Here’s a tip on where to see great views of Washington D.C. from above. I visited the nation’s capital and by accident with friends stumbled upon the historic Old Post Office Pavilion building and tower. The 315-foot tower is the third highest structure in the city, with the observation deck at 270 feet. This was a particularly great find, especially with the Washington Monument still closed (as of this post) because of damage from the 2011 earthquake.
Also known as the Old Post Office and Clock Tower, the building at 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW was completed in 1899 and used as the city’s main post office until 1914. A block or so north of the National Mall, it now houses a food court and has been used for office and retail space.
When I visited, National Park Service rangers were on hand to guide visitors to take an elevator up to the top of the building (ninth floor), and then either take another elevator or climb about 130 or so steps to the observation deck. I made the climb, which really wasn’t that strenuous. The tower offers 360 degree panoramic views of Washington. A park ranger I spoke with was very gracious and a wealth of information about the building and Washington.
The tour is free and the lines weren’t long when I visited.