20 Stunning Locations to Go to in Washington, DC

Nestled alongside the banks of the Potomac River, this vibrant capital metropolis boasts a plethora of breathtaking sights, the place historical past meets magnificence at each flip. From iconic landmarks steeped in political significance to serene pure landscapes that supply a much-needed respite from the bustling metropolis life, Washington, DC, is a treasure trove of awe-inspiring magnificence. 

Whether or not you’re out there to purchase a dwelling in Washington, DC and presently shopping listings on Redfin, or need to lease an house within the metropolis, there is no such thing as a scarcity of lovely locations to find. Be part of us on a journey as we unveil probably the most stunning locations in DC, from its iconic landmarks to its hidden gardens, that make this metropolis a really outstanding vacation spot to name dwelling. 

Government building in DC

1. Georgetown 

Michelle Elyse, proprietor of Michelle Elyse Photography, says probably the most stunning place in Washington, DC, is the Georgetown neighborhood. “Strolling alongside the Canal helps me to ascertain all the different individuals who have strolled right here earlier than, and I like wandering across the streets to admire the attractive historic properties. Then, as soon as I work up an urge for food from wandering scenic sidewalks, I can pop into one of many many lovable Georgetown eateries. I’m all the time so glad to spend time at this spot- whether or not for a photograph session, or simply leisure.” 

“Georgetown provides numerous actions for all ages. Its distinctive buying scene ranges from well-known chains to boutique gems, catering to numerous types,” states Troy “Seven” Timberlake, native photographer and proprietor of Ex Voto Studio. “Exploring the outlets makes for a pleasant day, complemented by the neighborhood’s improbable eating places. Georgetown provides each daytime actions and a vibrant nightlife, with numerous bars and golf equipment. Moreover, strolling alongside the scenic C&O Canal is a beloved exercise, loved by joggers, bikers, and picnic-goers. Georgetown is a must-visit for anybody in search of a refreshing break from museums and authorities buildings in Washington, DC.”

2. Dumbarton Oaks

“About 15 years in the past, I stumbled upon the open gates to a personal backyard within the Georgetown neighborhood,” shares native photographer, Elisenda Llinares. “In the event you haven’t but found the breathtaking oasis often called Dumbarton Oaks, permit me to color an image for you. As you strategy, a sprawling garden stretches earlier than you, main you to a surprising mansion that appears to emerge from a fairy story. The aged branches of an impressive Japanese maple greet you, guiding your path as you flip a nook and enter a good looking rose backyard. Every step takes you deeper into the enchantment, ascending stone steps adorned with wisteria-covered arches and passing fountains guarded by cherubs. On the pinnacle of this sensory symphony, cherry blossoms grace the horizon, nestled atop a hill adorned with wildflowers. This ever-changing panorama, tended to by Harvard College, is a testomony to the genius of famend panorama architect Beatrix Farrand. Designed between the Twenties and Forties for her pricey buddy Mildred Bliss, Dumbarton Oaks faithfully preserves the unique imaginative and prescient, inviting you to fall beneath its spell time and time once more.”

Staircase in Dumbarton Oaks
Photograph Courtesy of Elisenda Llinares

3. Guide Hill Park

“After selecting up some used books and a few old-school albums on the French Market in Georgetown this 12 months, my household and I stumbled upon a slender and windy staircase that we had by no means seen earlier than,” shares Kim Moehnke, proprietor of Pure Love Macaron. “We took the steep stone staircase as much as uncover probably the most quaint, little park the place I think about a picnic full with native pastries, french macarons, and champagne for a date evening in DC or a quiet place to learn alone with a cup of espresso and a decadent cookie from Levain, my favourite cookie store in Georgetown. Book Hill Park is an ideal place to get away from the hustle and bustle of downtown.”

4. Previous City Alexandria

“Other than the enduring Nationwide Mall, Previous City Alexandria holds a particular place in my coronary heart,” explains Jennifer Blankenship, proprietor of Jennifer Blankenship Photography. “This charming neighborhood boasts an array of quaint eating places and pleasant ice cream parlors that by no means fail to fulfill our cravings. Amongst them, Mia’s Italian Kitchen holds a particular spot as our favourite eating spot within the space. I like the enchanting streets and hidden alleyways that beckon exploration. It’s straightforward to lose observe of time as you wander by the cobblestone paths.” 

Photograph Courtesy of Jennifer Blankenship Images

5. Belle Haven Marina

Private Coach Bianca Russo of Bianca Russo Fitness suggests testing Belle Haven Marina, a can’t-miss merchandise on the DC bucket checklist. “On sunny days, head to Belle Haven Marina within the DMV space. Hire a canoe, kayak, SUP, or sailboat, and benefit from the Potomac River’s views, together with the Nationwide Harbor ferris wheel. Aviation lovers can observe planes touchdown at Nationwide Airport. Keep in mind to name forward for reservations.”

6. BlackRock Middle for the Arts

“The BlackRock Center for the Arts in Germantown, MD, is a neighborhood artwork middle that gives courses, displays and performances by native and regional artists,” explains Mike Redmond, freelance photographer and proprietor of Third Act Images. ”This can be a must-visit place close to DC and might be one of the vital numerous locations in probably the most numerous metropolis within the US. 

