My 15 Favorite Travel Photos from Washington, D.C.

Written by

Jason Barnette


July 21, 2016

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COVID-19 has changed the world. The tourism industry has been one of the hardest hit areas of the global pandemic. Local restaurants, museums, state and national parks have all changed hours of operation, procedures, and some have gone out of business altogether.

Please verify current operations of any places you want to visit mentioned in these articles, and contact me if a business has permanently closed so I can update the article. Thank you and stay safe out there!

For three years in a row I spent a week around my birthday in Washington, D.C. I explored the National Mall and visited several monuments, visited the Smithsonian Museums, found some great local places to eat, and hiked miles and miles. Each year I found something different to do and some new neighborhood to explore. I have no doubt if I only spent a week a year in D.C. it would take me a lifetime to see it all!

Here are some of my favorite photos from my three years’ of exploring the nation’s capital. I hope to return again some day (I’ll be skipping D.C. in 2016) and continue my quest to visit all the monuments and memorials!

The United States Capitol Building in Washington, DC

The United States Capitol Building lights up nicely when the warm sunrise first hits the gothic style architecture. Of course you have to get up early to see this.


The National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

On my birthday my first time to Washington, D.C. I fulfilled a childhood wish: I spent half the day at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. Here I got to see a recreation of the Wright Brothers plane that not only made history, but changed the course of history.


Sleeping Otters at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C.

After visiting The National Zoo I learned the technical term for a group of otters is a “romp”. No kidding.


The White House in Washington, D.C.

If you look closely you can see the faint outline of a tripod on top of the White House. As I was setting up this photo using a telephoto lens for depth compression I noticed a secret service agent on the top of the building looking through some massive binoculars right at me. I waved.


The Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC

The Basin provides a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, especially during the hot and humid summer months.


Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC

The cavernous Jefferson Memorial is one of the largest and most beautiful monuments in the city.


US Capitol Building in Washington, DC

It’s easy to forget that Washington, D.C. is actually a big city and not just host to the White House and a tourist destination. This view of the United States Capitol Building between two large office buildings, looking out across The Basin, really resonated with me.


Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, DC

The monuments and memorials aren’t always meant to be strictly for entertainment or a great place to capture a selfie. This depiction of the Great Depression reminds us horrible things have happened in the past, and we shouldn’t forget lest we repeat.


Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC

The Lincoln Memorial is one of the most-visited monuments in D.C. I waited for hours to be able to get this photo without someone walking in front of my camera.


The Space Shuttle Discovery at the National Air and Space Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA

On my birthday the second year I visited D.C. I got to fulfill another childhood wish: see a space shuttle in person. Yeah, I’ll admit I got emotional standing this close to a spacecraft I so desperately wanted to fly aboard when I was a teen. I still have my Space Shuttle Crew Operations Manual.


The United States Botanical Garden in Washington, D.C.

Outside the United States Botanical Garden are several gardens and paths to get you warmed up for the journey inside.


The United States Botanical Garden in Washington, D.C.

I wonder what will happen when those trees grow a few more feet and hit the glass ceiling? I hope they just expand the top of the United States Botanical Garden cause I don’t wanna see these trees go away.


Washington Monument in Washington, D.C.

The Washington Monument is basically the center point of all the activity on The National Mall, standing tall as an anchor to the city. But getting a unique photo of this monument is difficult. I won’t tell you where I captured this photo!


Union Station in Washington, D.C.

The years’ long renovation and repair work on Union Station is almost complete, and the beautiful architecture is finally on full display again.


The National Bonsai and Penjing Museum at the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington, D.C.

One of the last photos I captured during my last visit (August 2015) was at the U.S. National Arboretum. These trees were on display at the National Bonzai and Penjing Museum beside the visitors center.
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