The National Mall, Washington DC

The National Mall, Washington DC

On the Closed National Mall

Hello, all! I am absolutely giddy with excitement. I just returned from a trip to the US last weekend and I had THE BEST time exploring Washington DC and the surrounding areas while I was there. Although the government was shut down for the majority of my two weeks there, I was still able to get out in the amazing weather and see some pretty great sights.

I spent my first day out and about just checking out the beautiful architecture of the buildings situated on the National Mall. The mall was a bit creepy being so empty of tourists, picnickers, joggers, and wanderers.


Because the government was still shut down, none of the museums were open. The upside of this was that I was able to meander at will and just appreciate the beauty of the buildings without feeling pressure to hurry inside to check out the museum artifacts and installations.

The US Capitol

Capitol Reflection





The weather had been pretty nasty the first few days I was in the area, pouring down rain all day, every day. I was more than excited to get out of the hotel to do some exploring when the clouds departed and the glorious blue sky and sunshine made an appearance. The Capitol Building is gorgeous and the light was perfect when I arrived on the mall from the metro station, so I spend some extra time working to capture the perfect shot.

I even ran across a few Capitol police officers having a little fun on the job.


Washington Monument

Washington Collage

It is so heartbreaking to see this iconic DC monument covered in scaffolding and fully fenced to protect the public from any potential mishaps. The earthquake in 2011 has made the structure too unstable to allow tourists to fully appreciate it. I hope to make it back to DC when it reopens so I can climb to the top.

Garfield Monument



Grant Monument

Grant Collage

US Navy Monument


Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

MLK Collage

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial

FDR 2 Collage

FDR 1 Collage

FDR 3 Collage

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Jefferson Memorial

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I have to confess that I did have to hop a fence to get around to the other side of the tidal basin to get a closer look at this memorial. Unfortunately, I ran across an adorable fox stalking a squirrel on the way around and killed my camera battery taking the pics below. I’m not at all sorry.

Fox Collage

Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln CollageFortunately, I was in town after the shutdown ended. Honest Abe is one of my faves, and I’m so happy I was able to get a closer look and capture the beautiful pictures above.

The Supreme Court

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I ran across a small crowd protesting for civil rights and government assistance on my first sightseeing day. Lucky me!

The White House

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Museums & Architecture

Smithsonian Castle Collage







I was as overjoyed as that little guy to be able to tour the National Mall without all of the usual crowds and nonsense going on around me. I was even more overjoyed to be able to return and visit the Natural History Museum when the doors were reopened!







I really enjoyed my time in Washington DC, even with the government shutdown limiting my time in the museums. The weather was perfect, the crowds were minimal, and I was alone with my thoughts and my camera, able to enjoy myself and not worry about keeping to a specific itinerary. Each day that I spent out and about in DC was capped off with a beautiful sunset that made the architecture of this historic city all the more beautiful.


The beauty of it all – the history, the significance, the architecture, and the nature surrounding it all – took my breath away.

Have you been to Washington DC? What is your favorite part of the city?

Today I am so excited to be co-hosting Fresh Face Friday (and Blog Hop!) with the lovely Casey of We Took the Road Less Traveled. Scroll down and add your link and meet a few awesome new bloggers today!

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  • Bailey @ Becoming Bailey

    I love DC! I was there in 2009 for the Obama inauguration.


    • Megan Joy

      Lucky you! That sounds so exciting. I want to go back next spring to see the cherry blossoms.

  • Jenn

    DC is my favorite place and I am lucky to live so close to it 🙂 great photos 🙂

    • Megan Joy

      You are lucky! I would love to live in that area. There are so many things I didn’t see because I just didn’t have enough time to get to it all. I’ll definitely have to make a return trip.

      • Jenn

        There is definitely so much to see! I can’t count the amount of times I’ve been and still have not seen half of the things that I want to!

  • From Casinos To Castles

    I went to DC many, many moons ago! But I loved it and I love the patriotic feel that comes with just being there. You got some great photos! I love the one of the Capitol with the reflection in the water.

    • Megan Joy

      I was so excited to be there that I took 456 pictures. Whoa! It was really hard to narrow down my choices when I was writing this. I broke it up into two blogs just so I wouldn’t kill the internet with the file size.

  • Erica @ thebartlettsabroad

    Wow, those photos are beautiful. The advantage of not many people being around is clear! I love the one of the cops – even in uniform they’re human too, I sometimes forget! 😉

    • Megan Joy

      Thanks, Erica! I really enjoyed being there with fewer people to deal with. The cops were fun and also extremely helpful to tourists asking questions. Just a few weeks prior, the Capitol Police were involved in that unfortunate shooting of a mentally unstable woman trying to run them over. I say they earned the right to enjoy their day.

  • Talitha Haynes

    I have been to Washington D.C. twice. Its always to great to visit the Monument. I would like to go again to the MLK monument. Great blog.

    • Megan Joy

      You should! The location right on the tidal basin makes it a very peaceful place to visit, and it is absolutely beautiful. Thanks for stopping by!

  • TDashfield

    Hello from Sharefest! Great photos and a reminder of the stupidity of that whole shutdown thing. This reminds me that I really really need to get back to DC. Haven’t been in 5 years.

    • Megan Joy

      The shutdown was incredibly frustrating, and not just because I was trying to see the museums. I’m so glad that it’s over, but I’m worried about what will happen in the new year. Thanks for stopping by!

  • kgstyle

    These are amazing pics! I haven’t been to DC in so long and the last time I did, I don’t think I even took pics…

    Visiting from #SITSSharefest

    Keep it Touched,


    • Megan Joy

      Thanks! I really enjoyed my time there and have some great pics to show for it.

  • Wendy @

    Here’s a Dutch girls who’s never been in the US. Thanks for sharing! Looks like you had a great time. 🙂
    Stopping by from #SITSsharefest

    • Megan Joy

      I did! Thanks for stopping by!

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