National Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land
I have been to the D.C. area several times and photographed some amazing locations, but this monastery has got to be one of my favorite new places. It is incredible how many gorgeous things there are to shoot, both inside and outside. Simply stunning architecture and grounds. They have a path that winds through acres of rich foliage and flowering bushes. At one point you wind down into a large bowl/amphitheater that overlooks a whole valley and you feel as is you have just traveled to the Holy Land. You can walk through a series of markers that review the steps of the Savior’s final hours. You will find monuments and gazebos and stone domes and statues all around the arched stone walls.
Once you have exhausted all there is to see outside, you can spend a few hours inside with opulent churches and altars, not to mention the intriguing underground catacombs. Seriously, this is a must-see the next time you are in D.C. They let you use a tripod and encourage photography. They even have photo contests. Check out the website: http://www.myfranciscan.org/