The Must-See Cliché Photo Destinations

By Anna Grace Johnson

D.C. is filled with A-List tourist spots - check out which ones are the best to hit up for photos!


When you think of D.C., you think of the cliché tourist spots - monuments, waterfronts, and touristy murals. But which spot is the best when it comes to photos? These places may be cliché, but they can’t be beat when it comes to scenery.

Waterfronts are plentiful in D.C. and they never fail to impress with their boardwalks, restaurants, and most importantly, scenery. The Georgetown Waterfront, The Wharf, and The Yards all have a unique waterfront vibe with the art and activities offered. The Georgetown Waterfront has a classic boardwalk along the water, ideal for sunset pictures with the Alexandria skyscape. The Wharf, on the other hand, has a large display of boats, as well as a boardwalk extending into the Potomac River with swings along it, making it the perfect place for playful, light photos. The Yards most iconic waterfront image is their white spiral bridge that crosses over the Potomac - the leading lines and shapes on the bridge are ideal for framing a photo.

In addition to the waterfronts is the National Mall: the must-see D.C. destination. The layout of the museums surrounding the grassy lawn of the mall is set up perfectly for a photo-outing. An unmissable shot is standing in the middle of the lawn with the Washington Monument or Capitol Building in the background while the sun is setting. The Capitol Building and Lincoln Memorial setup with the lengthy entrance with stairs allows for the ability to experiment with shapes, shooting angles, and lighting, providing for a more appealing photograph. To tie it all together is the Jefferson Memorial, combining the waterscape of the Tidal Basin with the architecture of the Jefferson Memorial, providing for the ideal D.C. spot.

As far as decorative walls and restaurants go, Blagden Alley, 14th Street, and Union Market are the places to be. Blagden Alley, which is situated within the 10th and M street and 9th and N street block, is known for its “Love” mural, with the letters L-O-V-E painted in rainbow stripes across four garage doors. Union Market, similarly, has a heart love wall, which you might be familiar with if you’ve visited L.A. Their love wall is a white wall scattered with pastel-colored hearts, situated behind Union Market on the right side. Lastly is 14th Street, which doesn’t have another heart wall, but it’s known for nightlife scenery and murals of famous faces. The D.C. Murals Project site has a list of a majority of the D.C. murals and where to find them.


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