Think all the top photo spots are in the heart of DC? Think again.
Washington, DC has renowned sights, but the Instagram-worthy moments don’t stop there. From colorful murals to natural wonders to lesser-known historic sights, the DC suburbs are packed with amazing experiences practically begging to be shared on Instagram.
Not only are these sights picture-perfect, but they also happen to be some of the most popular spots in the DC suburbs. Once you’ve finished snapping your photos, take some time to explore and imagine what life could be like if you move to the neighborhood.
Which are the most popular spots in the DC suburbs?
#1. Great Falls National Park Overlook (McLean, VA)
When you’re in the mood for a short hike with a big payoff, Great Falls National Park is the place to go. The dramatic overlook is just about a 10-minute walk from the Visitors Center. Once you reach the viewpoint, capture some incredible shots of the cascading waterfalls (you’ll be set for the next few #WaterfallWednesday posts).
There’s a picnic area near the observation deck, so bring some snacks for a post-photoshoot break. Not quite ready to leave the park? Head to the River Trail for a semi-challenging hike that packs tons of picturesque overlooks along the route.
#2. Mosaic Fountains (Fairfax, VA)
Bring the family to Mosaic where you can snap some selfies before letting the kids cool off in the fountains. This retail-meets-entertainment complex is the perfect place to spend a summer afternoon. Take a stroll and look for unique architectural details that can make for interesting Instagram backdrops. And when you need a refreshment, grab something from one of the many eateries and enjoy it al fresco in Strawberry Park.
If you end up calling Fairfax “home”, keep an eye on Mosaic’s event calendar. Outdoor movies, workout classes and farmers markets are just some of the community activities held here.
#3. Meadowlark Botanical Gardens (Vienna, VA)
This 95-acre botanical garden is a year-round photo destination. Wander along the woodland trails to snap some colorful natural scenes for your Instagram feed. Don’t be surprised if you’re joined by professionals — this is a popular destination for bridal shoots.
Want to improve your photography skills? Sign up for a workshop at the park and learn how to capture birds, butterflies and flowers with your camera. Another perk? Just a few minutes away is the only national park dedicated to the performing arts: Wolf Trap National Park. Throughout the summer, you and your family can enjoy live concerts and shows at the park’s amphitheaters.
#4. Gravelly Point Park (Arlington, VA)
Looking for a wanderlust-style photo? Head to Gravelly Point Park. This greenspace is minutes from Ronald Reagan National Airport and offers one of the most unique photo backdrops in the DC suburbs: a low-flying plane.
Why not make a day out of park hopping? After getting your pics at Gravelly Point Park, take the kids to the playground at the nearby Long Bridge Park or let them run around the fountains at Crystal City Waterpark. There’s a Whole Foods nearby if you want to grab some picnic supplies.
#5. Murals (Bethesda, MD and Kensington, MD)
There are tons of bright, playful murals scattered around the DC suburbs. Check a few of these out to add some color to your Instagram feed.
When you’re exploring Bethesda, spend some time in the upscale shopping district known as Bethesda Row. You’ll find two amazing murals here: the Wing Mural and the Train Mural. International street artist Kelsey Montague created the interactive Wing Mural which includes three sets of wings at various heights — one for adults, one for kids and one for pets. Grab some great family photos and then head across the street for the impressive Train Mura. This one is a big hit with the littles.
Just a few miles away in Kensington you’ll find a massive 75-by-28-foot mural that represents the “spirit of the community.” This piece was added to the side of the M&T Bank in 2017 and has been a huge hit with locals ever since.
#6. Spite House (Alexandria, VA)
American’s skinniest house is located in Alexandria, VA. Take a break from exploring the neighborhood to snap a pic with this very Instagrammable two-story home. This quaint blue brick house really was built out of spite. In the 1830s, the owner of one of the neighboring homes was tired of the noise from the traffic in the alley, so he filled in the space with a house.
If you’re planning to take your four-legged friend on your suburban search, you’ll want to head straight for Founders Park after your photoshoot. There’s a large unfenced dog park here where they can run around and play.
#7. The Capital Wheel (National Harbor, MD)
Bring a different perspective to your Instagram feed by snapping some pics on the Capital Wheel. This impressive Ferris Wheel takes riders 180 feet in the air and offers unbeatable views of The Washington Monument, National Harbor and more.
If you move to the area, you’ll likely find yourself heading back to the waterfront for a few other family-friendly activities. You can go kayaking, take a yoga class, enjoy a concert or watch an outdoor movie all with the Capital Wheel in the background.
There are so many towns to pick from, how do you figure it all out? You simply don’t without getting a Suburban Jungle Strategist to help you through it all. Schedule here for your strategy session with our innovative suburbs strategy team. All services are completely free.