Man playing an instrument
Photograph Courtesy of Third Act Photographs

7. Kennedy-Warren house complicated

“Positioned only some blocks north of Washington’s famed Nationwide Zoo sits one of many area’s largest and most majestic examples of Artwork Deco structure and design: the 12-story Kennedy-Warren house complicated at 3133 Connecticut Avenue, NW,” explains Doug Abbey, Managing Accomplice at iconsDC, a group of distinctive designs for the house and workplace impressed by the Capital Metropolis. “Design particulars of each conceivable materials, together with stained glass, steel, wooden, and masonry, are outstanding on each the outside and inside areas – particularly the foyer and ballroom. Their riots of interval motifs are assured to thrill guests of any age.”

8. Reflecting pool of the Cherry Blossoms

Redmond additionally recommends the reflecting pool on the peak of the Cherry Blossoms. “I all the time attempt to go at dawn and it’s nearly a magical expertise watching the solar give you the blossoms and monuments within the background.”

Cherry Blossoms in DC
Photograph Courtesy of Third Act Photographs

9. United States Botanic Backyard 

“Some of the stunning locations in DC is the United States Botanic Garden,” says Soyini Goerge, Maker and Proprietor of Yinibini Baby, a neighborhood store promoting toddler and child clothes made out of natural cotton. “It’s an ideal place to study several types of flora and can also be an ideal place to calm down. I particularly benefit from the Tropical forest, for it jogs my memory of the Caribbean. It’s my go-to place for rest and peace. The sound of working water and the scent of the vegetation and flowers create a serene house, one by which I can clear my thoughts and really feel rejuvenated and impressed.”

10. The Nationwide Arboretum

“Set on 446 acres of lush botanical collections and breathtaking vistas, the US National Arboretum is a must-see for brand new locals,” states native photographer Jen Joseph Photography. “What makes this verdant oasis distinctive is its meticulous curation of vegetation from around the globe, and architectural options like the enduring Capitol columns. The arboretum provides solace and respite from town whereas remaining simply accessible by automotive.”

The Capitol Columns
Photograph Courtesy of Jen Joseph Images

11. Anacostia Park 

“My favourite stunning place in DC is Anacostia Park,” shares Sharla Thomas, founder and therapist at You Matter Spa & Wellness Center. “I like the best way the Park Service preserves the meadows for wildlife, and cherish the playful adventures with my canine alongside the water’s edge, the place she by no means misses an opportunity to dive in.” 

12. Rock Creek Park

“I fell in love with DC for its vibrant greenery, however I quickly realized there was extra to this metropolis than meets the attention,” says DC photographer, Melissa Lyttle Photography. “Transferring to Washington, DC with my spouse opened my eyes to the various neighborhoods, unbelievable meals scene, and distinctive native tradition. Nonetheless, most guests don’t know that DC boasts a forest within the coronary heart of town. Rock Creek Park, the nation’s third nationwide park, provides miles of trails, scenic views, and serene picnic spots. It even connects to town’s bike path system, offering a peaceable escape from the city hustle and bustle. DC actually has all of it.”

Tribute Collective, a sustainable style and homeware retailer, additionally mentions Rock Creek Park as their favourite spot in DC. “As DC’s biggests park, it provides a serene escape from the bustling metropolis. The park’s lush greenery and peaceable ambiance is a good way to attach with nature and revel in outside actions corresponding to mountain climbing and biking. The park can also be an ideal place to fulfill associates, they’ve good and secluded picnic areas which are good for a calming outside meal. Earlier than heading to the park I often cease by Every Peach Market in Mount Nice to choose up a salad, a sandwich, or fruits and veggies. The Market has pleasant employees and their dedication to supporting native farmers and companies.”

Cyclist in Rock Creek Park
Photograph Courtesy of Melissa Lyttle Images

13. The Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens

“Considered one of my favourite hidden gems in Washington, DC is the Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens,” says SE Carter, founding father of Chaos Candle Company. “This water backyard is dwelling to a fascinating array of water lilies, lotus blooms, dragonflies, butterflies, and different fascinating aquatic wildlife. The mornings are an excellent time to go to, permitting you to relish the tranquility and evade the presence of avid nature photographers geared up with telescopic cameras.”

“For a really magical expertise, mark your calendar for July when the Lotus and Water Lily Pageant takes place,” suggests Carter. “This particular occasion showcases the mesmerizing great thing about summer season lotus blooms within the backyard, providing a pleasant feast for the senses. It’s a possibility to not be missed in exploring the wondrous world of aquatic natural world at its most interesting.”

14. The outdated Alexandria Aqueduct Bridge

“Located close to the Georgetown boathouse, alongside the Potomac River, lies the fascinating ruins of the outdated Alexandria Aqueduct Bridge,” says Chris Kane journey blogger and photographer of eCKsplorer. “This gem, adorned with graffiti, provides breathtaking views of Rosslyn and the Potomac River. It serves as a serene escape on pleasant spring and summer season days, offering a peaceable respite away from the bustling crowds. Right here, you possibly can relish the great thing about the nation’s capital with out venturing into the favored vacationer hubs.”

