Is there any easy handicap access at the Jefferson Memorial?
Yes and no. There is an elevator to gain access to the inner chamber. However, the street access is quite far back from the Jefferson Memorial itself and requires significant walking in order to access.
Handicap Parking at the Jefferson Memorial
There are a few spaces along East Basin Drive. Unfortunately, East Basin Drive itself is quite far removed from the Memorial itself. There is a walk of several hundred yards to access the Jefferson Memorial. Also, the handicap spaces are quite frequently occupied with idling tour buses.
On-street parking on the National Mall is no longer free of charge. Three hour parking is available at $2 per hour. Parking meters only accept credit cards.
Ramps and Elevators at the Jefferson Memorial
Once you get up to the base of the memorial, there is a ramp leading up to a doorway. Through the doorway is the visitors center. An elevator from the visitors center brings you up to the inner chamber with the Jefferson statue.
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In addition to the Jefferson Memorial, here are some things to do while visiting DC.
Accessible Public Transportation to the Jefferson Memorial
There is no convenient Metro station to the Jefferson Memorial. The nearest Metro station is the Smithsonian station, about a mile away. Metro does have facilities for handicapped visitors, but there are frequent elevator outages.
Pedicabs provide very convenient handicap access to the Jefferson Memorial and around the National Mall.
- It is much easier to get in and out of a pedicab than out of a motor vehicle.
- Pedicabs have a handrail and a foot step and can get right up to the curb.
- A folding wheelchair can be taken along with you in the pedicab
- Pedicab drivers are friendly and will always assist you in getting in and out of the pedicab
There is a pedicab stand on East Basin Drive very close to the National Park Service food kiosk. Try a Washington DC Monuments tour from Nonpartisan Pedicab to see all the monuments in 2-3 hours at your own pace.
Taxis and Uber
There is no taxi stand on East Basin Drive. Taxis occasionally come by to drop off passengers at the Jefferson Memorial. Unless it is late at night, expect to wait at least 10-15 minutes for an available taxi. Uber drivers frequently do not really know their way around the city and some of them may not know where the Jefferson Memorial is.
The National Mall Circulator Bus operates from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM on weekdays and 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM on weekends. The fare is $1. The Circulator comes from Union Station and goes out to the Jefferson Memorial and continues to the Lincoln Memorial before heading back to Union Station.
Wheelchairs at the Jefferson Memorial
The National Park Service operates an information desk underneath the Jefferson Memorial. They will lend you a free folding wheelchair to use around the memorial. You could potentially have someone go from the car and retrieve a wheelchair. But, this is somewhat inconvenient as it requires a further back and forth trip after your visit to return the wheelchair. You must leave a drivers license as deposit with the National Park Service information desk.
More information about Handicap Access on the National Mall
Washington DC Disability Information — General Information for Handicapped visitors