As I was trying to come up with a fun bike plan for a day in DC, I realized that there are some memorials that our family has never visited. It seems the more popular ones get most of the attention, and the lesser ones pretty much get ignored. I decided that our family was finally going to pay attention to some of the lesser-known memorials in DC.
Have I mentioned that in order to get my family to agree to most of my plans, I may have to resort to some form of bribery? And I knew the perfect bribery for this bike adventure: breakfast at Eastern Market. Sure enough, Sterling and Natalie both jumped on board when they heard about breakfast. I’m not even sure they listened to the plan for the rest of the day—all they heard was “breakfast at Market Lunch”. I’m not much of a breakfast person, but every other person in my family sure is.
As we often do when we bring our bikes to DC, we parked on Hains Point. Although from Hains Point to Eastern Market would be quite a walk, on a bike it’s not bad at all—even with the hill past the Capitol. Besides, I knew that we’d need all the riding we could do to burn off the calories from our breakfast. Hains Point is probably my favorite place to park when we have the bikes because if you park out far enough, or in a lot on Ohio Drive, you can stay there all day for free. And I love free parking!
So, our day began at Eastern Market with breakfast, and I had two happy campers…or bikers at least. During breakfast, I pulled out the map I had brought, which had the layout of our day’s adventure to visit the lesser-known monuments.
Here is a list of our stops:
1. National Law Enforcement Memorial—memorial to those federal, state and local officers who have died in the line of duty. Their names line the walls.
2. United States Navy Memorial—I’ve driven past this memorial a million times, but never stopped and appreciated it. I finally got to do that.
3. Albert Einstein Memorial—We have visited this one many times before, but I just had to include it in our day because it’s such a fun one to climb on.
4. Arts of War and Arts of Peace—I have never even heard of these memorials before. Two of these bronze statutes (Arts of War) flank both sides of the Memorial Bridge if you are facing Arlington from DC. The other two (Arts of Peace) can be seen if you are facing Rock Creek Parkway from the Lincoln Memorial traffic circle. You have probably seen them before but didn’t know what they were; they are the statues of horses and men.
5. DC World War I Memorial—this too was a memorial I had driven by and walked by many times, but I never really knew what it was. Now I know that it is a memorial to all the soldiers from Washington DC who fought in World War I.
6. George Mason Memorial—a memorial to one of our forefathers who persuaded others to include individual rights as part of the Bill of Rights.
7. Titanic Memorial—OK, this memorial was in a place I had never been—the Southwest Waterfront. We had to cross a bridge and explore the area. It was a little confusing to find, but we found it. Funny enough, when we got back to our car at Hains Point, we looked over the water and saw the Titanic Memorial right on the other side. We all got a chuckle out of that. It has been there all this time, and we never noticed it.
After the Titanic Memorial, we were getting a little tired and hungry. I had two more memorials on my list, but Natalie really wanted to eat lunch at 7th Hill Pizza, which closes for the afternoon at 2:30. In order to make it in time, we had to abort our plan.
But these were the remaining memorials I had wanted to visit:
8. Ulysses Grant Memorial—in front of the Capitol, near the water fountain. We’ve taken pictures of this memorial, but never appreciated it for what it is.
9. Bartholdi Fountain—this is behind the Botanical Gardens and was designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, who later designed the Statue of Liberty. It is a beautiful fountain; some day I will stop there and enjoy it more.
It was a fun day. Because of where we parked, and where we wanted to eat, we ended up biking for over four hours.
Needless to say, when we got back to our car we were a little weary!
To plan a day like this, I’d suggest going Google Maps to plot the places you want to visit; make sure they are in the order you want to visit them. Then take a screen shot of the page, print it out and bring it with you.
Enjoy the adventure!