Things to Do

MAP: Where to Watch the 2023 Fourth of July Fireworks Without Going to the National Mall

Not into crowds? We've got you covered.

Photograph by SeanPavonePhoto/iStock/Getty Images Plus.

Fireworks fanatics, get ready! Independence Day is almost here, which means so is the National Mall’s fireworks show. The National Park Service will begin this year’s 17-minute show at 9:09 p.m. on July 4, launching fireworks from both sides of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. Watching the fireworks directly from the National Mall is a special DC moment, but it can get crowded. Luckily, there are plenty of spots in the city with views of the show.

If you’re determined to catch the show on the Mall, you need to pass a security checkpoint before staking a spot in the designated open area stretching between the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. The grassy area around the Washington Monument will also be open, but the monument itself, as well as the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials, will be closed to visitors on July 4.

Map of July 4 events areas (2023). Map courtesy of the National Park Service.

For viewers who don’t feel like heading to the Mall, you can still catch the event from other parts of DC and Northern Virginia.

In the District, join your fellow Washingtonians at green spaces like Meridian Hill Park, Anacostia Park, and Hains Point. You can also head to the Washington National Cathedral to watch from the parking lot or the property’s grassy slope, the football field at Cardozo Education Campus, the athletic field at McKinley Technology Education Campus, or the Kennedy Center’s outdoor plazas and green areas. Or watch from the water: You can rent single and double kayaks at the Key Bridge Boathouse and the Thompson Boat Center, but reservations are required.

If you’re in Virginia and don’t feel like heading into the city, Gravelly Point, the Marine Corps War Memorial, or the Mount Vernon Trail are all great options.

Nick Pasion
Editorial Fellow