MLK memorial: Tips and Interesting Facts

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial is the only major memorial on the National Mall not dedicated to a former president (there are a few smaller memorials dedicated to other non-presidents). Dr. King was a minister, activist and civil rights leader during the 1950s and 1960s.

MLK Memorial

MLK Memorial location

The MLK Memorial is located on the Tidal Basin, across the water from the Jefferson Memorial. The address of the memorial is 1964 Independence Avenue SW. Interestingly enough, this references the year the Civil Rights Act Of 1964 became law.

Getting to the MLK Memorial

There are several transportation options to get to the memorial:

  • Metro: Take the orange, blue, or silver line to the Smithsonian Metro and walk eastbound along Independence Avenue SW until you reach the memorial.  It is about an eighteen minute walk.  
  • DC Circulator: Take the National Mall Circulator bus from anywhere on the National Mall. This bus route starts at Union Station and then makes a big loop past the Capitol, museums and monuments and memorials.
  • Capital Bikeshare: You can ride a Capital Bikeshare bike from anywhere into the city to the nearby “Ohio Dr & West Basin Dr SW / MLK & FDR Memorials” station.

TIP: The best and easiest way to see the MLK Memorial is on a guided tour. Our walking tours cover all of the major monuments and memorials on the National Mall. We use an efficient route that allows you to see all of them in three hours or less.

A few interesting facts 

  • The memorial is based on a single quote from Martin Luther King: “Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope.” This quote is carved on the side of the statue of Dr. King.
  • The designers chose quotes on the walls of the memorial from speeches other than I have a Dream to help visitors appreciate the different speeches that Martin Luther King delivered during his lifetime.
  • The MLK Memorial falls directly in line with the Jefferson Memorial and Lincoln Memorial. These three men form a “line of leadership” that honors Americans who shaped what the country is today.

Coming to Washington, DC and want to learn a whole lot more about the MLK Memorial?

Trip Hacks DC was founded by Rob, a veteran tour guide in the Nation’s Capital. Trip Hacks DC provides tips, tricks and travel hacks for planning your trip; and guided tours to show you around once you get here. Our tours are family and school group friendly and our guides specialize in the major Washington, DC sites. Click here to check out the upcoming tour options and to book your tour here today! Feel free to contact us if you have any tour questions.

About Trip Hacks DC

Trip Hacks DC was founded by Rob, a veteran tour guide in the Nation's Capital.

Everyone wants to get the most out of travel experience; we know that planning a trip can be fun but sometimes stressful. The tips and travel hacks offered here will help you make the most of your trip and avoid missing out on the best things the city has to offer. Our trip planning e-book is the perfect resource for every first-time Washington, DC visitor.

If you're looking for a guided experience once you arrive, Trip Hacks DC specializes in private tours; but has public tours options as well. Visit the Guided Tours section to learn about some of the suggested tours and the trip planning resources section for help preparing for your trip. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions!

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