View from the top


Still on the topic of the Washington Monument, probably one of the coolest things we did while the sister was here was taking a trip up inside the monument and getting a stunning view of DC from above. Getting a glimpse like this was worth the wait in line under the glaring sun and all the security procedures.

Any visitor to this fascinating city should make sure to take a trip up top to see the view! Did I mention that it was “gratis,” as are the majority of other attractions in this diplomatic city? Neat, no! Here is a picture from on high. Admittedly, it is not as great a shot as it could be because it had to be taken through a thick glass window, reducing the quality. [That is a plane passing by up top] Ah well, at least it gives a general idea.

By Natasha Tynes

I’m a Jordanian-American journalist, writer, and media development professional based in Washington, DC.


  1. Nice shot! It is a hassle to get in, but like you said, it is free and the view is worth the wait. Also, it is worth seeing during the winter months, all the “greenery” is gone, really a different look, and the line is not as long. Enjoy the city, it has so much too offer.
    Take care.

  2. Last time I was there the monument was closed. And I think it had been closed for quite some time due to possible terrorist activity. Hmm..maybe not. Anyway. Lucky you to get to go to DC and see all the history. Though our history is obviously quite a bit shorter than anything you would find in Jordan or the rest of the middle east.

  3. It was closed. And before the security concerns there were renovations, where they cleaned up the outside with this amazing bit of scaffolding and did some others thing as well. I’m not sure how long it’s been, but it’s been a good while since it’s been open to the public. And yeah, the latter part of that closure was threat related. Security is in place now of course and pretty tight but not nearly as intense as that going into the Capital building. Regardless, it’s a small price to pay for the access to all that history, architecture and beauty. And personally, I don’t mind a bag check or a small delay in all of this.
    I remember the days — having lived here for years and been back and forth from Virginia for decades — when this was all open and so free and easy to access and there’s a good memory in all of that. It is a bit different with guards and guns but that is where the world is now. It’s sad, but true. I wanted to take Natasha into the Statue of Liberty when we first arrived in NYC but found that it had a security control in place that prevented direct access the same day. I was disappointed but honestly pleased that we hadn’t been outright prevented from visiting (it had been closed) at all. We just had to learn what requirements needed to be met and to meet them. We have and we will visit again soon. For me, I note these changes but I don’t let it get in my way of enjoying these sights or seeing Natasha enjoy them for the first time.
    Actually, she hadn’t mentioned the National Archives that we saw together. That was actually really special for me and reminded me of times of wonderment as a boy in Washington. They’ve redone the Archives and it is simply fantastic. I got her to watch National Treasure, which wasn’t a great movie but I thought might build some excitement. I hadn’t been to the Archives since I don’t know when; maybe I was five. But the place was just fantastic, beautiful all on its own, aside from getting to see the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. It’s a must see on any Washington visit.

  4. Jeff, I just got back from NYC and luckily before I went I saw the pass, online, you needed to get into the base of the Statue of Liberty, which houses the original torch and museum. The timed pass is free, but like you said, needs to be reserved before the actual day of your visit. You can reserve it online, and it is free.
    I was born in Alexandria,Va and lived in DC until I moved to the Shenandoah Valley in 1989. DC is full of amazing sights, many free. I love the C&O Canal tour also, which may not be free anymore?
    Take care.

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