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Kennedy Center at Dusk | Courtesy of the Kennedy Center (Photo by Regis Vogt)
Kennedy Center at Dusk | Courtesy of the Kennedy Center (Photo by Regis Vogt)
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Where to Go in Washington, DC for Panoramic Views

Picture of Aparna Krishnamoorthy
Updated: 13 June 2017
Washington, DC contains a pretty fantastic mix of history, culture, nature, and beautiful residential areas. Some of America’s most iconic buildings are in this city, and there are plenty of vantage points to experience its full beauty. Visit these places for some of the best views in Washington, DC.
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Rooftop at the Kennedy Center

The rooftop terrace of the Kennedy Center offers stunning views of the Potomac River, Georgetown, and across into Virginia. Go during sunset, grab a cocktail, and gaze at the picturesque views while walking along the wraparound terrace.

Roof Terrace Restaurant – 2700 F St NW, Washington, DC, +1 (202) 416-8555

Kennedy Center Rooftop Terrace | © Leeann Cafferata/Flickr

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P.O.V at the W Hotel

The swanky W hotel in downtown DC houses the P.O.V bar, restaurant and terrace on the top floor. The views of the White House are unbeatable from here, so relax with a beverage and enjoy.

P.O.V – 515 15th St NW, Washington, DC, +1 (202) 661-2400

Taken from POV | © Ted Eytan/Flickr

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The 6th floor balcony terrace of the Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue gives you some of the best views of the Capitol from up high, and a bird’s eye view of historic Pennsylvania Avenue. It costs $20 to visiting the Newseum, but both the museum itself and the prime picture taking spot make it fully worthwhile.

Newseum – 555 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC, +1 (202) 292-6100

Newseum | Courtesy of The Newseum

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National Cathedral

You’ll have to climb over 300 steps to get to the top of the Cathedral’s central tower, but you will be rewarded with one of the highest panoramic views in the city, which on a good day can stretch far west the Blue Ridge Mountains. You will also get an up close view of the beautiful architecture and panorama of the city, at any time.

National Cathedral – 3101 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC, +1 (202) 537-6200

View of the Twin Towers from the National Cathedral | Courtesy of National Cathedral

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Capital Wheel at the National Harbor

The glowing Capital Wheel at the National Harbor offers a whimsical view of the city and Alexandria across the water. Whether you are riding 180 feet above the waterfront or just catching a glimpse of it, the Capital Wheel offers one of the most unique views around. It’s best enjoyed at sunset. For a full experience, choose the VIP gondola with a glass bottom.

Capital Wheel – 116 Waterfront St, Oxon Hill, MD, +1 (301) 842-8650

Capital Wheel | Courtesy of The Capital Wheel

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Meridian Hill Park

Perched at the top of a hill, you can get views of the beautiful surrounding row houses and residential DC, along with some of the more popular sites in the distance. This park is loved by locals, and the picturesque cascading waterfall fountain is worth checking out, as it is one of the largest in the country.

Meridian Hill Park – 2400 15th St NW, Washington, DC, +1 (202) 895-6000

Meridian Hill Park | © Rudy Riet/Flickr

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U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima)

More commonly referred to as the Iwo Jima Memorial, this is one of the best spots in the DC area to get top-notch views of the city from the Arlington, Virginia side. It’s also one of the best spots to watch the Fourth of July fireworks over the National Mall.

US Marine Corps War Memorial – Arlington, VA, +1 (703) 289-2500

Iwo Jima Memorial | © scatteredView/Flickr