George Washington’s Mount Vernon isn’t just a historic home, it’s also one of the most scenic photography locations in the DC area.

Whether you’re a serious photographer or just looking for some unique photos to mix up your Instagram feed, you have over 500 acres of historic property to explore and photograph. Be sure to share your photos using #gwmountvernon to be featured on our Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts!

1. The East Lawn

This is one of the most scenic views on the estate. As you approach the Mansion, go around back to the southeast side. Stand to the south for a different view of the Mansion, or to the north to capture the Mansion and a sweeping view of the Potomac River.

2. The Piazza

The view from the Piazza (also on the East Lawn) is not to be missed. Bring a wide angle lens to capture the full experience of standing where George Washington once stood.

3. The Washington Statues

When you first arrive and enter the Orientation Center, you walk right into the first place to take your Mount Vernon photograph: with the life size bronze statues of George and Martha Washington and their grandchildren.

4. The Pioneer Farm and Wharf

Located on the banks of the Potomac, the four-acre Pioneer Farm site represents the more than 3,000 acres that were cultivated at Mount Vernon in the late 18th century. Open April through October, it’s about a 15 minute walk to get from the entrance down to the farm site, or you can take our seasonal shuttle from the Orientation Center.

The Wharf on the Potomac River is also down at the Pioneer Farm. This is where you can arrive by boat from Washington, D.C., Alexandria, or National Harbor. You can also enjoy a 45-minute round-trip sightseeing cruise, offered April through October, to get a different perspective of Mount Vernon.

5. The Tombs

The final resting place of George and Martha Washington is about a 5 minute walk from the entrance. Get there for the Tribute at the Tomb for the full experience (times vary seasonally). During the tribute, they open the gate and invite you to participate in a moving ceremony for our first president.

While you’re here, be sure to take the time to visit the African American Memorial and Cemetery just behind the Washingtons’ Tomb. Wreath laying ceremonies also takes place here seasonally.

6. The Distillery and Gristmill

The Distillery (above) and Gristmill (below) is off the beaten path, but it’s worth the trek. Open April through October, tours of the Distillery & Gristmill are included in your general admission ticket. Located 2.7 miles from the main estate, you can either drive there or take our seasonal shuttle.

7. The Paddocks

If you're looking for some cute farm animal photos, don’t miss our heritage breeds scattered throughout the paddocks on the estate. Spring is the best time to come for animal photography, when our Hog Island Sheep babies are hopping around the exhibition paddocks behind the stable and lower garden.

8. The Upper and Lower Garden

The Upper Garden (above) was Washington’s “pleasure garden,” and remains so today. It’s most impressive in spring, but flowers also bloom throughout the summer and fall. The Lower Garden (below) is the vegetable garden, and is a quiet place to relax and capture some different shots of Mount Vernon.

9. Character Interpreters

No visit to Mount Vernon is complete without a photograph with one of our talented character interpreters. Please always ask them for consent before taking photos or putting your arm around them, and be sure to ask them lots of questions.

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Open today from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

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