On July 4th every year at dusk the Washington Monument becomes the most spectacular backdrop to display one of the biggest firework shows in America. For over half an hour the sky around the national mall fills up with brilliant colors and explosions to celebrate our Nation’s birth.
As someone who’s been around for awhile, here our list of the best places to watch fireworks in Washington DC!
National Independence Day Parade
Constitution Avenue from 7th to 17th Sts.
A Capitol Fourth 8PM-9:30PM
Gates open at 3PM
West Lawn of the US Capitol
The official map with entrances/exits and NPS stations:
Map of road closures around DC:
#1 – West Lawn – The U.S. Capitol
America’s favorite Independence Day celebration will feature unrivaled performances from some of the country’s best-known musical artists, topped off by the greatest display of fireworks anywhere in the nation. Twenty television cameras will be stationed around Washington, D.C. to capture the sights and sounds of the concert, making at-home viewers feel like they are front and center for the show.
Metro: Union Station, Cap South
* Bonus *
If you’re a hill staffer (sorry interns), use your badge to access the capitol steps. You’ll have a better view than the lawn and you can bring a few guests.
#2 – The National Mall
We put the national mall as our second-place destination, because the mall is an experience all by itself. Pack a picnic. Break out the lawn chairs and glow sticks and celebrate America with thousands of patriots. This is one location you just cannot beat!
Metro: Archives, Federal Triangle
#3 – Out Front of the White House
Yes you can… stay out front of the White House and view those fireworks.
#4 – Cardoza High School
#5 – Tidal Basin / East Potomac Park
Usually the Tidal Basin is the destination for cherry blossom seekers. With the fireworks reflecting off the water, you will be sure to enjoy the views. Make sure to get there early so you can mark off your real estate.
#6 – Iwo Jima Memorial
Watching the show from the Iwo Jima memorial will leave you feeling patriotic on Independence Day. The memorial can also serve as a great spot if you live in Virginia and want to avoid the large crowds in DC.
#7 – Steps of Lincoln Memorial
Watch as the fireworks get launched from behind the World War II memorial. Be warned, get there early! This is a favorite location for many.
Metro: Foggy Bottom
#8 – Gravelly Point
Listed previously as one of Cloture Club’s top 10 hidden gems in DC, this place has plenty of space to spread out and see the fireworks in comfort. The airplanes flying out of Reagan National Airport will add to the ambiance.
Metro: Reagan National Airport, Rosslyn
#9 – Air Force Memorial
From the Air Force Memorial you see one of the most brilliant views of the DC skyline at night. This vantage point is a great place to see the DC and the Northern Virginia firework shows simultaneously.
#10 – Kennedy Center Terrace
A well kept secret. For those that live close to Georgetown or the Foggy Bottom Metro, the Kennedy Center Terrace (or the section of Rock Creek Park next to the terrace) is a great location to see the fireworks. Plenty of space available.
Metro: Foggy Bottom
#11 – Memorial Bridge
If you find yourself here, you’ll be in for a treat.
Metro: Arlington Cemetery
#12 – Let’s be honest, Any Rooftop Will Do
Reach out to your network of friends and and find that one with rooftop (home or work) to view the patriotic spectacle. You wont be disappointed.
Think we’re missing a place? Let us know in the photos below!