Best Places to Gawk at the White House

Rooftop access tough to come by

There are approximately 100 hotels and 700 restaurants in the District.  But out of all these choices, there are only three that give you an unobstructed rooftop view of the White House

Unless you get a White House tour, hang outside the White House gate like a stalker/tourist, or watch an NBC White House tour with Brian Williams, this is as close as you're going to get to the White House grounds. 

About 990 feet from the White House is The Hay-Adams Hotel.  If you have the coin to drop on a night at this hotel, or if you can sneak in and find your way to the rooftop, you can get what is arguably the best straight-on view of the front of the White House. This view, excuse me ... rooftop, is typically reserved for private events like weddings.  Check out the view from one of the rooms above.
Old Ebbitt Grill is what some call a "Washington institution."  We just like their crab cakes and rooftop views.  Old Ebbitt Grill is approximately 10 feet closer to the White House than The Hay-Adams.   Unfortunately, like the Hay-Adams, you're not able to get up there unless you are part of a private party.  If you're not lucky enough to see it first hand, here is a link to a picture to show you what you are missing.
Last, but certainly not least, is the W Hotel (formerly the Hotel Washington). This is the most reasonable and accessible way to see the White House grounds up close.  We hear the food has been upgraded in the rooftop terrace.  (For those of us who used to go to the rooftop terrace, you know how important this point is.) 
The view is the closest to the White House, measuring approximately  950 feet.  What can be better than watching the snipers on rooftops looking back at you while you enjoy a mojito? 
Not surprisingly, there have been some conflicting opinions from some security officials as to what is going on with the monitoring of the W's rooftop terrace by White House security.  Click here for more information on the recently opened W Hotel.
If you are able to get in to any of these, you will be well on your way to becoming a true D.C. insider. Oh, and don't forget to send us your pictures.
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