Can You Take Pictures of the Pentagon?

The Pentagon is situated outside Washington, DC, in Arlington, VA, and the U.S Department of Defense headquarters.

There is strict security at the Pentagon. If you happen to be in Washington and want to visit the Pentagon, you should know a few things.

This blog post will tell you everything you want to know about photographing at the Pentagon.

Can You Take Pictures of the Pentagon?

Is it OK to take photos of the Pentagon?

No, photography is restricted inside and outside of the Pentagon. However, the only place you can take pictures is the Pentagon Memorial on the southwest.

As a photographer, you need to avoid running with security guards and getting disappointments of pre-planned photos that may not even happen.

The Reason Why Photography is Not Allowed at the Pentagon

Can I Photograph the Pentagon?

Photography is not allowed at the Pentagon because of security reasons. With the secretive nature of national security, you cannot take any pictures.

Immediately you are out of the Pentagon Metro Station, you will see “No Photography” signs everywhere.

Therefore, it is no surprise why you can’t take pictures while on a tour of the building.

Items not allowed at the Pentagon

You cannot use cell phones, cameras, recording devices, and other electronic devices, but you’re not prohibited from having them inside the building.

However, these items are not allowed at the Pentagon: 

  • All animals, unless it’s a service animal for people with disabilities.
  • Alcoholic beverages. Alcoholic drinks are allowed and if caught with one, they can be confiscated and disposed of.
  • Explosives.
  • Weapons. Any weapon that can cause harm to anyone like a knife, box cutter or Oleoresin Capsicum, which most people refer to as a “pepper spray.
  • Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) like a Drone
  • Large bags, including camera bags, shopping bags, or backpacks
  • Since there is no public parking allowed, bicycles, motorcycles, scooters, and tricycles are not allowed.

What Places Can You Take Pictures in the Pentagon City? 

Can I  Take Pictures of the Pentagon?

The following are the best places you can take pictures in Pentagon city:

Gravelly Point

Gravelly Point is a green area along the George Washington Memorial Parkway, opposite River Potomac and north Reagan Washington National Airport.

Gravelly Point is a perfect area to take pictures since it has a large area and beautiful view that you can take pictures of throughout the day.

Since it’s along the George Washington Memorial Parkway, you can have some picnics and sports as you view Washington, D.C., skyline, and monuments.

Mount Vernon Trail

The trail runs through Gravelly Point. It’s used by runners, bikers, joggers, and walkers. The trail has many photogenic spots that you can take pictures of any time you like.

Some of the areas you can take pictures include the Potomac River, the bridges, and the trail that comes under and over.

When you visit the Mount Vernon Trail, make sure you snap the perfect pictures and be careful because of the bikers, since some are fast.

The United States Air Force Memorial

It honors those in the United States Air Force, and you can find it next to the Pentagon. The Memorial gives you a great view of the city, especially if you zoom your lens.

Taking pictures of the memorial itself is striking, especially if you have a wide lens. Enjoy your photoshoot while you are at the Air Force Memorial.

The Arlington National Cemetery

The National Cemetery is the final resting place for soldiers who died while active on duty; members of the armed forces that have retired, veterans, and their families are also notable citizens all over American history.

The place has many photogenic places where you can take pictures; it’s also quiet and elegant to snap images in all directions you want. 

You can take pictures of the gravesite of  John F.Kennedy, other gravesites in the Cemetery, and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Autumn can be a good time for you to shoot because of the kaleidoscope offered by the colorful trees. 

The Pentagon Memorial

The Pentagon memorial remembers the 184 innocent people killed on  September 11, 2001. It’s situated on the southwest corner of the Pentagon.

If you are a photographer, you are free to take pictures of the memorial but remember you can’t take photos of the Pentagon since it’s strictly a no-photography zone.

Other Articles In This Series

You might be wondering where else you can take photographs. This series of articles might be of interest:

Final Thoughts

If you happen to visit Washington, D.C., and if you want to see the Pentagon, make sure you don’t take any pictures unless you want to visit the Pentagon Memorial.

Ensure you follow their strict rule of no photography to avoid yourself getting into trouble.

If you want to take pictures while you are in Washington D.C., you can visit different places that you will be able to take pictures.