Aside from the Washington Monument (which was closed for repairs after earthquake damage), the Lincoln Memorial is perhaps the most iconic of our nation's monuments. Lincoln sits in rippled finery, high in a chair within a Greek-style temple. If you take time to count the columns, you'll come up with a number equal to the number of states as of 1865. The surrounding grounds have just as much history: they were the site of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. — Photo by Age Fotostock/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.