DC Scavenger: Hunt for “Hidden” Treasures on the National Mall!


JoAnn Hill, local author of Secret Washington, DC: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure recently released her second book, DC Scavenger, a resource to help explore the city that goes beyond the typical guidebook.  It’s an interactive treasure map spanning 17 distinct neighborhoods throughout Washington, DC.  You can explore nearly 350 of DC’s most cherished wonders by deciphering clever clues and examining ambiguous photos across the District’s four quadrants. Throughout your pursuit, you’ll encounter world-renowned monuments and their lesser-known counterparts, innovative artworks promoting activism and celebrating diversity, overlooked historical markers, convivial markets and eateries, and architectural oddities.

Get a preview of the book in this DC Scavenger series on KFDC, where JoAnn will share a few clues for different neighborhoods, this first blog post taking us to the National Mall, undoubtedly one of the first areas that comes to mind when many think of the nation’s capital.  The landscaped strip spanning from the US Capitol to the iconic Lincoln Memorial is a national treasure trove chock-full of monuments, memorials, museums, and art installations that help make up the fabric of the capital city and country. It’s been estimated that more than 24 million people visit the National Mall each year. That’s more visitors than the Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Grand Canyon national parks combined!

Below are four of 23 clues featured in the National Mall chapter of DC Scavenger — a great source and start for a fun family outing! Check out JoAnn’s book to solve and discover even more clues and sites around the National Mall and throughout the entire city. (PS: Think holidays…the book would make an excellent gift for tweens, teens, and adults!)


National Mall Clue #1
The House that Roy built may trip you out,
Looks to be moving, may cause you to doubt,
Black edges and colors of yellow and red,
This optical illusion may mess with your head.


* * * 


National Mall Clue #2
Garden named for a gal, a nice reprieve,
Ripley, believe it, you won’t want to leave.
Amble on through, this fountain’s at its core,
Revel in the flowers and plants galore.


* * * 


National Mall Clue #3
A more recent addition to the Mall,
Tribute to Black life, history, and all.
Learn of stories, culture, present and past,
Museum so huge, walk slowly, not fast.


* * * 


National Mall Clue #4
A rare tribute here to the women’s role,
Risking their lives when the war took a toll,
We honor these women who gave their all,
Find this touching statue near the famed wall.

Now go start hunting!


* * * 

JoAnn Hill, author of Secret Washington, DC: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure, has affectionately called Washington, DC, home for over 20 years. She has written extensively about DC living, its food, and her world travels on her blog dcglobejotters.org and other mediums and publications. Through her writing and research, she shares hidden histories, off-the-beaten-path locales, and lesser-known stories that inspire the insatiably curious explorer. Her next book, DC Scavenger, will be released later this year. She lives in DC with her husband Thalamus and dog Jackson and is the co-founder of Capitol Teachers, a tutoring company servicing the greater DC area.


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