See the Washington, D.C. Monuments by Moonlight

Washington, D.C. has so many attractions to fill an itinerary. My family spent hours in the museums, but the museums all close at 5 pm. We still wanted to explore the city, so I started the hunt for evening activities. I found a fun way to continue touring that also saved tired feet. My family discovered the Monuments by Moonlight Trolley Tour and thought it was a great way to see the Washington, D.C. monuments at night and a fun addition to our visit.

Old Town Trolley
Old Town Trolley is an open air trolley that offers both day and night tours. We chose the Monuments by Moonlight Night Tour. The trolley leaves from Union Station at either 6:00, 7:00, 7:30, or 8:00 pm. The tour runs about two and a half hours. Convenient hotel pickup and drop-off was available at the hotel where we were staying, Capital Hilton.

Washington, D.C. Monuments on the Tour
Our tour of the Washington, D.C. monuments at night started by driving down the National Mall past the Capitol and the Smithsonian museums. The trolley driver was informative and entertaining. He shared facts and stories about what we were seeing.

We drove past the Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial and made the first stop at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Martin Luther King Jr. Memorials. The driver let us off the trolley to tour both monuments.

After boarding the trolley again we continued past the Kennedy Center and over the Potomac River to Arlington Cemetery. We stopped at the Iwo Jima Memorial to observe and take more photos.

Washington DC monuments at night - Iwo Jima Memorial
See the Washington, D.C. monuments at night by trolley tour. The Iwo Jima Memorial in Arlington was stunning!

The last stop was at the Lincoln Memorial. We got off the trolley to tour the Lincoln Memorial as well as the Vietnam and Korean War Memorials. The tour concluded by driving past the White House and our driver bringing us back to Capital Hilton.

Perfect for Families
This tour was terrific for our family because we could easily see all of the memorials without too much walking after a long day of touring the museums. The monuments are also outstanding and so different at night! They are lit up beautifully, and as I was told by D.C. locals, the monuments at night are a must. Also, there are not the crowds at night that there are in the daytime. My family thought the Monuments by Moonlight tour was the perfect way to end our day in D.C.

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Know Before You Go

  • Many of the monuments and memorials surrounding the National Mall are open 24 hours a day!
  • Driving through the city isn’t recommended – walking or taking the Washington Metro are great ways to navigate the city.
  • Be prepared for numerous security checks if you are visiting any government buildings!

This post was written by Hilton Suggests Team Member, Tricia P. Are you interested in traveling to Washington DC? Let us know if we can help you with any other recommendations. Tweet us for more great local travel tips!

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