The American President is a 1995 romantic comedy. The plot centres around the sitting US President who dates and falls in love with a local lobbyist. It stars Michael Douglas and Annette Bening, and exterior shots were primarily filmed in Washington DC, which is naturally the setting of the film.
Sydney, having just moved to Washington DC, is living in her sister’s house in Georgetown. The house is located at 3341 P Street. This location is very close to many filming locations from The Exorcist, in case you are interested in visiting those as well.
When the President of France visits, we see some scenes take place at a banquet. These scenes were filmed at The Willard Hotel. The luxury hotel is one of the most well known in Washington DC, and parts of the hotel date back to 1816.
The Flower Shop
At one point, the President has his motorcade pull over to buy some flowers at a local flower shop. These scenes were also filmed at the Willard Hotel and along F Street. When I was visiting in December 2022, there was a large African Leaders conference. The hotel seemed to be one of the main sites, and was crawling with security. They also had a large tent out front, obstructing my view.
The location The American President used as Camp David in the film is the UCLA Lake Arrowhead Conference Center. If you’d like to see some pictures and read more about it, check out my friend Lindsay’s page here.
Washington DC Establishing Shots
A number of locations around Washington DC make appearances as establishing shots. The main location we see is the White House, which is the home and office of the President.
We also see some brief shots of locations such as the Capitol Building, Washington Monument, and the Lincoln Memorial.