11 Instagram Worthy Views for Race Weekend
America’s capital offers lots to do during race weekend, whether you’re looking to hop museums, stroll Capitol Hill’s grassy knolls and monuments or indulge your palate in between sightseeing.
Here’s a pro tip: you can take your race weekend vacation to the next level from up above for elevated and truly epic views of Washington, D.C.
From rooftop bars to national monuments, this is your go-to list for the best views in the city.
POV Rooftop Lounge & Terrace at the W Hotel
Located just two blocks north of the marathon and 1/2 marathon Start Line lies the W Washington Hotel, located in downtown D.C. Atop the hotel is POV Rooftop Lounge and Terrace, sitting across from the White House and accompanying Capitol Hill landmarks it offers incredible views of the city’s most visited monuments. It’s also been the scene of movies like The Godfather Part II and No Way Out.
The Old Post Office Clock Tower
Situated just one block away from the marathon and 1/2 marathon Start Line lies the Old Post Office Pavilion, historically known as the Old Post Office Clock Tower. Built in 1899, it served as the city’s main post office until 1914 and later as an office building. Expect sprawling views of “America’s Main Street.”
Today the site is home of Trump International Hotel, in addition to the clock tower, an observation deck and exhibit that traces the building’s struggle to survive the evolving landscape of a growing metropolitan city over the years. It also houses the Bells of Congress, replica bells of Westminister Abbey of Westminister London. The National Park Service operates the tower.
Head north to the U Street borough and find popular British pub, Brixton. The two-story space looks south towards the Capitol district. It’s a favorite for sunsets and outdoor drinks and lounging.
Roof Terrace Restaurant at The Kennedy Center
Head to the world-class John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to discover an impressive, wrap-around outdoor rooftop terrace. It’s open to the public and puts the most visited monuments like Jefferson Memorial, the Washington Monument and others on front row. Stay for brunch and enjoy the view while you dine or visit just for the vistas.
Top of the Gate at Watergate Hotel
Now a buzzing hotel complete with rooftop lounge, the Watergate Hotel scarcely survived the Nixon-era scandal, having just reopened in 2012 following multi-million dollar renovations, the like which continue through today.
Situated on the Potomac River, it’s Top of the Gate rooftop lounge is one of few D.C. sites that offers 360-degrees of the District and Virginia just across the Potomac.
Washington National Cathedral
Located in the eastern quadrant of the District, in the Cathedral Heights neighborhood sits Washington National Cathedral, officially known as the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in the City and Diocese of Washington. It’s the second largest church building in the U.S. and fourth-tallest structure in D.C.
Visitors can enjoy daily self-guided tours that trace its history and impressive architecture, but the best park is the rooftop view. You’ll climb 333 steps to reach the central tower, taking in stained glass and gargoyles throughout the climb, all building to the grand view.
Situated halfway between the White House and the U.S. Capitol Building, the Newseum is an interactive museum that stands in honor and promotion of First Amendment rights of free speech and expression. It’s sits seven stories high, spans 250,000-square feet (23,000-m2), holds 15 theaters and 15 galleries.
Head to the sixth floor to steal panoramic views of Pennsylvania Avenue, looking back on the Smithsonian Museum collection, National Archives, the Capitol and others.
Rosewood Washington, D.C.
Hotel Rosewood Washington, D.C. is located in the Georgetown district adjacent to the C & O Canal. The rooftop bar and lounge is open to guests and the public, presenting views of the Potomac, the Kennedy Center and the Washington Monument.
Reagan National Airport
Although there are three total airports that service the capital city, it’s Reagan National Airport that own the best views flying in and out. Located across the Potomac in the state of Virginia, paths in and out of the airport include aerial panoramas of Capitol Hill, the Jefferson Memorial, the Washington Monument and many, many others.
Pro tip: make sure you book a window seat anytime flying in!
Roofer’s Union Restaurant & Bar
In the heart of the trendy Adams Morgan neighborhood is Roofer’s Union Restaurant & Bar. It’s a three story eatery with vaulted ceilings, preserved touches from the original building, and of course, rooftop views of 18th street, Columbia Road NW and the city below.