Full Moon D.C. Monument Walk
Growing up and living in the D.C. area, I don't always think about spending my time at the major tourist spots like the monuments on the National Mall. Aside from occasional museum visits, I try to avoid tourists as much as possible as I go about my daily life. But every once in a while, it's nice to be a tourist for a day in your own city.
The national monuments are nice in the daytime, but they're especially nice to visit at sunset and at night. I took an evening walk past the monuments during a full moon and, tourists or not, you can get some great views from and of the monuments. For complete peace and quiet, you may have to visit late at night, but only do this with a group of people since getting mugged is sure to ruin any experience. I did this once on a whim with a group of friends at around 1 am and it is one of my most peaceful memories.
To make sure you get the best photos possible, here's a tip for cutting crowds of people out of your photos: Kneel down and take the photo at an upward angle. This will usually cut out the crowds. This is what I did to get the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial photo above, when there was actually a few dozen people surrounding the base of the monument and everyone was struggling to take their own crowd-free pictures. This technique doesn't work as perfectly at monuments with steps, like the Jefferson or Lincoln Memorials, but it still cuts out some of the crowd and makes the monuments appear even more majestic.