Everyone knows to visit the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial, but the National Mall is also home to a little-known park.

I visited the National Mall probably a half dozen times before I'd even heard of Constitution Gardens. I was walking around the mall and saw a map with Constitution Gardens next to the World War II Memorial. Curious, I headed over. What I discovered was a beautiful and calm oasis in the busy (and sometimes overcrowded) National Mall.

According to the National Park Service, "The 50 acres of the park were originally beneath the Potomac River. Near the end of the nineteenth century, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers initiated a dredging project that created the land that became Potomac Park."

The site was then used for temporary office buildings for the United States Navy and the Munitions Department during World War I. The property was also used for offices until 1971, after which President Nixon directed that a park should be built on the land. Constitution Gardens is now a memorial of sorts, being dedicated as an American Revolution Bicentennial tribute. The lake in the garden serves as a memorial to the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence. You can find the gardens along Constitution Avenue past the Washington Monument and before the Lincoln Memorial.

Courtesy of WhereTraveler

When I visited the gardens, I was the only person there. Although it's right in the biggest tourist area in Washington, D.C., it still seems to be a secret, which is surprising considering you can get a beautiful shot of the Washington Monument reflecting in the pond.

Courtesy of The Cultural Landscape Foundation

What do you think? Have you been to Constitution Gardens? Let us know in the comments!