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Discover the Charm of Washington, D.C. on Memorial Day Weekend

As national capitals go, Washington, D.C. is truly monumental. The District is home to a breathtaking array of museums, memorials, and historic sites — making it an ideal destination for Memorial Day weekend! Whether you’re looking to watch the parade, catch a baseball game, or pay your respects on the National Mall, Hotel Madera puts you in the heart of the action, all weekend long. So what are you waiting for? Start planning a memorable weekend in Washington, D.C. this Memorial Day.

The Significance of Memorial Day in Washington, D.C.

Celebrated on the last Monday of May every year, Memorial Day pays tribute to Armed Forces members who have given their lives in service to our country. Originally known as Decoration Day, the holiday’s roots stretch back more than 150 years to when communities across the United States sought to honor and commemorate their more than 600,000 Civil War dead. Over the following century, the name “Memorial Day” gradually became more popular, and in 1971, Congress recognized it as an official federal holiday.

As our nation’s capital and the home of many of America’s most iconic monuments, Washington, D.C. is the ideal place to reflect on the sacrifices of our fallen heroes. From observing “Flags In” at Arlington National Cemetery to gathering on Constitution Avenue for the National Memorial Day Parade, you’ll find a wide array of events, activities, and experiences to mark this important holiday — read on to explore a few of our top recommendations.

Explore the Memorials on the National Mall

When you think of Washington, D.C., one indelible image comes to mind: the National Mall. Home to iconic landmarks like the Lincoln Memorial, Reflecting Pool, and Washington Monument, our nation’s most-visited national park is always a worthwhile destination — but especially so on Memorial Day weekend. Here, you’ll find the perfect place for a solemn pilgrimage, with monuments commemorating American veterans and fallen soldiers who served in conflicts ranging from World War I to the Vietnam War.

Beginning in West Potomac Park, in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial, you’ll find the Korean War Veterans Memorial. Dedicated in 1995, this monument comprises a column of 19 larger-than-life statues representing American service members, along with a mural wall and Pool of Remembrance. A short stroll away in nearby Constitution Gardens, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial pays tribute to the more than 58,200 members of the U.S. armed forces lost to the decades-long conflict. A masterpiece of minimalist design from American architect Maya Lin, the two-acre site is centered around a black granite wall of remembrance engraved with the names of the fallen.

Your final stop on this journey of remembrance is the World War II Memorial, located at the eastern end of the Reflecting Pool between the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument. This striking semicircle of towering granite pillars surrounds a large oval pool framed by a pair of triumphal arches representing the Atlantic and Pacific theaters of war — a profoundly moving tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of freedom.

Must-See Memorial Day Weekend Events

Over Memorial Day weekend, the District plays host to many truly moving tributes to our country’s fallen heroes, including the National Memorial Day Choral Festival and the National Memorial Day Concert. Taking place on Sunday, May 26th, these free concerts will feature archival footage, gripping real-life stories, and uplifting performances by acclaimed musicians and world-class vocalists. The following day, be sure to catch the National Memorial Day Parade as it makes its way down Constitution Avenue between 7th and 17th Streets.

Round out your Memorial Day weekend in patriotic style by indulging in our nation’s favorite pastime: baseball! Watch the Washington Nationals go head-to-head with the Seattle Mariners on May 24th, 25th, and 26th at Nationals Park.

Go Rooftop Hopping

There’s more to Washington, D.C. than stately monuments and historic government buildings. It’s also home to a happening rooftop scene — and with spring in full swing, Memorial Day weekend is the perfect opportunity to enjoy a refreshing drink against a backdrop of panoramic skyline views.

Our coveted location in lively Dupont Circle puts you within walking distance of several of the city’s most celebrated rooftops, including Sauf Haus Bier Hall & Garten, located just five minutes from Hotel Madera. Cozy up in family-style seating as you sample an impressive selection of German brews on tap, with 16 varieties to choose from. Just a short stroll away on neighboring 18th Street, Vagabond Bar + Kitchen is another Dupont Circle favorite. This laid-back rooftop space is inspired by iconic surf destinations from around the world. Here, you can enjoy classic cocktails and seasonal delights, including a special menu inspired by the beauty of cherry blossom season in the capital.

Of course, if all these Memorial Day festivities have you too tired to venture out, you’ll find plenty of delectable dining and drink options just downstairs at Firefly. Grab a seat in the warm sunshine on our idyllic outdoor terrace and treat yourself to tasty American classics with a contemporary twist.

Celebrate Memorial Day Weekend at Hotel Madera

Tucked away on a quiet, tree-lined street just a short stroll from Dupont Circle, Hotel Madera is the perfect home base for all your Memorial Day festivities. Make the most of the long weekend (and the beauty of cherry blossom season!) with special offers and packages to elevate your stay at our inviting urban oasis.

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The Hotel Madera entrance awning on New Hampshire Ave.