8 Best Places to Enjoy Sunset in Washington DC

Sunset can be a magical time in Washington DC. There are plenty of stunning places to enjoy sunset in DC. From the National Mall to the Georgetown waterfront here are some of my favorite places to photography sunset in DC.

Planning a Trip to Washington DC?
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When is Sunset in DC?

Use this clock below to see what time sunset will be tonight in Washington DC.

Today's Sunset
Sunset time:
5:52 PM EST

Tonight's sunset in Washington DC is at 5:52pm. While last light in DC will be at 6:19pm. The length of daylight today in DC will be 10 hours, 58 minutes.

Sunrise in DC

Places to Enjoy Sunset in Washington DC:

1. Lincoln Memorial & Reflecting Pool Sunset

Washington Monument Sunset Reflecting Pool
Sunset facing the Reflecting Pool from the Lincoln Memorial

Probably the most iconic place to view sunset in the entire city the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool offers stunning views of the Washington Monument as the sun goes down. If you sit at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial (located at the west side of the Reflecting Pool) you’ll be able to take in all the sights.

Since the views fast east you’ll see the sun’s last glow hitting the Capitol and Washington Monument.

Additionally if you walk around to the back of the Lincoln Memorial you can see the Arlington Memorial Bridge.

Lincoln Memorial on Google Maps

2. Sunset at the Yards Park

The Bridge At The Yards
Sunset at the Yards Park

Sunset can be enjoyable at the Yards Park with its path down the Anacostia River. The Yards Park bridge also makes a great backdrop for sunset. Plus there are plenty of places to eat and grab a drink after taking pictures at the Yards.

The Yards on Google Maps

3. Washington Monument Sunset

Sunset at the Washington Monument

Since the grounds around the Washington Monument are elevated there are plenty of places of angles for sunset. If you have a telephoto lens you can capture great angles of surrounding monuments. That includes angles of the Lincoln Memorial, White House, and US Capitol.

Of course you can also photograph the Washington Monument depending on the lighting as well.

Washington Monument on Google Maps

4. Sunset from the Air Force Memorial

Air Force Memorial In Dc Sunset
Air Force Memorial in Arlington, VA

The Air Force Memorial’s giant reflective arcs make for great reflections of the sunny sky. Plus you can watch plenty of planes in the distance. The parking lot if a bit small but I have never had an issue finding a parking spot at sunset. You can also park in the nearby neighborhood and walk a bit.

Air Force Memorial on Google Maps

5. Sunset at the US Capitol

One of my favorite places to enjoy sunset is the United States Capitol. Typically I arrive on the east side of the Capitol and walk around the building as the sun sets. There are also great spots on the east side to capture reflections of the sky.

Us Capitol Shot Thru Iphone Sunset
Sunset at the US Capitol

Once you get to the west side of the Capitol you’ll have a great view of the entire National Mall. If you have a telephoto lens here you can get a great shot.

View of the National Mall from the east side of the United States Capitol

There are a few angles you can shoot while on the east side of the Capitol during sunset. If you head down to the lawn you can get lower and frame the Washington Monument like the photo above. Alternatively you can stand a bit higher up at the base of the Capitol for a slightly higher view of the National Mall.

US Capitol on Google Maps

6. Sunset at Tidal Basin & Jefferson Memorial

Sunset on the Tidal Basin looking at the Jefferson Memorial

The Tidal Basin is always a great spot for sunset since you can see the sky’s reflection off of the water. You can also go inside the Jefferson Memorial and capture the light bouncing off the columns.

If you’re planning to be there are sunset typically you’ll want to be on the east side near the paddle boats so you can capture sunset with the water. When I visit I typically walk around the whole Tidal Basin to get different angles.

In the spring you can also get a change to see the cherry blossoms peak bloom around the Tidal Basin and is well worth the visit for sunset. Just keep in mind there will be a lot of crowds.

Tidal Basin on Google Maps

7. Sunset at the WWII Memorial

WWII Memorial at sunset

Directly on the National Mall you’ll find the World War II Memorial which is a great place to enjoy sunset. Since the WWII Memorial is between the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument there are plenty of great views to enjoy. The fountain in the center of the memorial is a popular place for tourists to cool off their feet as well. Since sun sets to the west you can watch it go behind the Lincoln Memorial depending on the time of the year.

No matter what lens you bring to the WWII Memorial you should get able to get great shots. Wide angle lenses will help you capture the large nature of the memorial while a telephoto lens will allow you to get shots of the memorial’s details and Lincoln Memorial.

WWII Memorial on Google Maps

8. Sunset at the Georgetown Waterfront

Sunset on the Georgetown Waterfront

The Georgetown Waterfront offers a great view of the Potomac River for sunset. Typically you’ll see the sun setting behind the Francis Scott Key Memorial Bridge.

Georgetown Waterfront on Google Maps

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Prefer mornings instead?
Read: Best Places to View Sunrise in Washington DC

I hope you enjoyed my list of sunset spots in DC! There are plenty of beautiful places to see in Washington DC. Not included in this list but another great spot are rooftop bars like the Vue rooftop and Crimson DC.

If you’re planning in advance for sunset here’s a full Washington DC sunset calendar.

Let me know in the comments below where you like to watch sunsets in DC!

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