Going It Alone: Six Places to Visit By Yourself In D.C.

Going It Alone: Six Places to Visit By Yourself In D.C.

Many places in D.C. take on a different tone when experienced by yourself. Having only your mental commentary to accompany you, take a trip to these six places.


The Lincoln Memorial

Statue of Lincoln

Long held as one of America’s most famous landmarks, the Lincoln memorial is a humbling sight. If you’re like me, the statue of Lincoln will seem somehow taller than you had expected - regardless of how many photos you have seen. Seeing it alone is especially powerful because you are free to reflect for as long as you like on the life of Lincoln.

When you’ve finished reading the inscriptions and marveling at the statue itself, spend some time at the Reflecting Pool. If you're lucky, you'll see some baby ducklings and their mothers paddling around.


The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial

Martin Luther King, Jr. quote inscribed in the stone

The MLK Jr. Memorial is located a short walk from the Lincoln Memorial. It is important to see this one alone because it includes powerful quotes that demand to be carefully read and absorbed. Each quote is a reminder of how some words can be powerful enough to give you goosebumps.

After you’ve taken in the quotes and the statue of MLK Jr., take a walk along the water’s edge to the next sight.


The Jefferson Memorial

Statue of Thomas Jefferson


Located near the Lincoln and MLK Jr., the Jefferson Memorial is one of my favorite sights in Washington. Though any monument or memorial in D.C. is typically rife with meandering tourists, it is easy to sit on a bench in the memorial reflecting on Jefferson’s powerful inscriptions and feel as though you are the only one there.


Arlington National Cemetery

Headstones in the Rain, Arlington National Cemetery

If you plan to spend the day seeing the many important sights in Arlington, I recommend paying $13.50 for a tour. However, if you are in more of a solitary mood, I suggest walking through the cemetery alone. The massiveness of the cemetery adds all the more to its somber atmosphere. Even empty spaces are humbling because they hint at a future where they are occupied by headstones.


The National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden

Feet in the Fountain, National Gallery Of Art Sculpture Garden

If you enjoy people watching, this is the place to be on a hot day. You can take a break from your adventures and rest your feet in the fountain at the center. People gather here to cool off, eat and drink, and chat with each other.


The National Archives

National Archives Building


After your feet have dried, take a short walk to the National Archives Building. Photography isn’t allowed inside, but you’ll remember the experience nevertheless. Seeing the faded documents over the shoulders of tourists isn’t the most intimate viewing experience, but it is still humbling.

Take some time for yourself this summer and explore alone occasionally!


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