The Pentagon is a vast, impressive, and historic complex, but being the national headquarters of the Department of Defense and given its crucial role in protecting the nation’s security, the entire reservation, with one notable exception, is strictly a no-photography zone. And, for that matter, it’s very much a no-loitering zone as well. And the Pentagon Police don’t mess around.
The exception is the Pentagon Memorial on its southwest corner, which is well worth a visit and where you are allowed to take photos and spend time reflecting.
For special events that use the vast Pentagon parking lots as staging areas, like the Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Rally or the U.S. Army Ten Miler, you probably won’t run into trouble so long as you stick to taking photos of the event and don’t try to take photos of the building or its security measures. But, of course, your best bet is to take notice of whatever security personnel tell you.
If you're coming in from out of town, here are some of the most popular guidebooks that can help you make the most of your visit.
And here are some interesting options for less traditional guidesbooks if you'd like an emphasis on exploring DC on foot or diving into some of the region's rich history.