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Best Places to see Fireworks July 4th

Washington Monument and White House Fireworks Washington DC

Washington Monument and White House Fireworks

Still thinking of a great getaway for 4th of July?  Come to downtown Washington, DC. Take in all of the fireworks on the National Mall and the exciting family events. Worried about the hustle and bustle of the crowds? We will provide you with some great  locations for getting the best views of the fireworks with our latest blog. First, here’s the scoop on the main event, the fireworks:

When: Fireworks will begin at dark, at about 9:15 p.m. on Thursday July 4th.  The rain-check date is July 5th.

Where: The fireworks will light up the entire night sky over the National Mall  and Washington Monument. They will be launched from the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool.

There’s no better place to be on July 4th than Washington DC, the nation’s capitol.  Independence Day in DC offers a whole day full of fun and entertaining activates for the entire family. Here are just a few of the popular events which are free and open to the public:

  • July 4th Parade – Starts at 11:45 AM, July 04 2013  at Constitution Avenue & 7th Street, Washington DC. The July 4th Parade route runs all the way to 17th Street.
  • Smithsonian Folklife Festival – 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM, July 04 2013 outdoor at the National Mall, Washington DC. The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is an international exhibition and cultural exchange which is a two week, annual event on the National Mall since 1967. Its free and is great fun for the whole family. The festival features music, dance, cooking, crafts, and cultural exhibitions.
  • A Capitol Fourth–  8:00 PM to 9:30 PM, July 04 2013 on the West Lawn of the US Capitol, Washington DC. A Capitol Fourth is a free annual concert broadcast live by PBS and NPR since 2003. Performers and musical entertainment includes:

Barry Manilow ♦ Tom Bergeron  (Dancing with the Stars) ♦ Candice Glover (American Idol) ♦ Scotty McCeery  (American Idol) ♦ Darren Criss (Glee) ♦ Jackie Evancho  (America’s Got Talent) ♦ Megan Hilty ( Smash) ♦ John Williams  (Academy Award winning conductor)

National Symphony Orchestra ♦ United States Army Presidential Salute Battery ♦ The Choral Arts Society of Washington ♦ The U.S. Army Herald Trumpets  ♦ The U.S. Army Ceremonial Band

However, if you are only interested in seeing the fireworks, here are some great locations where you can get some great views. We also have a great fireworks locator map at the bottom of this post.

1. National Mall

Want to bear the crowd to get the ultimate view of the greatest July 4th Fireworks Show? Well below is some information you should know before venturing out to the National Mall:

  1. Access to the National Mall for the public begins at 10:00 a.m.
  2. All visitors are  required to enter via a security checkpoint.
  3.  It typically takes 1 ½ to 2 hours to clear the Mall after the fireworks.

Metro Travel Tips:

On July 4th, Metrorail service will run from 7 a.m. until midnight, with near rush-hour service levels between 6 p.m. to midnight.

• There currently is no scheduled track work on any of the WMATA lines

• The Smithsonian station will only be open to “entry only” passengers.

• To get to and from the Mall, passengers are encouraged to use the following stops rather than Federal Triangle and Smithsonian because of expected crowding:

• Foggy Bottom-GWU • Metro Center  • Archives • Gallery Place • Judiciary Square • Union Station • L’Enfant Plaza • Capitol South (no elevator service) • Federal Center SW • Arlington Cemetery

Good locations in and around the National Mall for seeing and photographing the fireworks include:  Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, US Capitol, FDR Memorial. See our Fireworks Map below for all the locations.


The big event: Fireworks on the National Mall. 4th of July can be the most crowded that the National Mall gets all year. But, because the fireworks show is so large, there are many alternative viewing areas in Washington DC and Northern Virginia.  With the construction current underway on the African American History and the Washington Monument, this may be a good year to skip the mall and try one of these other great locations for viewing the fireworks.  Below is a list of places in Washington DC to watch this year’s fireworks.

2  Arlington Cemetery

1 Memorial Drive, Arlington VA

Arlington cemetery is just a metro ride or walk across Memorial Bridge. You can find a nice spot on the Potomac River bank and have a picturesque view of all the memorials and the Capitol. Enjoy the show with the light jumping off the reflection of the river. A few other great nearby locations include US Marine Corps War Memorial, and Gravelly Point Park. See our fireworks map below for all the locations.

