Its reflection shimmering in the Tidal Basin, the Pantheon-like Jefferson Memorial shows its best side during spring's cherry blossom season; it is, after all, practically surrounded by the trees. The gleaming white of the columned rotunda perfectly recalls the classical building style for which the president-cum-scholar-cum-architect was known. The steps are an excellent spot for quiet contemplation. — Photo by Sandy Jones/Getty Images
En español | Time spent wandering in Washington, D.C., is like paging through an encyclopedia of American history — but far more fun. Many of the best (and free!) Washington, D.C., monuments stand on one picturesque half of the National Mall. You don't need a holiday to pay homage to our nation's luminaries and historic events. Just about any day — or night, when the monuments look especially dramatic — is a good time to (re)acquaint yourself with our nation's past.
Also of interest: 5 tips for taking great vacation photos.