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Most Scenic Views of Washington DC

Washington DC reflecting pool at sunset

Washington, DC’s Best Views Await

With the banks of the Potomac at your back and the White House before your eyes, take in Washington, D.C.’s scenic views while cruising beyond traffic with Old Town Trolley Tours. Pay homage to the great emancipator at the Lincoln Memorial, or listen to the babble of the Potomac River strolling through Georgetown Waterfront Park. Washington, D.C.’s imagery evokes a sense of wonder in well-versed history buffs, eager students and everyone in between. Imagine: it’s dawn in Capitol Hill, and the skies are painted pink and blue behind the Capitol Building. The sun is rising to shed light on the cherry blossoms of the Tidal Basin, inviting you to enjoy your next getaway in gorgeously historic Washington, D.C.

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Lincoln MemorialThe Mesmerizing Marble of the Lincoln Memorial

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, sits immortalized in the most grandiose marble sculpture dedicated to his legacy of preserving the Union and liberating millions. With 36 intricate columns commemorating the 36 states at the time of the late president’s death, the Lincoln Memorial boasts one of the best views in Washington, D.C. across the Reflecting Pool onto the Washington Monument. Explore the three chambers inside the memorial where inscriptions of Lincoln’s iconic Gettysburg Address and second inaugural address are enshrined on either side of the awe-inspiring sculpture. A sacred space of American history, the scenic views of the Lincoln Memorial conjure a legacy of advancement and tradition that cannot be missed.

tidal basinTidal Basin: Where the Potomac Takes a Rest

Board a paddleboat on the Tidal Basin and surround yourself with the best views of Washington, D.C.’s most celebrated monuments and more. Unabashedly draped in the delicate pink of cherry blossoms in bloom every spring, the Tidal Basin Loop Trail can unlock D.C. for locals and tourists alike. In addition to giving life to the capital, the 107-acre body of water, fed by the mighty Potomac River, maintains the level of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool through an intricate pump system. The perfect starting point for a self-guided tour, the Tidal Basin sits right in the center of the spirit of D.C. Whether you’re snapping an album’s worth of photos or committing the serenity of the moment to memory, Washington, D.C.’s Tidal Basin is something to be experienced.

Jefferson MemorialJefferson Memorial: Happy 200th Birthday, Mr. President

A Renaissance man and a founder of American democracy, the likeness of the third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, stands forever firm and proudly overlooking the Tidal Basin at the Jefferson Memorial. The Pantheon-like structure harbors a nearly 20-foot tall bronze statue of Jefferson directly in line with the White House, making it the best view of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in all of D.C. Step through the cherry blossom trees and into the domed building to read some of Jefferson’s most moving words engraved all along the Memorial’s walls. Envision yourself present for Jefferson’s 200th birthday when the memorial was commissioned, or even further back in time, when Jefferson cemented his legacy in American history forever.

West Potomac ParkIn the Home of the Cherry Trees at West Potomac Park

Have a seat between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. Look up at a scenic view of a canopy of cherry trees. West Potomac Park creates a distinct blend of green and chiseled marble dedicated to the spectacular and the subtle. West Potomac Park is the best place to maximize your absorption of history and culture in Washington, D.C. While you’re there, pay respects to the sacrifices of the fallen soldiers of the past at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Korean War Veterans Memorial. Grounding and grand, West Potomac Park appreciates those who came before us like no other.

Georgetown Waterfront ParkUp Close with the Potomac at Georgetown Waterfront Park

Georgetown Waterfront Park sprawls across two states, hugging the bank of the Potomac River, offering the best view of the rolling body of water. In just over a decade of its completion, Georgetown Waterfront Park has been lauded for its brilliant design and peaceful scenery. Take a bike ride away from the dangers of traffic or get some exercise in the fresh, open air. Reflect on your time in Washington, D.C. while gazing upon the labyrinth at the western end of the park. Frolic through a geyser-like fountain on hot summer days. All this and much more is to be seen in serene Georgetown Waterfront Park.

