Sunrise Run in Washington DC

The view from the World War II Memorial leads to the Washington Monument, along the National Mall, minutes before the sun peeked out above the Capitol Building off in the distance.

The view from the World War II Memorial leads to the Washington Monument, along the National Mall, minutes before the sun peeked out above the Capitol Building off in the distance.

Wiehan attended a business conference in Washington DC in late August, and we took the opportunity to tick an item off our bucket list: a sunrise run along the National Mall. Check out our video here!

If you’re not from the DC area, perhaps you’re picturing a large, glamorous shopping mall? In actuality, the National Mall, owned and operated by the National Park Service, is a long stretch of grass that extends from the U.S. Capitol Building to the Lincoln Memorial. This 2-mile distance is bursting at the seams with history and culture. Sights include a list of Smithsonian Museums including the Natural History Museum, African American Museum, American History Museum, Hirshhorn Museum, Air and Space Museum, American Indian Museum, Smithsonian Castle and more! The National Gallery of Art is also on the Mall. All of the above have free entrance. In addition to the Lincoln and the Washington Monument, memorials along the Mall include the World War II Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, and more! The White House is also technically part of the Mall. Just behind the Capitol, you can also see the Library of Congress and the Supreme Court. So if you ever come visit DC, you have at least a week’s worth of content right here to explore, all within a walking distance.

The Reflecting Pool leads to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.

The Reflecting Pool leads to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.

We found that late August was the perfect time of year to visit DC, just as families across the country are home from summer vacations, prepping to go back to school, and just before school field trips to the nation’s capital begin to arrive. The streets and sidewalks were practically empty, on this sunny and warm day, compared to most other days in the spring, summer and fall. And the only other people we saw touring the city by foot so early were fellow joggers. The most popular time to visit DC is late March and early April, for the Cherry Blossom Festival. The trees, which fill the perimeter of the Tidal Basin with pops of white and pink at the end of winter, were gifted to the U.S. in 1912 from Japan. These, like jogging the National Mall, are also best enjoyed at sunrise, before rush hour hits the city. For a city packed with history and controversy, it sure can be breathtakingly beautiful in any of its four seasons, and we highly recommend a visit if you’ve never been!

- Christin

Tell us! What’s your favorite way to tour a city: Walking? Jogging? Tour Bus? Scooter? Segway?