Pros: One of our nations symbols, free to enter, great location, awesome photo opportunity
Cons: lights go out at 11pm; not in the best of areas
The Bottom Line: One of the landmarks of America. You simply MUST visit the Lincoln Memorial if you visit Washington, DC.
Since I went to college in Washington, DC, I spent a lot of time visiting all the sites I possibly could. The Lincoln Memorial was only 6 blocks from me, which was absolutely awesome. On nice days, I would either go to Einstein (the memorial across Constitution Ave. from Lincoln) or sit on the steps where Clint Eastwood sat in the film In The Line of Fire.
The view from the steps of Lincoln is absolutely breath-taking. The first time I looked out over Washington was in 1993, when I was visiting for something called Presidential Classroom. Let me tell you, I fell in love. You can see it all: The Reflection Pool and Washington Monument surrounded by cherry blossoms, the Vietnam Memorial Wall, both of the Vietnam Memorial Statues and the Capitol Building. More often than not, your pictures from this view will come out looking like post cards.
Entrance to the Lincoln Memorial is absolutely free. This national attraction is also "open" 24 hours a day. There is always a guard on duty, but the lights go out at 11:00pm. It isn't recommended that you go to this monument after 11:00pm as it isn't all that safe. Granted, there are usually lots of people still milling around at that hour, but it is quite dark. Craig and I visited most recently in the Fall, just when the sun was setting. It was wonderful.
There are always vendors of some kind or another sitting in little booths or tents. You can buy all sorts of souveniers, including shirts, posters, and even POW bracelets. More often than not, money from your purchases is donated to various causes regarding veterans.
It is absolutely crazy in the area of the Lincoln on Memorial Day-- actually on the entireNational Mall-- so it's a good idea not to go then. You see, there is an annual Harley Davidson Biker Rally held down there, and the place is just packed. I believe that this event is called Rolling Thunder. Unless you're a biker, you don't really want to be involved. You especially don't want to bring the kids.
Once inside the Lincoln Memorial, you will be astounded by the magnitude of Lincoln. He looks so incredibly powerful up there, and it makes you proud to be an American. Oh, don't forget to do the American thing and stop by the gift shop on your way out!
Here's a little secret about Lincoln: If you walk in and go to your right, you'll see some doctrine written on the wall (I think it's the Emancipation Proclamation). On one of the three columns, you'll find the word "FUTURE". Look very closely at that "F"... The artist accidentally imprinted an "E", so the word is "EUTURE"!!! She fixed it, but you can still see the bottom slash. The poor artist was so embarrassed that she didn't leave her name on her project.
Best Suited For: Students Best Time to Travel Here: Anytime