Most Scenic Views in Washington D.C.

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Those visiting Washington DC are always amazed by the striking architecture, the iconic memorials and the many historic landmarks. In addition to visiting the most popular places in the city, there are some spots that offer the most breathtaking views—those unforgettable, picture worthy spots that you want to capture and take home with you so they’re never forgotten. To make sure you don’t miss any of them, here are some of the top places to enjoy the most scenic views in the city.

  • 1

    Lincoln Memorial

    For amazing and picturesque views of the famous reflecting pool, the World War II Memorial and the U.S. Capitol, head to the Lincoln Memorial. While standing on the steps of this legendary memorial, you can view all these sites and more.

  • 2

    Jefferson Memorial

    Jefferson Memorial

    A scenic spot along the Tidal Basin, the Jefferson Memorial provides a great vantage point to the White House. From the steps of this impressive dome-shaped rotunda, you’ll be immersed in beautiful scenery, including the blossoming cherry trees in the spring.

  • 3

    Arlington House

    Perched atop a rolling hillside on the property of Arlington National Cemetery, the Arlington House is an ideal spot to take in picturesque views of the city.

  • 4

    W Hotel

    A popular hotel on the National Mall, the W Hotel has a rooftop bar and terrace that provides breathtaking views of the city while enjoying an appetizer and cocktail.

  • 5

    Washington Monument

    Washington Monument

    One of the most recognizable landmarks in DC, the Washington Monument is not only a remarkable architectural feat, if you ride it to the top you’ll be treated to incomparable views of the city below.

  • 6

    Georgetown Waterfont Park

    For spectacular views of the Potomac River, the Kennedy Center and the Rosslyn skyline, this park ranks among the top. And its boardwalk is considered one of the best places to take an evening stroll as the sun sets over the water.

  • 7

    Tidal Basin

    Gorgeous vistas abound in this popular spot in DC. Not only can you get amazing photos of the Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial and Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, you’ll be in the perfect spot to enjoy the beautiful lagoon and the famous cherry trees. Take a stroll while enjoying the weather and surrounding nature.

  • 8

    John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

    Even if you’re not attending an event or the opera at this magnificent facility, head to the rooftop for picture perfect views of the city.

  • 9

    Capital Wheel

    Located at the National Harbor, this whimsical attraction towers 180 feet above the Potomac River. Take a ride, feel the wind in your hair and enjoy the panoramic views of the White House, U.S. Capitol, National Mall, Arlington National Cemetery and more.

  • 10

    Washington National Cathedral

    Washington National Cathedral

    A spectacular sight to photograph and enjoy is the National Cathedral with its Gothic Architecture, stained glass windows, gargoyles perched above and more. After enjoying the cathedral’s unique 3xterior, head inside to the Gloria in Excelsis Tower, the highest point in the city, for astounding views of the city.

  • 11

    Arlington National Cemetery

    A place to remember and pay homage to those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice, Arlington National Cemetery itself is one of the most scenic spots in the DC area. There are numerous opportunities for incredible photos and unforgettable experiences including the hundreds of thousands of headstones, the many beautiful memorial trees and the honored Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Check out the beauty of the cemetery with this interactive Arlington map.