The Ellipse
The Ellipse
3.5

Top ways to experience The Ellipse and nearby attractions

The area
Address
Neighborhood: Federal Triangle
How to get there
  • Federal Triangle • 9 min walk
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

3.5
3.5 of 5 bubbles45 reviews
Excellent
9
Very good
17
Average
13
Poor
3
Terrible
3

Ann M
West Chicago, IL7 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2023 • Couples
The Ellipse and White House area were closed off. Security said it would be open later tonight. We walked sound; saw people promoting their causes; helicopters in the sky, beautiful sunset and Washington Monument. Lots of interesting historical buildings and information. It was a nice evening, we will be back when the park opens tomorrow.
Written September 21, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022
PROS
* Best views of south lawn and south portico of White House
* Sprawling green plaza open to all, but very restricted parking

CONS
Of minimal if any other intrinsic tourist value

"I VISITED THIS PLACE"...
... because it was how I walked from DAR and OAS buikdings on 17th Street NW to the museums on our National Mall. I saw what I saw- a good view of the White House from the south. I took photos, including "stopping" a fountain in mid spray (see my attached photos). It was pleasant enough to walk through there (almost no crowds but others passing through as we were). I did it twice in two consecutive days- for that same reason

TIP
You should go only if you want that view and photo opportunity of the White House from the south.
Written July 8, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jbg74
Saint Paul, MN1,057 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
The National Christmas Tree was not impressive at all. The tree just had a netting of lights over it and there were some model trains running around it. It was a pretty big disappointment. There were miniature Christmas trees for all of the states and territories of the U.S. They had hand painted glass Christmas ball ornaments on them from schools in each state and territory. Those were quite nice but the main display was very lackluster and disappointing. Go to the U.S. Botanic Garden to see a great Christmas display and check out the Congressional Christmas tree in front of the Capitol Building and the Christmas tree inside the Library of Congress for much better Christmas options on the National Mall.
Written December 15, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

kihyland
Pasadena, TX536 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019
The Ellipse is basically the oval-shaped field between the Mall (Washington Monument) and the White House. You have to walk around it to get from the Mall to the White House. However, the best view of the White House is at the north end of the Ellipse.
Written September 4, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Globetrotter1955
Nashville, TN358 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2017 • Couples
While visiting DC in December, we went to the Ellipse to see the national Christmas tree. What a disappointment, it’s an understatement to say that that
National Christmas tree is nothing short of a disgracefully display. I don’t know who’s in charge to set this thing up, but whoever it is to say the least is doing a very poor job. Every city or mall in the USA has a nicer tree than that! It’s down right ugly and not fitting the slightest our great country and capital.
It’s a shame and I feel embarrassed for all the visitors coming to DC to see this ugly display.
Written December 30, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

joanstrassner
Luray, VA287 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2016 • Family
Beautiful tree, trains were amazing, the state trees are a nice touch too. Lots of opportunity for photos with the family
Written December 30, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

GlobalTrekkers
Tampa, FL144 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2016 • Family
Stay a way from the Ellipse visitor pavilion. We mistook this for the White House Visitor Center, as it is right next to the south lawn viewing area. It is horrendous and should be torn down immediately. The bathrooms were filthy and had no soap dispensers or toilet paper. The concession stand was out of nearly everything. Avoid this.
Written August 2, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DincerP
Philadelphia, PA295 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2018 • Solo
You would expect the "national Christmas tree" for one of the richest nations in the world to be a substantial tree. This was far from it. The tree was quite modest in size, and from what it appeared at night, it was not even a tree. It was just a scaffolding decorated with lights to make it look like a tree. The model train displays were unimpressive, and the individual state trees, each about 4 feet tall, were underwhelming. I did like that each tree was decorated with ornaments made by students at a particular school in that state. Other than that, you could perhaps spend 5-10 minutes, but not more than that
Written December 3, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

GeeDeeMK
Arusha, Tanzania77 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2018 • Friends
I toured here back in September 2016 and the experience was Phenomenal! Its indeed a great place to relax your mind and open skies! Loved it!
Written November 28, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CaptTrouble
Hudson, WI7,890 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2017 • Couples
My husband and I walked quite a ways to see the National Christmas Tree and the state Christmas trees. On our way across The Ellipse we encountered a full-on police bust, 4 officers with a resisting guy who was on the ground. Right in the middle of the sidewalk. We just walked around the spectacle never breaking stride.

I think that the television shows that have featured the National Christmas Tree and the state Christmas trees must make their cameramen lay on the ground and shoot upwards to make them look big, because none of them are. The National Tree was lighted but was fairly plain. The state trees were embarrassing and smaller than the artificial one we have in our living room each year.

Other than that, it's nice to have a green space to walk on in the middle of the District. The White House was also visible from The Ellipse. It too was disappointing with dim lighting, barricades, and warning signs to stay out.
Written October 5, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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The Ellipse - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about The Ellipse



The Ellipse Information

Excellent Reviews

9

Very Good Reviews

17

The Ellipse Photos

73