Places to Shoot

in the DC area or within half a day's drive


Looking for family fun things to do on Maryland's Eastern Shore? The Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art, is only a 30 minute drive from Ocean City, MD, and minutes down the street from the Salisbury Zoo. Lots of activities for all including Drop-in Art Saturdays.

Place Description/Location
National Battlefield Park at Bull Run Rolling landscapes with scenic trails that take visitors through the battlefield. Landmarks include historic buildings, canons, and cemeteries. Also, there are hosted tours and battle reenactments! Manassas, VA.
Burke Lake Park Beautiful lakeside views with a range of wildlife. 5+miles of paths/trails, boat rentals, carousel, miniature train. Burke, VA.
Scott's Run Nature Preserve This is a gem of a park. It's just southeast of Great Falls Park with trails leading to the water; natural beauty. McLean, VA.
Hemlock Overlook Nature trails bordering the water's edge with a mix of grassy hills and rocky outcrops; another great nature location. Clifton, VA.
Meadowlark Botanical Gardens Close by with 95 acres of nature and water. Route 7 west 4.5 miles from Tysons Corner, turn left on Beulah Road, 2.5 miles to entrance.
Horsehead Wetlands Center A specialized place for bird photography. Take Exit 43B on Route 50 across the Bay Bridge to Rt. 18. Follow signs. Worth a trip.
Pope-Leighey House A "Usonian" house designed and built by Frank Lloyd Wright. 9000 Richmond Highway in Alexandria, Va. (near Mt. Vernon)
A Georgetown Mural Outside a Caribbean restaurant, down by the water underneath the Whitehurst freeway, near the western end.
The Capitol Grounds A well-known site, but there are parks nearby worth exploring also. Very photogenic.
Mabry Mill A highly scenic watermill, located on the Blue Ridge Mountain Parkway, about 25 miles south of Roanoke.
Great Falls Park The river, the falls, wild flowers, birds, animals, the people. Off 193 near Great Falls village
Jefferson Memorial Very scenic. Try taking your tripod and get some nighttime shots. Bracket a lot...
Edgar J. Kaufman House - "Fallingwater" Frank Lloyd Wright's best known masterpiece or "natural" architecture. Located in Mill Run, Pennsylvania.
Longwood Gardens (PA) Among the greatest gardens in the world. Takes a full weekend to see it. Immaculate grounds, with many sorts of garden photography. Lost more to see in the area.
Winterthur (PA) Close to Longwood Gardens. Features a less manicured look that Longwood, but still meticulously maintained.
Naval Historial Center Extensive displays of Navy and Marine Corps memorabilia and artifacts. Washington Navy Yard, SE Washington, DC
Dumbarton Oaks Beautiful gardens covering 10 acres - Includes 10 pools and 9 fountains on the grounds. Located at 1703 32nd Street N.W., Washington, D.C.
Ellicott City, MD A more in depth view of a very convenient town between DC and Baltimore.
National Zoo The National Zoo in DC is a beautiful place for animal photography, with a good number of esthetic settings. Weekdays, in the late afternoon, are a wonderful time to visit.
Baltimore Zoo A wonderful zoo with excellent animal photography vistas.
National Cathedral Wonderful architectural photography, for both large scale and close up. Parking can be an issue. Metro and bus works well. Bring your own snacks.
U.S. Botanical Garden DC This is a wonderful spot for garden photography. Tripods are permitted, subject to common sense use. Parking is a challenge. Nearest Metro is Federal Center SW.
U.S. National Arboretum This is the other, less known, national garden, and well worth a visit. Outstanding bonsai exhibit. They also have a wonderful herb garden. Excellent parking available, with a gift shop.
Ladew Topiary Gardens By far the very best place to see topiary gardening on our area.
Brookside Gardens A large and varied garden right in the local area. Has an outstanding butterfly exhibit.
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden The garden can be described as a micro-sized version of Longwood Garden. Plan on a half day for a leisurely tour, including an on-site restaurant for lunch. Richmond VA
Blackwater Wildlife Refuge A large refuge, with many scenic vistas. Abundant bird life. Outstanding at sunset time. Easton and Cambridge are nearby towns. Cambridge MD

This is not an exhaustive list. There are a multitude of good photo ops in the D.C. area.

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updated March 19, 2015