Parking on the National Mall

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Where to Find Parking on the National Mall?

There is limited parking on the National Mall.  But here are some tips to help you get out of your car quickly and enjoy the many things to do in DC.

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Visiting the National Mall? Check out some great things to do while on vacation in DC. Get the most out of your time checking out monuments and memorials and museums.

Parking by the Smithsonian Museums

There is free 3-hour parking along Madison and Jefferson Drives between 3rd Street and 14th Street.   Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who want to park here.  Best bet is to arrive early.  The museums open at 10:00 AM.  If you come at that hour, you will likely get a spot.  Come after noon, and you may be circling around for a long time.  Make sure you read the signs, as there are many types of reserved spaces along these streets.  Most importantly, don’t park in the handicapped spots unless you have a tag.  The ticket is $250. There are also spots along the cross streets – 3rd Street, 4th Street, 7th Street, and 14th Street.  Some of these spots are free.  At any rate, make sure you read the signs.  Some of these parking spots become a lane of traffic between 4:00 PM – 6:30 PM rush hour on weekdays, and you will be ticketed and towed.  Here is a link to the Smithsonian opening hours.

Parking by the Air and Space Museum

There are limited free spots between 4th and 7th Streets on Jefferson Drive.  There are a few handicapped spots on Jefferson Drive right near the entrance to the museum.  The closest commercial garages are a couple of short blocks away at 6th and C Streets SW.  LAZ Parking is at 600 Maryland Avenue SW, open 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM every day. $25 all day or $15 weekends.  Colonial Parking at 500 C St. SW nearby is $20 all day or $11 weekends. Here is a link to the opening hours at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.

Parking at the Natural History Museum

There are limited free spots on Madison Drive between 7th and 12th Streets.  There are a few handicapped spots right near the Madison Drive entrance to the museum.  Unfortunately, this entrance requires walking up many stairs.  The handicapped accessible entrance is on Constitution Avenue and 10th Streets, which is a long walk away from the handicapped spots.  There are 2 commercial parking garages to consider.  There is an enormous garage at the Ronald Reagan Building at 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue.  There is also an entrance on 14th Street between Constitution and Pennsylvania Avenues. You must go through security to get in. Rates are $22 weekdays and $13 weekends.  Open 24 hours.  Colonial Parking at 601 Pennsylvania Avenue.  $25 weekdays, $15 weekends.  6AM – midnight.  Here is a link to the opening hours at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum.

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Things to do in DC

Visiting the Smithsonian Natural History Museum? There are some great things to do while visiting DC.  Your time is important.  See all the monuments, memorials and museums.

Parking at the American History Museum

There are limited free spots on Madison Drive between 12th and 14th Streets and along 14th Street between Constitution and Independence. There is an enormous garage at the Ronald Reagan Building at 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue.  There is also an entrance on 14th Street between Constitution and Pennsylvania Avenues. You must go through security to get in. Rates are $22 weekdays and $13 weekends.  Open 24 hours.   Here is a link to opening hours at the Smithsonian American History Museum.

Parking at the National Memorials

Parking at the Lincoln Memorial

There is handicapped parking on Daniel French Drive.  Other private vehicles are not permitted to enter Daniel French Drive.  There is free parking along Constitution Avenue from 15th Street all the way to 21st Street.  This parking lane becomes a lane of traffic between 4:00 PM – 6:30 PM weekdays.  You will have a $50 ticket on your car within minutes past 4:00 PM.  There is also free parking along Ohio Drive SW by the Potomac River.  No rush hour restrictions.  If you do not find a spot on Ohio Drive, keep driving to the Jefferson Memorial.  By the Potomac, there are 3 free lots that never get full (except during the Cherry Blossom Festival).  This is about a mile walk from the Lincoln.  There are no nearby commercial parking garages.  Your best bet is at the Ronald Reagan Building at 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue about 1 mile away.  Click here for practical information about visiting the Lincoln Memorial such as opening hours, fees, restrooms, handicapped facilities, food kiosks, etc.  

Parking at the Jefferson Memorial

There are handicapped spots on East Basin Drive, although you still have a walk to the Jefferson Memorial itself.  There are 3 free parking lots on Ohio Drive by the Potomac River, which Google Maps shows at 971 Ohio Drive SW.  There are no nearby commercial garages.  Best bet is at the Ronald Reagan Building at 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW about 1 mile away.  Here is some practical information about visiting the Jefferson Memorial — opening hours, fees, restrooms, handicapped facilities, food kiosks, etc.

Parking at the MLK Memorial

There is a handicapped parking right on West Basin Drive.  There are also a limited number of regular free spots on West Basin Drive.  Otherwise, there is free streetside parking on Ohio Drive SW by the Potomac River, and there are 3 free parking lots near the Jefferson Memorial almost 1 mile away at 971 Ohio Drive SW.  There is a free parking lot by the Tidal Basin along Independence Avenue SW.  On Google Maps, search for Cherry Blossom Parking or Tidal Basin Paddle Boats.  This parking lot is closed during the Cherry Blossom Festival. Here is a link to information about visiting the MLK Memorial — opening hours, fees, restrooms, handicapped facilites, etc.

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Parking at the FDR Memorial

There is a handicapped parking right on West Basin Drive.  There are also a limited number of regular free spots on West Basin Drive.  Otherwise, there is free streetside parking on Ohio Drive SW by the Potomac River, and there are 3 free parking lots near the Jefferson Memorial almost 1 mile away at 971 Ohio Drive SW.  There is a free parking lot by the Tidal Basin along Independence Avenue SW.  On Google Maps, search for Cherry Blossom Parking or Tidal Basin Paddle Boats.  This parking lot is closed during the Cherry Blossom Festival.  Here you can find practical information about visiting the FDR Memorial — opening hours, fees, restrooms, etc.  

Parking at the Vietnam Memorial

There is free street parking on Constitution Avenue between 15th Street and 21st Street.  On weekdays, the parking lane becomes a lane of traffic between 4:00 PM – 6:30 PM.  You will be aggressively ticketed within minutes after 4:00 PM on weekdays.  The nearest commercial parking garage is at the Ronald Reagan Building at 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW.  Here is some practical information about visiting the Vietnam Memorial — opening hours, fees, food kiosks, restrooms, etc.

Parking at the WWII Memorial

There is handicapped parking on Homefront Drive SW.  There is free onstreet parking on Constitution Avenue between 15th and 21St Street.  On weekdays, the parking lane becomes a lane of traffic between 4:00 PM – 6:30 PM.  You will be aggressively ticketed within minutes after 4:00 PM on weekdays.  There is also parking along Ohio Drive SW near the Potomac River.  There is a free parking lot by the Tidal Basin along Independence Avenue SW.  On Google Maps, search for Cherry Blossom Parking or Tidal Basin Paddle Boats.  This parking lot is closed during the Cherry Blossom Festival. The nearest commercial parking garage is at the Ronald Reagan Building at 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW.  Here is a link to practical information about the WWII Memorial — opening hours, restroom facilities, fees, etc.  

For more information about the National Mall, click on the National Park Service website.  You can get more information about the Smithsonian Museums from their website.