Best way to see the monuments at night?


#1

My family is going to DC this October. We're two adults, and 2 kids (12 and 9).

I would like to spend one night doing a nighttime monuments tour. There seem to be a lot of them available. Has anyone done one of these? Any recommendations (or tour companies to avoid)?

I've also seen a couple that offer a hop-on/hop-off bus tour during the day, and kick in a set nighttime tour. Anybody have experience with that?

I'm interested in the monuments on the mall and nearby (Lincoln, Jefferson, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, MLK, FDR, Korean War), as well as the Iwo Jima memorial. I would like to be able to spend a little time at each, without feeling rushed to get back on the bus, or whatever.

I also don't want to spend a fortune. Is this an impossible dream?


#2

There is a better option than the hop-on/off buses. There is the D.C. Circulator which goes all of the city, particularly the tourists spots. It is $1 per ride. One of the best deals in the city (after the free museums).

You can find the details here http://www.dccirculator.com

We walked the monuments and then took a cab back to our hotel. We started at the White House to Washington Monument, then towards Lincoln Memorial, etc. to Jefferson. The Iwo Jima is a separate site.

I have a 9 year old and he did fine walking the route, I pre-planed to take the cab back to the hotel, but the bus will go right the Jefferson Memorial . We didn't do the night tours. But we did arrive in the city at night and we were in a cab and we saw the monuments then. Beautiful. If I wanted to do the night tour, I would probably take the Circulator, if it is running after dark. It should be in October. And plan on a cab.

We just got back two weeks ago from our trip. We didn't spend a fortune, except on the room.


#3

We were there in April 2016 and did this night tour:
https://www.trolleytours.com/washington-dc/night-tours
It was very well done, the driver had lots of information to share with us. We were picked up at our Virginia hotel and then returned there at the end of the night. The price was reasonable and we really enjoyed seeing the monuments at night. I would not use this as your only way to see the monuments, would still go to the Mall in the daylight. Hope this is helpful.


#4

I live here and biking the monuments after dark is one of my favorite "DC" things to do. Head to a Capital Bikeshare station, get a 1-day pass and just make your way around with a smartphone map. Everything you mentioned is very close together with a bike - just circle the Tidal Basin and hit up Vietnam/Korea on the way back. If you're up for it you can ride across Memorial Bridge and up to Iwo Jima, then find a CaBi dock in Arlington.

The bikes have lights and the area around the monuments is well-lit and safe for cycling. Just be mindful of pedestrians in and around the monuments.


#5

Definitely do the Old Town Trolley night tour. Yes, it is expensive. Yes it is worth it because of the premium parking spots they get. The guides are great, you get to get off and they actually count people on and off so they know who they are waiting for. We got picked up at our hotel as well.

And the circulator is the best deal there is in the city. We love it and used it every day we were ther in April and I would use it again. We stayed at a hotel by the zoo, took the metro into the Union station usually, got some food, then walked outside and hopped on the circulator.