The beginning of July means fireworks, barbecues, parades, and concerts for many Americans. It’s a time for everyone in the country to come together and commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence, a significant moment in our history that moved our country to become a free nation.
For these reasons, it’s understandable that going to the nation’s capital for July 4th is something on every American’s bucket list, whether it’s to watch the spectacular firework displays or to enjoy the holiday with friends. Plus, having no skyscrapers lining the skyline to obstruct the fireworks is a huge bonus on this special day.
There’s truly no better place to gather with friends and family, participate in the festivities, and celebrate July 4th than in Washington, D.C. Watch fireworks light up the skyline from the water, the comfort of your backyard, or with hundreds of others near some of D.C.’s most popular monuments and memorials. The options are limitless when it comes to finding a spot to celebrate. Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of the best places you can go to celebrate our nation’s independence in D.C. Read on to find out.
A Capitol Fourth
Starting with the biggest firework display in the state -- and maybe even the country -- A Capitol Fourth is a show you don’t want to miss. An annual tradition for 41 years, well-known artists gather on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol to put on a star-studded performance for people tuning in from all over the country.
Whether you live in D.C. and want to enjoy the concert in person or want to watch from the comfort of your home, A Capitol Fourth is a must for everyone. You’ll never have to miss a moment since this show is a special PBS broadcast for millions of viewers to enjoy, so feel free to rewatch it as many times as you want.
After the concert, watch a brilliant display of fireworks light up the sky as they are launched from the Reflecting Pool. If you are attending in person, make sure to get to the National Mall early to get a good spot, as admission is free and capacity is determined on a first-come, first-serve basis. Stake out your spot among some of the country’s most famous monuments, such as the Washington Monument, the Jefferson Memorial, or the Lincoln Memorial.
If big crowds aren’t your thing, what better way to enjoy the fireworks than on the water? With a variety of dinner cruises, you’ll never want to experience July 4th any other way than with a plate of food and good company. Get a different perspective of the city on the water, where the reflection of the fireworks and lack of crowds will have you totally immersed in the holiday.
Embark DC Boat Tours will take you on a guided tour to explore some of DC’s best sites before heading onto the Potomac River, where you can watch the fireworks show. Bring along five of your closest friends and family members and a couple of drinks and food for the show. If you’re looking for a more complete evening, consider booking a cruise with City Experiences, where you can enjoy dinner with friends and experience live entertainment. At the end of the night, watch the fireworks light up the sky with a cocktail in hand and surrounded by good company. (Image Source: washington.org)
Mount Vernon Trail
If you’re looking for a fantastic view of the city for the show, gather up your friends, and rent a bike from Unlimited Biking to make your way along the Mount Vernon Trail. This casual ride will be well worth it once you reach the top, where you’ll have unaffected views of the National Mall. The fireworks reflecting against the water will give a show you’ll never forget. Don’t forget to bring a picnic basket with you to perch on the grass and enjoy the night with refreshments in hand!
For a spectacular viewing experience with luxurious amenities, check out the W Hotel to celebrate July 4th. While this is a more costly location compared to some other viewing spots, the experience is beyond worth it. Fireworks will cover the night sky, making sure you’re fully immersed in the celebration.
Its rooftop lounge is one of the best spots in the city every day of the year, so when July 4th rolls around, it becomes a coveted gem. With floor-to-ceiling windows and an unrestricted view of the National Mall and White House, watching the fireworks from the W Hotel truly is an experience to remember.
U.S. Supreme Court Plaza
The U.S. Supreme Court on Capitol Hill is another amazing location to watch the fireworks from. The wide plaza gives viewers ample room to settle in and wait for the show, and you’ll be surrounded by other enthusiastic citizens to celebrate this joyous holiday. Make sure to get to the plaza early to claim your spot, as this is another popular place for DC residents to go.
The good news is that the Plaza won’t be as busy as other public viewing areas, which will give you more time to make your way over, and you can also bring a larger group of friends to enjoy the night with.
This brilliant structure is as appealing as the fireworks that light up the sky. As one of the highest points in DC, the Washington Cathedral will give you full access to firework displays all around the city. The Cathedral offers two areas where you can watch the show from; the parking lot or the grassy slope.
Regardless of the spot, get comfy and wait for the sky to light up with color. Bring a picnic and blanket with you to lounge out, and have a meal in one of the most beautiful locations in the city. Not only will you have a great view of the fireworks, but you’ll also have a great time while you wait.
Cardozo High School
Pack up everything you need for the evening and make your way over to Cardozo High School. It might seem like an unusual place to sit and wait for the fireworks to commence—until you get to this marvelous location. It is more spacious than some of the other popular viewing spots, and the views are just as magnificent. You’ll have an excellent view of the skyline and the fireworks that are being set off at the Reflecting Pool. Like many other areas to watch the fireworks, grab a spot on the hill and bring some food with you. Spread out with friends and family, and celebrate with those you’re closest to.
Lady Bird Johnson Park
Settled along the banks of the Potomac River, take in the unobstructed views of the fireworks in this spectacular spot. Part of the George Washington Memorial Parkway, spend the afternoon walking along its many trails and visit some of the city’s most famed memorials. Once night rolls around and the fireworks begin, sit on the river’s edge and watch the lights dance along the water, mirroring the sky and giving you an experience you’ll never forget.
For an even better view, some people will grab kayaks and paddle out onto the water, the lights flashing right above their heads. Directly in front of the fireworks, Lady Bird Johnson Park provides you with the perfect location to celebrate the night.
Perhaps the best place to watch the fireworks is from one of the many rooftops in D.C. Most residents know this, so if you have a good rooftop or your friend does, consider watching the bright displays there as long as it isn’t the shortest building on the block. This way, you won’t have to worry about leaving early to reserve your spot or sit under the sun for hours.
From the comfort of your very own home, you could have one of the best views in the city with unobstructed access to the fireworks. Not to mention, you can stay for hours afterward to continue celebrating in the company of all your friends and family.
Celebrating July 4th is something almost every American partakes in, and in Washington D.C., the excitement is ever-growing. There are so many places to gather with friends and family, watch the fireworks, and celebrate this momentous occasion. Don’t forget to bring your camera with you to capture the moment and look back for years to come. If you’re planning on watching the fireworks from somewhere a little more crowded, grab a couple of bottles of water and pack some food while you wait.
Whether you are a resident or visitor, every year there’s a new place to watch the fireworks. Pick a dinner cruise for a quieter experience, or go to one of Washington’s famous monuments to watch the show with your fellow citizens. In the nation’s capital, there’s never a shortage of places to celebrate the fourth of July.
Armed with all the knowledge you need for watching the fireworks, make this July 4th the best one yet in D.C. If you’re interested in selling or buying your next home in the D.C. area, please contact Kyra Erika Agarwal and her team today. They would love to help you find the D.C. home of your dreams!
* Header Image Source: PBS