3. Benjamin Banneker Park

Benjamin Banneker Park is accessible by Metro, elevated and close enough to the mail to view the beautiful fireworks show but not to be engulfed with the thick of the crowd. Above all, it’s FREE. Another great nearby location is the FDR Memorial.

4. Cardozo High School and Columbia Heights

1300 Clifton St. NW

Cardozo High School is only a couple of miles for the thick traffic going towards the National Mall. It’s in the historic Columbia Heights neighborhood which has close to the highest elevation in Washington, DC. There is a grassy hill for viewers to lay a blanket down and enjoy the show.

5. McKinley Technology High School

151 T St. NE Another great neighborhood school with a great view of the national show.

6. Holiday Inn Washington DC– Rooftop Pool (Hotel Guests)

Our shameless plug: Want to stay completely away from the crowd? Hotel guests can enjoy a spectacular view of the fireworks on the Mall from our rooftop pool. Keep in mind that this will be the National Fireworks show!  You will also be able to find the show on PBS and a couple of local news stations from the comfort of your room. 1501 Rhode Island Avenue NW, Washington, DC, 20005

Spring Events at Wax Museum and Newseum

Spring tulips Blooming at the Capital Building in Washington DC

Tulips Blooming at the Capital Building

Thinking of bringing the family to Washington, DC this Spring or Summer? Or just a weekend trip with a group of friends? Then between catching up with all of the monuments, make a little time to visit the Newseum or Madame Tussauds. Many of the attractions will be hosting events that are family friendly and exciting.

Madame Tussauds

Madame Tussauds Wax Museum Sign

Madame Tussauds Wax Museum Sign

In our nation’s capital, where there a million things to do and see, there is only one place where you can go and meet all 44 Presidents, take an interactive  journey through American history, shake hands with influential and world leaders, get photographed with sports icons, and rub shoulders with Hollywood stars! That’s Madame Tussauds Washington, DC!

See famous wax figures like all 44 US Presidents including Barack Obama, plus Madonna, Beyonce, Rihanna, Britney Spears, Angelina JolieBrad Pitt, Samuel L Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, Robert Pattinson, and many, many more!

Wax Figures at Madame Tussauds Washington DC

Wax Figures at Madame Tussauds Washington DC

Beyonce Knowles Carter

Beyonce Knowles-Carter Wax Figure

Beyonce Knowles-Carter Wax Figure

We are fortunate at the Holiday Inn Washington, DC, to have the opportunity to have a special guest in our lobby beginning April 4th; we will have the world-famous singer, actor, and philanthropist, Beyonce Knowles Carter! If you plan to visit Washington, DC, stop by and take a photo with Beyonce before heading to Madame Tussauds.


Newseum Washington DC location

The Newseum is located at the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and Sixth Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., on America’s Main Street between the White House and the U.S. Capitol

Newseum offers a unique blend of Historical with High-Tech. The Newseum is a museum of news from around the world, offering over 250,000 square feet of five centuries of news and history. Visitors will also have the opportunity to experience up-to-the-second news technology and hands-on exhibits.

Visitors have the opportunity to explore seven levels of galleries, theaters, retail spaces and visitor services. It offers a unique environment that takes museum goers behind the scenes to experience how and why news is made.

George Clooney, President Obama, Angelina Jolie, Arnold Schwarzenegger, heads of state and many others have visited the Newseum since it opened in 2008. Come see for yourself why Susan Fornoff of the San Francisco Chronicle declared the Newseum “the best museum I have ever visited.” The Newseum is an unforgettable highlight of any visit to the nation’s capital.

Newseum Washington DC


JFK Exhibit

John F Kennedy (JFK) Newseum Exhibit

John F Kennedy (JFK) Newseum Exhibit

To mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the Newseum will feature two new exhibits and an original documentary film about the presidency, family life and death of America’s 35th president.

“JFK” includes “Creating Camelot,” “Three Shots Were Fired” and the documentary, “A Thousand Days,” and will open April 12, 2013. Also featured: “JFK Online: From the Newseum Archives,” an interactive Web-based exhibit that draws from the Newseum’s collection of video interviews with journalists who covered Kennedy. A visually stunning timeline presents key moments in Kennedy’s life, with rare photographs and personal recollections from the leading journalists of the day.

Public programs and special events about the Kennedys will take place throughout 2013 at the Newseum.

Holiday Inn Washington DC- Central White House

Holiday Inn Washington DC- Central White House

Looking to make your trip to Washington, DC a packaged deal? Visit Holiday Inn Washington, DC- Central/White House website for more information.


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