Best Places to View Sunrise in Washington DC

Sunrise is a magical time in Washington DC. The feeling of sitting on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial watching sunrise with no one around is quite calming. Here’s my list of theΒ best sunrise spots in DC, if you’re visiting DC or a local I highly recommend waking up early for sunrise.

Use this handy clock below for the exact sunrise time.

When is Sunrise in DC?

Tomorrow’s Sunrise: 7:07:34 am

Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool

Orange Sunrise At The Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool Andy Feliciotti
Sunrise on the west side of the Reflecting Pool.

There is something magical about sitting at a sunset on the edge of the Lincoln MemorialΒ Reflecting Pool. The sun cascading over the water with the Capitol and Washington Monument in the distance is a classic DC view.

Sunrise Lincoln Memorial Long ExposureThe end of the Reflecting Pool sits at the base of the Lincoln Memorial’s steps. There are plenty of angles to photograph with the columns of the Memorial. You also might see running groups jogging up and down the steps.

If it’s a cold weekday there won’t be many people at the Lincoln Memorial making it even more magical since you’ll be one of the few people there.

Lonely At Lincoln MemorialAfter enjoying sunrise you can also walk around the Lincoln Memorial and take photos of Lincoln on his chair.

Typically when going to sunrise I park on Rock Creek Potomac Parkway NW near the Arts of Peace Sculpture or on Ohio Dr SW.

I’ve never had an issue parking in the morning plus it’s about a 0.3 mile walk.

A 200mm lens will get you great photos of the Capitol, but I also enjoy shooting on a wide angle lens (16mm) right on the water.

DC Skyline fromΒ Netherlands Carillon

If you have a long lens (100mm+) the view from Netherlands Carillon in Virginia is stunning. You can get a view of the entire skyline of Washington DC. Best of all the view typically faces sunrise.

US Capitol Reflecting Pool

Us Capitol Sunrise Red
Sunrise on the west side of the US Capitol Reflecting Pool.

The United States Capitol Reflecting Pool gives you a unbelievable view of sunrise on the National Mall.

Tidal Basin

Sunrise at the Tidal Basin during Cherry Blossom Festival.

Most of the Tidal Basin is beautiful during sunrise. I especially love being at the MLK Memorial since you can see the sunrise over the water, plus see the Jefferson Memorial in the distance.

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