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