Thomas Jefferson Memorial

Since it was dedicated by President Roosevelt on April 13, 1943, people have loved visiting the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. The movement to create the monument was not without controversy. First, the Tidal Basin had been a popular whites-only swimming beach, and many did not want it closed. Second, many saw the design as too elaborate for a man who remained very humble despite being the primary writer of the Declaration of Independence, the president of the United States, and the creator of the United States Military Academy. Despite these controversies, the monument was built first under the direction of John Russel Pope, who won the competition to design the memorial, and then Otto R. Eggers and David P. Higgins, who took over after Pope's death. Today, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial is one of the most-visited spots in Washington, D.C. 

Things to Do

Things To Do Near Thomas Jefferson Memorial

The Thomas Jefferson Memorial is magnificent when the cherry blossoms are blooming. Be sure to step inside the monument and read the inscribed words. When Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, he wrote, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights,” but he was outvoted, and the word was changed to unalienable rights. The inscription on the monument has it as Jefferson wrote it. See the 45-foot statue of this early American leader, and sit on the steps while gazing at the view of the Tidal Basin. 

Hiking Trails



Nearby Shops and Restaurants

map-marker-alt-regular How to Get There

How To Get To Thomas Jefferson Memorial

 If you visit Arlington National Cemetery, it is easy to include a stop at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. Leave the cemetery by heading north on Roosevelt Drive. Turn right onto Memorial Avenue. Take the first exit at the traffic circle, which puts you on Memorial Circle, and cross the Arlington Memorial Bridge. This road becomes Memorial Circle Northwest before becoming Lincoln Memorial Circle Northwest. 

Veer slightly to the left to get on Independence Avenue Southwest and slightly right to get on Marine Avenue Southwest. This road becomes Ohio Drive Southwest and finally becomes East Basin Drive Southwest right before the monument. Unlike many National Mall locations, there is a parking lot just south of the memorial. 


16 East Basin Drive Southwest, Washington, D.C. 20242

Fee: Entry fee $0

Many people are surprised to learn that Arlington National Cemetery is only about three miles from Arlington, Virginia, and Fort Myer, Virginia, is even closer. Therefore, it is easy to include many other stops when you are visiting the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. This is especially true when you bring your RV. If you do not have an RV, then rent one on so that you can explore this area at your own pace.