The Navy Memorial consists of a large, open plaza inlaid with an unlabeled map of the world, designed to remind visitors how much of the earth's surface is ocean. Surrounding the plaza are fountains of remarkable variety: water shooting upward, cascading down steps, and spurting horizontally. In the summer, those fountains make this a refreshing place to visit, though when they're shut down and drained in the winter, the attraction loses much of its charm. There are bronze bas-reliefs of nautical scenes, including some illustrating specific U.S. Navy components such as the Seabees. There's also the life-sized bronze statue of the Lone Sailor with his duffel, standing somewhat incongruously in the plaza; it was sculpted in 1987 and incorporates pieces of metal from eight U.S. Navy ships. Even if you're not a sailor, you'll probably enjoy the map and fountains, but it's unlikely anyone could spend more than 10 minutes here.
The Navy Memorial is on Pennsylvania Avenue, halfway between the Capitol and the White House. It's always open and always free of charge. It's immediately adjacent to the National Archives/Navy Memorial metro stop, and the memorial is wheelchair-accessible. There aren't any public restrooms here; the nearest public restrooms are in the Natural History Museum, one block south on 9th Street NW.
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