Admittedly, as someone who lives just a few miles outside of the city, I rarely go into Washington, DC to run. Traffic, logistics, time commitment all keep me from enjoying the beauty of Washington DC as often as I could and should. I take for granted that I am lucky enough to live so close to so much history. Every time I do run there, I am always blown away by its beauty and majesty. The best way to see a city is on foot. Hope you have a chance to take on this Scenic Washington DC Monument Running Route along with the best photo spots of course.
Scenic Washington DC Monument Run Route
This is a 7 mile run that can easily be shortened to a 5 mile run. Parking is always a bit tricky downtown but we scored a spot at Thompson’s Boat House right near the Kennedy Center. During the week, it’s very to park here. You could also take an Uber or taxi and begin there. We headed out running down Rock Creek Parkway towards the tidal basin on Ohio Drive. The first monument you will come across is the Lincoln Memorial and our first photo stop. A little over a mile from the start.
The Lincoln Memorial faces the Reflecting Pool and your first glimpse of the Washington Monument. The power and significance of these 2 monuments never fail to awe me. On a beautiful day, it’s hard to beat these views.
From there, continue running toward the Tidal Basin. Famous for it’s Cherry Blossoms in the springtime, it’s a lovely place to run all year round. First, you will see the Martin Luther King Memorial. It was too crowded to grab a photo the day I was there. Continue running to the right around the Tidal Basin. You will arrive at The Jefferson Memorial.
Continue around the Tidal Basin and back around to 15th Street. This will take you to the start of The National Mall area. Take in the scenes of the Washington Monument again and your first view of The Capitol Building. A fantastic photo spot. To cut your run to 5 miles stay on 15th St. Alternatively, run down the gravel path of The National Mall towards the Capitol. This is about 1 mile in each direction.
Turn around and run back towards the Washington Monument. You will see the African American History museum part of The Smithsonian on your right.
If you look closely, you can catch a glimpse of The White House across Constitution Avenue.
You are now about 1.5 miles from where you started. Head back toward the Reflecting Pool and the Lincoln Memorial. Head east back to your starting point at Thompson’s Boat House. Just a few steps away is the Georgetown Waterfront and a perfect place to grab post-run coffee or breakfast.
If you are coming into Washington, DC for business or sightseeing, check out my Scenic Washington DC Monument run route. The best way to see any city is on foot.
Thanks for helping to make the Runners’ Roundup a huge success by visiting all of the hosts: Laura, Me, Debbie, Jen, Lisa