The old Alexandria Aqueduct Bridge
Photograph Courtesy of eCKsplorer

15. Lovers Lane

Louis Everard and Jennifer Nygard, house owners of Everard’s Clothing, suggest testing Lovers Lane, situated inside Dumbarton Oaks Park. “Lovers Lane is among the most stunning locations in DC and is only a quick hike down the path that reveals a “doggy” seaside for you and your furry associates to dip your toes in Rock Creek.”

16. The Enid A. Haupt Backyard

Enid A. Haupt Garden won’t be a complete secret for locals, however it’s an typically neglected a part of the world with all the unbelievable museums surrounding it,” shares Lillian Cox, Co-Proprietor, Artistic Director, and Head of Design at REWILD, a neighborhood plant and flower studio. “It’s an immersive retreat from the crowds, and only a great spot for anybody who loves tropical vegetation. There is a little more of a ‘hidden’ half on its far west edge, with an alley of wonderful tropical vegetation alongside the east wall of the Museum of Asian Artwork with benches and seating tucked away amongst the vegetation. The vegetation are all potted and introduced indoors within the fall, so this part can actually solely be loved within the spring and summer season.”  

“For folk fascinated by taking themselves on a full greenery scavenger hunt, head to the Nationwide Gallery of Artwork to get pleasure from a quiet second of their East and West Backyard Courts within the East Wing, earlier than heading over to the U.S. Botanic Backyard’s conservatory,” suggests Cox.

Lane of plants in DC
Photograph Courtesy of REWILD

17. Fletchers Cove

Fletchers Cove is tucked on the banks of the Potomac about 5 miles from downtown, is one among my favourite spots for a weekend cookout,” shares Amanda McClements, founder and artistic director of native boutique outlets, Salt & SundryLittle Leaf, and The Sun Room. “Pack up a cooler, seize a picnic desk and grill, and sprawl out on the spacious garden. Within the hotter months, you possibly can lease and hop on a paddleboard or kayak from the boathouse and take a peaceable float up the river. Considered one of my favourite issues about dwelling in Washington, DC is accessing nature like this so near town.” 

18. Nationwide Mall

“As a local Washingtonian and lifelong resident of DC, I’ve lived in each quadrant and in nearly each Washington, DC, neighborhood,” shares Carolyn Toye, photographer for the photobook, The D.C. I See: Art of a Vanishing City. “I’ve devoted my work, largely, to capturing photos of town’s basic and getting older structure. However, I must say that probably the most stunning place in DC is the National Mall. I like that this open and expansive house of inexperienced grass and stone strolling paths has served as the positioning of a few of our metropolis’s biggest occasions, reminiscences, and moments. What I like extra is that once I cease on the Mall every day to stroll, I all the time discover new locations to discover and revel in, and new treasures to {photograph}.”

Bench at sunset
Photograph Courtesy of Carolyn Toye

19. Hillwood Property

“Many individuals don’t notice that Washington DC is among the nice backyard cities of the world,” shares native Valerie Brown Photography and creator of Capital Splendor: Gardens and Parks of Washington DC, showcasing the wealth of gardens and parks in Washington, DC and its environs. “Considered one of my favourite gardens is the Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens situated adjoining to Rock Creek Park in northwest Washington, DC. Hillwood is the property of Marjorie Merriweather Submit, heiress of the Submit cereal firm. The house is now a museum with Russian and French 18th and nineteenth century ornamental arts.

Brown explains additional, “The beautiful gardens are a group of formal backyard rooms together with a Japanese type backyard, lawns, woods, and a placing inexperienced. Pictured is the Rose Backyard with the house within the background. It’s a beautiful place to sit down on one of many benches beneath the pergola and benefit from the aromatic roses.”

Beautiful garden in DC
Photograph Courtesy of Valerie Brown Images

20. Metropolis Middle

City Center, nestled in downtown Washington, DC, is a fascinating city oasis for locals and guests alike,” shares Benjamin Burgess, photographer at K Street Photography. “Its mix of modernity and historic attraction, vibrant streets, and numerous cultural scene make it a photogenic paradise. From glossy glass exteriors to basic structure, each nook tells a narrative ready to be captured. The district’s dynamic power, numerous culinary choices, and neighborhood occasions create a vivid backdrop for gorgeous images. At sundown, the cityscape bathed in golden hues provides a fascinating spectacle. Metropolis Middle is just not solely visually interesting but additionally holds a particular place within the hearts of locals as a cherished gathering spot.”

Decorative umbrella's in the city center in DC
Photograph Courtesy of Ok Avenue Images

Washington DC is a metropolis that really embodies magnificence in each side. Whether or not you’re captivated by the grandeur of the Nationwide Mall, enchanted by the serene great thing about Rock Creek Park, or impressed by the architectural wonders of Georgetown, the sweetness and the individuals make DC a great place to dwell.