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July Fourth 2013: Where to Watch the Fireworks in Washington
From rooftop parties to lawns with a view, the best places to spot the fireworks this Independence Day. By Marina Lamanna
Ensure a great view of the fireworks this Independence Day. Photograph via Shutterstock.
Comments () | Published July 1, 2013

No roof deck this July Fourth, and fearful of the crowds on the Mall? Fear not: We’ve rounded up the best spots for fireworks fans, from parties to restaurants to parks with killer views.


MAKE A NIGHT OF IT

W Hotel Boom With a View

515 15th St., NW; 202-661-2400

Metro: Metro Center

Cost: Rooms start at $389, standing room starts at $60

Closest to the White House, the W Hotel’s prime location offers hard-to-beat views. Make reservations for an overnight visit, or snag standing room to see the fireworks from the hotel’s rooftop, P.O.V., with a deejay and a cash bar.

The Hay-Adams

800 16th St., NW; 202-638-6600

Metro: Farragut West

Cost: Packages start at $1,109

The hotel’s Fireworks Package includes a three-course dinner for two with wine and an open bar, as well as access to the ninth-floor Top of the Hay for two for Champagne and desserts.

DC Sail July 4 Fireworks Cruise

Gangplank Marina, 600 Water St., SW; 202-547-1250

Metro: Waterfront

Cost: $80

Set sail on the American Spirit, a 65-foot schooner, for a one-of-a-kind view of the fireworks from the water. (Bonus: It’s wheelchair accessible.)

Odyssey July 4 Fireworks Cruise

Departs from Gangplank Marina at Sixth and Water sts., SW.; 866-306-2469

Metro: Waterfront-SEU

Cost: $199.90

Reserve your spot on this gussied-up version of a booze cruise. Tickets include a three-course dinner, live entertainment, and an open bar.

Spirit of Washington July 4 Fireworks Cruise

Departs from Pier 4 at Sixth and Water sts., SW; 866-302-2469

Metro: Waterfront-SEU

Cost: $159.90

Tickets include an open bar, dinner buffet, and a deejay.


RESTAURANTS WITH A VIEW

City Square Cafe

9428 Battle St., Manassas, 703-369-6022

Metro: N/A

Cost: $49

Watch the fireworks in Manassas with an Americana-themed three-course dinner on the patio. Dinner starts with a red, white, and blue salad; then there’s a choice of barbecue pork ribs or pan-seared salmon filet. Cap it off with the quintessential patriotic dessert, apple pie à la mode.

Tabaq Bistro

1336 U St., NW; 202-265-0965

Metro: U Street-Cardozo

Cost: $75

To celebrate the Fourth, Tabaq Bistro, is offering a three-course dinner and a complimentary glass of Champagne. For a view of fireworks in both DC and Virginia, head to the rooftop after dinner.

Beacon Bar & Grill

1615 Rhode Island Ave., NW; 202-872-1126

Metro: Farragut North

Cost: $35

Head to the restaurant’s rooftop bar for a picnic-inspired buffet (think burgers and fried chicken) and, of course, a view of the fireworks. Reservations go quickly, so it’s best to call soon.


FAMILY-FRIENDLY (AND FREE)

Key Bridge Boathouse

3500 Water St. NW; 202-337-9642

Metro: N/A

Cost: Starting from $35

This Independence Day, embrace your affinity for adventure by renting a canoe or kayak and paddling down the Potomac for an up-close view of the fireworks.

Cardozo High School

1300 Clifton St., NW

Metro: U St./Cardozo

Cost: Free

Looking to miss the traffic? Head to this high school a full two miles away from the Mall, which sits on one of the highest points in DC and has a large lawn perfect for fold-out chairs and blankets.

Montgomery College, Rockville Campus

51 Mannakee St., Rockville; 240-314-8620

Metro: Rockville

Cost: Free

The college is staging an event with live entertainment (including Fugitive Brass Quintet, Pinneberg Dancers, and Rockville Concert Band) and, more important, a view of the fireworks.

Gravelly Point Park at George Washington Memorial Parkway

George Washington Memorial Pkwy; 703-289-2500

Metro: Reagan National Airport

Cost: Free

Come here to see planes take off from National Airport as fireworks explode in the background. Be forewarned: It’s a lengthy walk down the pathway.

Washington National Cathedral

3101 Wisconsin Ave., NW

Metro: Tenleytown/AU, Cleveland Park

Cost: Free

Start celebrating early with the National Cathedral’s annual free Independence Day Organ Recital at 11 AM. When the sun goes down, snag a spot on the grassy hill on the south side of the cathedral to ensure a view of the city. Bonus: The cathedral keeps its parking-garage restrooms open until about 8 PM.


TRADITIONAL SPOTS

George Washington Masonic Memorial

101 Callahan Dr., Alexandria

Metro: King Street

Go to Alexandria’s Masonic temple, only a mile from the Potomac River, to grab a seat on its large lawn, which overlooks downtown DC. It fills up quickly, so get there early for choice spots.

Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima Memorial)

Meade St. and Marshall Dr., Arlington

Metro: Rosslyn

Cost: Free

View the fireworks from the Iwo Jima memorial’s grounds. Tip: Avoid spots near trees and look for a spot in view of the Lincoln Memorial.

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