Things to Do

9 Places to See Elaborate, Towering Christmas Trees Around DC

View the bedazzled pines at the Wharf, Union Station, and other spots around town.

United States Capitol Christmas Tree. Photograph by John Baggaley/Getty.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Dress up in your best holiday sweater, and head to a neighborhood hotel, eatery, or plaza to snap a photo near one of these towering beauties.


location_on 900 F St., NW

language Website

The tree at Riggs. Photo by Jeff Hodson.
Photograph by Jeff Hodson.

Luxury brand Lingua Franca decked out this Penn Quarter hotel’s hand-stitched tree. The ombre craftsmanship presents embroidered and crocheted luxe garlands that flash hues of pink, purple, orange, and blue amid crystal ornaments. There are historical nods embedded into the design, embroidery hoops engraved with quotes from women leaders, and a reference to a Roman goddess.


Union Station

location_on 50 Massachusetts Ave., NE

language Website

Photograph by Amy Sparwasser/Getty.

Since 1997, Norway and the US have commemorated their strong friendship with the lighting of a Norwegian Christmas tree. The lofty tree graces the train station’s Main Hall, with mini flags honoring both Norway and the United States. Also, don’t miss the festive wreaths on the building’s facade.


US Capitol

location_on First St., NW, between Northwest and Southwest Drivesforest s

language Website

Photograph by John Brighenti/Flickr.

The US Capitol is known for displaying some of the area’s largest decorative trunks. For more than 50 years, the Forest Service has continued a tradition of supplying the legislative building with a tree from a different state. This year’s 63-foot-tall Norway spruce comes from West Virginia’s Monongahela National Forest. You can view the People’s Tree shining on the West Lawn until the New Year.


National Christmas Tree

location_on The Ellipse, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW

language Website

Photograph by Kelsey Graczyk/NPS.

From 10 AM to 10 PM every day on the Ellipse, spectators can explore 58 decorated trees along the Pathway of Peace encircling a 40-foot-tall Norway spruce from Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia. The ornaments are one-of-a-kind—they’re designed by students from each state and territory.


Canadian Embassy

location_on 501 Pennsylvania Ave., NW

language Website

Photograph by Jason Vines/Flickr.

This year’s holiday tree from Canada can be spotted in the open rotunda of the Canadian Embassy. The balsam fir is decked out in glowing red and green lights.


Willard InterContinental

location_on 1401 Maryland Ave., SW

language Website

Photograph courtesy of Willard Hotel.
Photograph courtesy of Willard Hotel.

Upscale decor and dazzling trees line the halls of DC’s Willard InterContinental. Hotel visitors can observe the glitz and glamour of the main tree, in the lobby, featuring cream and gold ornaments and holiday bells.



location_on 1098 New York Ave., NW

language Website

Photograph courtesy of CityCenterDC.

This season is CityCenterDC’s 10th annual tree lighting. To mark the occasion, the plaza is installing nine-foot artistic trees to accompany the colossal 75-foot evergreen sapling. The smaller trees are vibrant conceptions from DC creators Maggie O’Neill, Annie Broderick, and No Kings Collective.



location_on 1602 17th St., NW

language Website

The Dupont Circle Italian restaurant commissioned local designer and bar owner Dito Sevilla to Vogue-out their Christmas tree. Stop by the eatery to see Vogue Magazine covers from all your favorite fashion trends being repurposed as ornaments. Also, Sevilla’s Dolly Parton-themed tree at The Little Gay Pub is picture-perfect for anyone looking to add pink to their winter photos.


The Wharf

location_on 101 District Sq., SW

language Website

Photograph courtesy of the Wharf.

The Wharf is a one-stop shop for all things holiday, welcoming guests for ice skating, s’mores, and more. In addition to the festive activities, there are two trees. One is a 45-foot-tall spruce guarded by nutcrackers on District Pier. The other, on Market Pier, is a “tree” built with more than 100 Jack Daniel’s whiskey barrels from Tennessee.

Briana A. Thomas is a local journalist, historian, and tour guide who specializes in the research of D.C. history and culture. She is the author of the Black history book, Black Broadway in Washington, D.C., a story that was first published in Washingtonian in 2016.