One thing that everyone needs to experience on a trip to Washington DC, is the monuments and memorials after dark. There’s something magical about seeing the historic landmarks when they are lit up that just takes away all words. On our recent return visit to the city, we had the opportunity to tour Washington DC after dark and experience this for ourselves so we can share this Monuments by Moonlight tour with you!
Hobbies on a Budget received discounts or tickets for the purpose of this post. All opinions are my own.
Washington DC Monuments by Moonlight Tour
It is something to see the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument by daylight with the blue skies and white puffy clouds, but seeing it after dark is something totally different.
We partnered with Old Town Trolley Tours for our Monuments by Moonlight Tour. You start your tour at Union Station. Since we were riding the Metro in from our hotel outside the city, we just took the Metro to the Union Station exit. When you exit the Metro, you come up inside Union Station where you can eat at any number of restaurants, enjoy shopping at the multiple stores or just sit and people watch as people scurry around looking for their next Amtrak connection or call a cab. There are plenty of places to relax while you wait for your tour to begin.
There is an Old Town Trolley desk prominently located inside the main area of Union Station. You can pick up your tickets there or reserve online and then just confirm when you arrive.
Each of the tours is driven and fully narrated by a very skilled tour guide. On this tour, we were led by Sam who did an outstanding job sharing trivia, stories and personal anecdotes about the area. Although not required, tips are greatly appreciated and well deserved at the end of the tour!
Our tour guide Sam did a great job of keeping us engaged at each stop by giving us a little puzzle to solve at the monuments. I’m not going to spoil the tour, but here are some things that Sam suggested we notice and then he shared the reasons when we got back on the bus.
- Do you know why Martin Luther King Jr is looking directly at Thomas Jefferson?
- Have you ever noticed that President Lincoln’s hand are different? One is a fist and one is spread out? Ever wondered why?
- Was the Marine Memorial inscription written from a northern or southern’s perspective when it was inscribed?
There are plenty of opportunities for pictures as you drive through the city as well as when you stop at each of the monuments.
Things to Know
- You should plan to arrive approximately thirty minutes before your tour time so you can get in line and board your bus.
- You will stay on the same bus for your entire tour.
- The tour will last approximately 2 1/2 hours.
- You will make 3 stops on your tour. (FDR/MLK Jr monuments, Marine Memorial – Iwo Jima, Lincoln Memorial.
- Each stop will last approximately 30 minutes to allow you to wander around and take pictures and enjoy the views.
- There are restrooms available at the FDR/MLK Jr stop and Lincoln Memorial stop).
- There is a snack and drink shop that is typically open still when you stop at the Lincoln Memorial.
- It will probably not be dark when you start your tour, but by the time you get to the Lincoln Memorial, you should be able to fully appreciate the lights and the dark skies!
Planning to be in the city during the day and interested in the Hop On Hop Off Bus tours? These are a great way to tour the city and save your legs!
Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour
Connect with Old Town Trolley Tours
Historic Tours offers tours in multiple cities. So whether you are heading to Washington DC, Boston, Nashville, San Diego, or more, you can find the tour that is right for you!
If you are a resident of one of these cities, check out the Hometown Pass. Residents within the six cities can take advantage of the tours for FREE when accompanied by an adult paid guest.
Connect with Historic Tours
1001 E St NW
Washington, DC 20004