Everyone photographs the Lincoln Memorial, White House and U.S. Capitol. Now you’re ready to see some hidden gems around town. The good news is they’re all around us. But if we’re going to rank the best hidden photo gems, here are three favorites you can easily find.
Teddy Roosevelt Island
Teddy Roosevelt Island is a speck of land in the Potomac River that has been abandoned for decades. You have to walk across a wooden bridge from the Arlington side off the GW Parkway (spacious, free parking) to reach the District island where you’ll find this 17-foot statue by Paul Manship plus two fountains and four large stone monoliths.
The rest of the 88.5 acres is filled with different opportunities. You’ll see deer at some point and riverfront views of Washington plus a marsh. Weekends can be busy, but there are chances to feel alone in the middle of the region’s six million people.
Arlington National Cemetery
Four million people annually visit the military cemetery. And, you can almost see the triangular rut they walk to John F. Kennedy’s eternal flame and the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns.
But you’re so missing out if that’s all you see. The far southern sections are my favorite. The ones in the far back offer endless rows of white head stones (and a reprieve from the rolling countryside) while the western sections (to the right when entering) are like a cathedral of stones as you walk below the rolling hillside. It’s here that you can truly capture the magic of Arlington while seeing legends like Audie Murphy, Joe Louis and President William Howard Taft.
It reminds me of the opening scene of “Married with Children,” though those fountains are in Chicago. The Senate Fountain on the north side of the dome complex is gorgeous with the U.S. Capitol as the backdrop. We often include this spot in our walking photo tours.
The great part of Washington is one-fourth of the land is owned by the federal government with so many national parks. Indeed, Washington’s the greenest major U.S. city with trees comprising 20 percent of the canopy.
Find some places off of the beaten path. At least, they’ll feel like it. Or better yet, come with us on our walking tours.