DC Skyline Views:
The Washington Monument is again closed for tours due to renovations, but don’t worry, Washington, DC has some great lesser-known spots to view the city. The building height restriction allows unobstructed DC skyline views of the monuments, museums, federal buildings, and historical landmarks. The Old Post Office Tower provides one of the best view of DC, but at the P.O.V. Rooftop lounge you can also enjoy food and drinks. Also, if you are visiting Newseum, don’t forget to go out on the sixth floor terrace for a view down Pennsylvania, Ave. Arlington Cemetery, the Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima), and the Netherlands Carillon provide excellent views of the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, and United States Capitol from across the Potomac river.
UPDATE: The Washington Monument is again closed for tours due to renovations to the elevator system and security screening area. The monument is not expected to reopen for tours until 2019.
Old Post Office Tower:
Update: Reopened as of February 2017 Located at half block from the National Mall, the Old Post Office Tower affords an outstanding 360 degree view of Washington, DC including the Capitol, White House, National Mall, and the monuments and memorials. The tower is operated by the National Park Service, but the building itself is now the Trump International Hotel. Visitors should utilize the building’s south entrance to gain access to the tower. Currently, the tower is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. Admission: Free Address: 1100 Pennsylvania Ave NW
P.O.V. Rooftop Lounge:
The P.O.V. Lounge on top of the W Hotel provides a more restricted view of DC than the Old Post Office Tower, but it is a great place for some drinks and light food while taking in DC at night. Reservations are usually necessary if you want a table, but there is also standing room by the terrace bar. Fridays and Saturdays do get crowded. Drinks start at around $10, and their website lists the dress code as “fashionably chic. No baseball hats, flip flops, tank tops, sneakers or athletic wear” Address: 515 15th Street NW
Lincoln Memorial Steps:
Visitors often sit on the 58 steps leading up from the plaza level to the Lincoln chamber. While you can’t see all of Washington, DC from here, the view of the Lincoln Reflecting Pool, World War II Memorial, Washington Monument, and U.S. Capitol all lined up is dramatic.
Marine War Corps Memorial / Netherlands Carillon:
Immediately to the north of Arlington National Cemetery, the Marine Corps War Memorial ( Iwo Jima Memorial) and the Netherlands Carillon provide the iconic DC skyline view of the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, and United States Capitol in one line. From the Marine Corps War Memorial, keep walking to the bell tower (Netherlands Carillon) for the best view of all three.
The National Cathedral sits on one of the highest points of Washington, DC. From the tower located at the west end of the Cathedral, visitors are provided a 360 degree view of DC from a distance. Since the Cathedral is a couple miles from the National Mall, the view is less dramatic than witnessed at the Washington Monument or Old Post Office Tower. Visitors can take an elevator up to the enclosed observation gallery. Admission: $10 free on Sundays Address: 3101 Wisconsin Ave N Hours: Mon–Fri 10am–5pm Sat 10am–4pm Sun 1pm–4pm
Across the Potomac river, Arlington Cemetery’s Lee House provides a view of the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument.DC Skyline Views