulles Airport has more than 300 aircrafts too big to fit at The Mall location.
- Join the queue to see the flag early in the day to avoid a long wait.
photo: The Smithsonian in an Hour: If you have only a short time to explore The Mall, go to The Commons of the Smithsonian Castle. This small display features an artifact from each of the institution's museums.