Arlington National CemeteryService, Honor and Legacy in Arlington National Cemetery

Among the most scenic views D.C. has to offer is Arlington National Cemetery. A breathtaking landscape where generations of service and honor are laid to rest, Arlington National Cemetery is a beacon of perspective and selflessness. At nearly 700 acres, this cemetery is reserved for those who dedicated their lives to the betterment of the United States and made the ultimate sacrifice. Arlington National Cemetery is home to dozens of monuments and memorials commemorating the fallen in every war this nation has fought. Among them is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, where one can stand in awe of one of the best views of the grounds and give thanks to those no longer with us.

Float Above the Water on the National Harbor Capital Wheel

One hundred eighty feet tall at its peak, the National Harbor Capital Wheel provides guests with the pinnacle of scenic views in Washington, D.C. Located just eight miles south of downtown D.C., the Capital Wheel perfectly encapsulates George Washington’s vision for a bustling city built around the Potomac River. Take a ride and witness the continuation of Washington’s ideas and legacy with views of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and the Washington Monument. With no reservation required and climate-controlled gondolas, a ride on the Capital Wheel is the perfect attraction for any occasion. Gaze across the river toward George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate while reaching heights the founding fathers never imagined.

Hotel Washington Puts Class in your Glass

A recent renovation and rebranding has found Hotel Washington as posh and elegant as ever. Visit the well-known rooftop lounge and sip a signature cocktail while enjoying one of the best views of the Washington, D.C. skyline. Mingle amongst some of D.C.’s most famous politicians, all within walking distance of the White House. Right in the heart of the city, a stay at the Hotel Washington can make any guest feel like a heavy hitter of Northwest Washington without submitting to the rigor of the campaign trail. With over 100 years of tradition, scenic views and fantastic interior design, a stay at the Hotel Washington is certain to enhance any visit to Washington, D.C.

The Old Post Office Clock TowerThe Old Post Office Clock Tower: Bringing 360 Degrees at Over 200 Feet

With the start of construction taking place in 1892, the Old Post Office Clock Tower has stood proudly over Northwest Washington since 1899 and offers scenic views of the nation’s capital to this day. The second tallest structure in the whole city, the Old Post Office Clock Tower survived demolition plans just before the Great Depression, multiple functional changes and elongated renovations. Teeming with rich history, you can take a guided tour to learn all the ins and outs of the building, or walk yourself up to the observation deck to take in a 360-degree view of D.C. like no other.

The Old Post Office Clock TowerCenturies of Growth and Tradition at the Washington National Cathedral

Commissioned by George Washington in 1791, the Washington National Cathedral is a marvel of American architecture. Riddled with hidden gems and Easter eggs, the Washington National Cathedral is an attraction for the spiritual and casual visitor alike. The cathedral has ushered in countless presidents with inaugural national prayer services, as well as seen them out by hosting their state funerals. Try to spot the lunar rock incorporated in the south window, or stand amongst great humanitarians on the Human Rights Porch. Over two centuries of history lie within the walls of the Washington National Cathedral with much more to be made.


Q: What is the most beautiful place in Washington, D.C.?

A: Among numerous contenders, Georgetown Waterfront Park stands out as one of the most beautiful riverfront views in all of Washington, D.C. As the scenic park prioritizes serenity in a bustling metropolis, the soothing sounds of the running water of the Potomac River bring an extra wave of beauty and calm. The Tidal Basin and West Potomac Park during cherry blossom season are honorable mentions.

Q: What hotel has the best view of Washington, D.C.?

A: Hotel Washington! Located just a stone’s throw from the White House, the rooftop lounge at Hotel Washington provides guests with an indisputably beautiful view of Washington, D.C.’s skyline. There’s no experience quite like enjoying a signature Hotel Washington cocktail on the rooftop while the sky is painted all shades of pink and orange at sunset.

Q: What are the most Instagramable spots in Washington, D.C.?

A: Together, the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool are the most Instagram-able spots in Washington, D.C. In one spin, you can snap incredible photos with three of the most iconic monuments D.C. has to offer. Not to mention, the marble sculpture of Abraham Lincoln is one of the most awe-inspiring works of art ever chiseled. Any post from these three landmarks is sure to run up those likes.

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