Monday, April 27, 2015
The Jefferson Memorial is a little hard to get to. The nearest subway station is Smithsonian, from there it is half-maybe-three-quarters of a mile walk. It is a nice walk, down behind the Holocaust Memorial and the the Bureau of Printing and Engraving, cross the busy street and wander around the tidal basin. I don't recommend driving in DC, if you do the nearest parking is either east of the memorial just past the 14th street bridge or over the bridge to the west along Ohio Drive. Decades ago there was parking around the memorial, but that is all closed due to enhanced security. There is a Capital Bike Share Station across the street, it is a pleasant 10 minute ride from the Mall to the Memorial.
There are lots of stairs, there is also an elevator that will get you from ground level up to the plaza level with the larger then life statue of Thomas Jefferson. If your legs are up to the climb, climb the stairs, it is the most dramatic way to arrive. You can walk around, take in the views. It is a true American landmark (in Greek temple revival architecture. ) There is a gift shop and restrooms on the lower level. I'd allow 15-45 minutes.
When leaving, I would recommend going west around the tidal basin to the FDR memorial. If you are riding Bike Share, there is a Bike Share station on Ohio Drive at the cross street that goes to the FDR memorial.