Favorite photoshoot locations around DC
I wanted to pop in today and share some of my favorite locations in and around the district that Spencer and I use for our photo shoots! We’ve lived here for 5 years and have loved getting to know the ins and outs and fun places to get our photos. Lots of locals and even people traveling in for a long weekend always reach out and ask where to go, so here’s a list for all you bloggers and yogis looking for a place to get a good snap!
Meadowlark Botanic Gardens
Located Vienna, VA, a short drive from the district, this is probably where we end up most often. No matter where you go in this 95 acre park, you’ll find something worth photographing. It’s actually hard not to take a great picture in here. From the cherry blossoms in the spring to the unbelievable fall foliage, its beautiful in every season. Its also a great place to go if you have kiddos too, because its a safe environment where they can run around, it’s completely stroller accessible, and the entrance fees are low (even free in the winter!)
The Perimeter trail at Meadlowkar Botanical gardens
Don’t go all the way to Meadowlark in Vienna and only go inside the park. There are tons of beautiful settings right outside of the park on their perimeter trail. Plus it’s great if you’re short on time, (you can park right next to the trail!) or need an easy flat walk. There are lots of hills inside the park.
Theodore Roosevelt Island
I think this has to be my personal favorite place to go. Its perfect for what I do, which is mostly yoga poses, because it has tons of large flat surfaces where I don’t have to fight with uneven concrete or cobblestone. This ones a great place to take the whole fam. The island is known for its hiking trails so you can stay a while and take a walk. Another bonus is that its always easy to find shade here in the summer because here are so many trees, and again, its a safe place to let the kids run free for a while.
Ronald Reagan Building
I love this location for more urban looking shots. We can spend hours here because there are so many different views to go with. Every way you turn theres a totally different looking photo. Plus, this is a great location if you don’t have a car or don’t want to fight with parking (which can really be a hassle.) The metro will drop you off right in the middle of this complex from the orange, blue and silver lines, at stop Federal Triangle.
This part of DC is a little bit removed from the National Mall, which means a lot less foot traffic. The Library of congress is in three separate buildings, spread out around the Capital Building. Also within a few steps you can find the Supreme Court. These building all have gorgeous architecture to shoot near, but like I mentioned, a lot less foot traffic then the monuments.
City Center DC
I’m sure every blogger in DC already knows about this one for sure. It’s iconic hanging lights are a gorgeous backdrop for any photo. Not to mention how awesome it is that they change every season.
Great Falls Park - Billy Goat Trail
A short drive from the District is Great Falls Park. You can enter the park in either VA, or MD. We’ve been to both sides, but personally prefer the MD side, near the Billy goat trail. Its a beautiful hike, with lots of side trails to get to the water or overlooks of the falls. We love going in winter when the water is low and more rocks are exposed. GF Park is also a National Park, so if you have a yearly NPS Pass, it’s good for free entry here!
Meridian Hill Park
Meridian Hill Park is definitely one of the most popular parks in DC, so it’s no surprise we like to come here too! Its the perfect urban park to take a walk, have a picnic, or sit on the hill and read for a while. In the summertime when the waterfall is flowing it’s a beautiful sight. Go on the weekends and you might catch the Drum Circle or Acro Yoga on the lawn.
McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area
Ok, so unfortunately this one only applies to one month out of the year, usually in august, but it would be a crime to leave it off of my list. There are lots of sunflowers fields surrounding the DC area, and we’ve gone to quite a few of them, but this one is always the best. It’s a hefty hike out to Boonsville, MD, but worth the drive if they are in peak bloom. You can check the McKee-Besher website, and they have daily updates and even daily photos, so you can plan your trip accordingly.
The National Mall
This seems like a given for DC. Yes, a lot of it is super inappropriate (please, don’t pose in front of the WWII Memorial,) and lot of it is touristy, but there are a lot of good finds in between. Long walkways, the reflecting pool, bridges, tidal basin, and lots of greenery. Don’t miss cherry blossom season!
Dumbarton Oaks Gardens
Nestled in Georgetown, behind all of the shopping and business, is a massive historic garden the I bet you had no idea existed. It reminds me of the movie The Secret Garden and I can get lost in here for hours. I’ll be honest I don’t remember the whole story, but I know its somehow owned and managed by Harvard, so its extremely well maintained. Our favorite season here is Fall. The entrance fee is pretty steep at $10 per person, but during the winter months its free!
Is there anything in Georgetown that isn’t photogenic? I mean, I really don’t know. So many historic buildings, streets, and homes, you really can’t go wrong. Even on a street, full of cars and naked brown trees on a dreary winter day, it’s still a gorgeous shot.
Shenendoah National Park
OK OK I know its not DC, but its the closest National Park and it’s an incredible day trip so I feel it’s necessary to include on here. Depending where you are in or around the district, it’s probably about a 2 hour drive, but you’ll spend the whole day there. Incredible hikes for all levels, waterfalls, and Blue Ridge mountain overlooks around every corner. There IS food inside, but not a ton, so take lots of water and snacks.
Alright friends, I hope you found some new inspiration on here for your photos. As always, if you need further insight or direction feel free to reach out. And if you travel to any of these new places and snap a pic for instagram make sure to tag me @hollybentley_yoga so I can see!