Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Best (and Free) View of Washington DC

One of the travel tips I read before heading to Washington DC was that the best view was to be found at the Old Post Office. That advice was spot on!

The building itself is gorgeous, and ornate, and just a short walk from the White House.  Walking in under the arches, the inside Pavilion is just as beautiful.  A cavernous center point, with the entrance to the Clock Tour and the view downstairs.  This basement level is reached via a beautiful staircase, and hosts a mini-food court of treats....for after the climb!

Selena and I joined the short line to go up to the observation level of the Clock Tour, and were soon ushered into the elevator for the ride up to the top.  Even the view riding up was impressive, with glass walled elevators giving us a bird's eye of the Pavilion below.

Reaching the end of the elevator ride, there was another short elevator, or the stairs, to reach the observation level.  This takes you past the bell room of the tower, with mammoth bells a little older than me, ready to ring out over DC.  These bells were actually made in the UK, and sport the words "Wisdom", Courage" and Love" along their belt - and are the Bells of Congress, one of the largest sets of musically tuned ringing bells in North America.

But it was the view we were there for, and upon arrival at the open air observation level, it was clear why this was a recommendation.  A full view of the Mall laid out in front of us, as well as the White House and the buildings of George Washington University.

In the other direction, you have a view straight up Pennsylvania Avenue, to Capitol Hill.

Looking back on these photos now, I get a sense of how much we walked over those 2 days, exploring the Washington Mall, and we didn't even venture into any of the museums along the way!  The view from the top of the Old Post Office gives you a good lay of the land, and let's you get a visual map of the major sights, ready for your wander on foot.  And it's free!


  1. Ooooh, thanks for the tip!! I've done a lot of the typical tourist stuff in Washington, but I've never done this one, so it's now on the list of things to do when I'm there in January! :)

    1. Yeah, definitely do this. It was a great tip, had to share it!

  2. Ahh, fantastic view! I would have guessed the monument, so thanks so much for the tip!:-)

    1. Ahh, the monument is closed at the moment, for repairs. Plus, I think from the monument you would be missing a major piece of the view, cos you are in it!

  3. Hi Tash!

    Great tips. So many people complain about how expensive trips to Washington are, but look at you! Stunning photos, great experience and lovely scenery- ALL for FREE. Thanks for sharing!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...