In this incredibly photogenic city, here are top things to do in Washington DC and the best spots for photography.
Having lived and worked in Washington DC and growing up in the surrounding area has taught me a lot about this city. There are plenty of things to do in Washington DC, and it is incredibly photogenic. There’s just something about the mass amount of space and stunning urban landmarks that makes DC a great place to rest your camera lens. There are plenty of monuments to choose from, not to mention the stunning Greek architecture featured throughout the city, all mixed in with the shiny glass of new developments.
Here we have compiled a list of some of the best places to take pictures in the District of Columbia, whether for your next profile photo or just to appreciate the city more.
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Palmer Alley NW, City Center
Washed with marble, City Center is home to some of the biggest high-end retailers in the city. Apart from the shops and outdoor seating, city center is a great place for a good photo, especially on Palmer Alley. The entire walk is strung up with colorful lanterns and lights hanging overhead that create a fantastic backdrop for any picture. Apart from this vibrant area, there are plenty of nearby parks and outdoor areas designed for the working public of Washington, DC — all of which are equally as good for photography.
The tidal basin in Washington DC is a gorgeous area surrounding several monuments and is close to the national mall. Right next to the water, the tidal basin is a great place to take photos with several angles to go with. It is awash with beautiful colors during spring, especially during cherry blossom season. The walk along the basin stretches a long way, which makes it near the Jefferson Memorial, the Martin Luther King Jr memorial, and the Washington Monument. All of these places, including the tidal basin are just some of the amazing things to do in Washington DC.
With the newly renovated dome of the Capital building in the background, Pennsylvania avenue offers an amazing place to shoot pictures. Not only is it wide enough to take great wide-angle shots, it also has a median that is a perfect place to center your pictures. There is also just so much going on in the area as well—cars, people, trees and even the occasional presidential motorcade. Stretching for miles, Pennsylvania Avenue is close to the National Mall, Smithsonian Museums, and the White House.
Right in the heart of Chinatown, the Friendship archway stands tall as a gateway into Chinese culture in Washington DC. Symmetrical in shape, it is a very popular tourist attraction for photography. It also stands as a symbol of ancient culture in an area of the city dominated by brand new buildings.
Although Chinatown is small, this area is close to Capital One arena, plenty of restaurants, and all of the interesting parks and photogenic spots in Northwest Washington.
Located right outside of downtown, Dupont circle is a vibrant neighborhood filled with many different cultures, but is also a great place for a picture. The traffic circle itself is its own little park filled with a massive fountain and plenty of the greenery that makes Washington, DC unique from other East coast cities.
Apart from the roundabout that ties this neighborhood together, Dupont circle is full of unique spots, artwork, and interesting people that add to many of the great things to do in Washington DC.
Sitting right on the Potomac river, the Georgetown Waterfront is the ideal place for anyone who loves taking pictures of watercraft. Rowers typically pass the waterfront every morning which makes for beautiful pictures. Boaters also frequent the area during the day and night, which makes for a very picturesque scene. Restaurants and tour opportunities are abundant in the area too. Also, for lovers of American political history, the Watergate Hotel is still open and right next to the waterfront.