Things to Do

MAP: Where to Watch the 2024 Fourth of July Fireworks Away From the National Mall

Avoid National Mall crowds at these alternate viewing locations.

Photograph by m01229/Flickr.

The Fourth of July is just around the corner, and with it comes the annual fireworks show on the National Mall. This year, the 18-minute display will start at 9:09 PM, launching from both sides of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool

To view the fireworks on the Mall, you’ll have to go through designated entry points open from 1 PM to 9 PM. Viewing areas extend from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to the Thomas Jefferson Memorial and around the Washington Monument. (The monument and Lincoln Memorial will be closed.) Road closures abound, so we recommend leaving cars at home and opting for Metro.

These areas can get packed quickly, so if you want to avoid the National Mall crowds, there are several other places to view the fireworks.

Map of July 4 events areas (2024). Map courtesy of the National Park Service.

In DC, find a spot at locations along the Potomac River. The Kennedy Center’s outdoor areas will be open, though the terrace is closed this year. For more views by the water, head to Hains Point in East Potomac Park. You can also watch right on the river: Rent a kayak from the Key Bridge Boathouse or kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards from Thompson Boat Center to enjoy the show. Reservations are required.

Green areas around DC are additional firework-watching destinations. The Washington National Cathedral and Cardozo Education Campus have verdant slopes, plus McKinley Technology High School and Meridian Hill Park offer grassy stretches. In Southeast, Anacostia Park is another park with firework views.

If you’re watching from Virginia, the Mount Vernon Trail provides some great lookout points for the fireworks, including Gravelly Point. The Netherlands Carillon and the Marine Corps War Memorial are other spots to see the pyrotechnic display.

Where to Watch the National Mall’s Firework Show

Yasmine Loh
Editorial Fellow