The Best Places to Photograph in Washington, DC

World War II Memorial and Washington Monument by Marc Andre

Our nation’s capital is a very urban area, but there are still some places that may be of interest to landscape photographers. There are parks, gardens, and plenty of places to photograph the urban landscape.

Be aware that security can be very tight at some of the places listed here, especially the Capitol Building and the White House. Be sure to follow any rules related to photography and tripods to avoid trouble.

On this page you’ll find some of the best places to photograph in Washington, DC. The interactive map below shows the location of each spot mentioned on this page.

This page will continue to be a work in progress, so please feel free to leave a comment with your own suggestions of great places to photograph.

Find great places to photograph in any state! We have similar guides for each state to help you find all of the best places to photograph. See the index page to find the guides for each state.

Rock Creek Park

Rock Creek Park is an urban park that is managed by the National Park Service. It is located next to the zoo in the northwest quadrant of the city. The park includes several bridges, like the one pictured below, that span cross the creek. If you’re looking for a place to find some nature in DC, this is a great option.

The Best Places to Photograph in Washington, DC

Rock Creek Park by Dion Hinchcliffe / CC BY-SA 2.0

Jefferson Memorial and Tidal Basin

The Jefferson Memorial sits at the edge of a tidal basin off the Potomac River, just south of the Washington Monument. This area is especially beautiful in the spring when the cherry blossoms are blooming.

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The Best Places to Photograph in Washington, DC

Jefferson Memorial by Brian Gratwicke / CC BY 2.0

Washington Monument

The Washington Monument is located just off of Constitution Avenue, between the Capitol Building and the Lincoln Memorial.

The Best Places to Photograph in Washington, DC

Washington Monument by Marc Andre

Lincoln Memorial

The Lincoln Memorial sits on the opposite side of the reflecting pool from the Washington Monument. You can photograph Lincoln up close or get a distant view from across the reflecting pool (bring a long lens for this).

The Best Places to Photograph in Washington, DC

Lincoln Memorial by Marc Andre

World War II Memorial

The World War II Memorial is at the opposite end of the reflecting pool. It is between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. The fountains of the memorial look great at night when they are lit. You can also get a nice view of the Washington Monument with the WWII Memorial in the foreground.

The Best Places to Photograph in Washington, DC

World War II Memorial by Robzor / CC0

World War II Memorial and Washington Monument by Marc Andre

Capitol Building

The Capitol Building is located at the east end of the National Mall, opposite the Lincoln Memorial. It is lit up nicely at night.

The Best Places to Photograph in Washington, DC

Capitol Building by Nicolas Raymond / CC BY-SA 3.0

The White House

The White House is a few blocks north of the Washington Monument.

The Best Places to Photograph in Washington, DC

The White House by Diego Cambiaso / CC BY-SA 2.0

United States Botanic Garden

The United States Botanic Garden is next to the Capitol Building. This is a great place to photograph flowers and plants.

The Best Places to Photograph in Washington, DC

United States Botanic Gardens by Katja Schulz / CC BY 2.0

United States National Arboretum

The United States National Arboretum is in northeast Washington. It is more than 400 acres in size, features many gardens and the National Capitol Columns (shown below). For more details please see our Photography Guide to the United States National Arboretum.

The Best Places to Photograph in Washington, DC

United States National Arboretum by Nicolas Raymond / CC BY-SA 3.0

Dumbarton Oaks

Dumbarton Oaks is a historic estate in Geogetown, northwest Washington. It is home to beautiful gardens that are great for photography.

The Best Places to Photograph in Washington, DC

Dumbarton Oaks by DC Gardens / CC BY 2.0

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Photo license links: CC BY-SA 2.0, CC BY-SA 3.0CC BY 2.0,

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