Things to Do

Where to See Beautiful, Towering Christmas Trees Around DC

View the decked-out pines at the Wharf, the Botanic Garden, and more.

The Capitol Christmas Tree in 2020. Photograph by David Andrews.

Rejoice! The holidays are near! DC may not have skyscrapers, but it does have elaborate Christmas trees that reach for the stars. Here’s a look at some of the prettiest trees in the city:

900 F St., NW
Jewelry designer Alexis Bittar had a hand in decorating this Penn Quarter hotel’s “Menagerie a Tree.” The opulent pine features swans peeping from behind streams of silver tinsel, pink plumes, and pearl garlands. It also holds little glass bottles with inspirational quotes from women such as Michelle Obama and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.


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Union Station
50 Massachusetts Ave., NE
This 32-foot-tall tree, presented by the Royal Norwegian Embassy, is a towering presence inside the train station’s Main Hall. Tiny flags representing Norway and the United States climb the twinkling tree. Also check out the giant wreaths on the building’s facade.


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US Capitol
First St., NW, between Northwest and Southwest Drs.
For more than 50 years, the Forest Service has supplied the legislative building with a tree from a different state. This year’s 78-foot-tall red spruce comes from North Carolina’s Pisgah National Forest. It’s decked with more than 7,500 ornaments crafted by North Carolina residents, and thousands of rainbow lights.


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National Christmas Tree
The Ellipse, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
There are 58 decorated trees surrounding the main pine on the Ellipse, which is decorated in glitzy gold. The ornaments, made around the country, represent each state, territory, and DC.


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Canadian Embassy
501 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
This tree facing Pennsylvania Avenue—surrounded by the columns and rotunda of the Canadian Embassy—might just be the best for the ‘gram. Visit it starting on Friday, December 9.

US Botanic Garden
100 Maryland Ave., SW
A 15-foot-tall Fraser fir is adorned with red and silver glass ornaments, along with snowflakes and icicles. The garden’s “Season’s Greetings” holiday exhibit includes DC landmarks made of plants; it’s on display until January 2.

Christmas Tree at The US Botanic Garden. Photograph courtesy of the US Botanic Garden.


1098 New York Ave., NW
The 75-footer is dressed up with gold lights and large metallic ornaments, and topped with a glittering star. Another draw to the shopping plaza: the canopy of snowflakes, illuminated branches, and a massive rainbow ornament.

1602 17th St., NW
The Dupont Circle Italian restaurant features a British-themed tree. Spot the Union Jack, gold crowns, and telephone booths scattered throughout the branches.

The Wharf
101 District Sq., SW
The Wharf has two trees this year. The main one, on District Pier, is a 45-foot-tall Norway spruce from Deep Creek Lake. It’s decorated with sea glass, “crab pot-inspired” ornaments, and blue and purple LED lights. Over at the Market Pier, you’ll find a 30-foot-tall tree made from over 100 Jack Daniel’s whiskey barrels from Tennessee. The barrels are available to purchase, with proceeds going to Operation Ride Home, an organization working to bring service members home for the holidays.

The main tree at the District Pier at The Wharf. Photograph courtesy of The Wharf, DC.
The Jack Daniel’s tree at The Wharf. Photograph courtesy of The Wharf, DC.

Editorial Fellow