After Hours Blog > Guides
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.
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
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.
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.
Gangplank Marina, 600 Water St., SW; 202-547-1250
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.)
Departs from Gangplank Marina at Sixth and Water sts., SW.; 866-306-2469
Reserve your spot on this gussied-up version of a booze cruise. Tickets include a three-course dinner, live entertainment, and an open bar.
Departs from Pier 4 at Sixth and Water sts., SW; 866-302-2469
Tickets include an open bar, dinner buffet, and a deejay.
RESTAURANTS WITH A VIEW
9428 Battle St., Manassas, 703-369-6022
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.
1336 U St., NW; 202-265-0965
Metro: U Street-Cardozo
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
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)
3500 Water St. NW; 202-337-9642
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
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.
51 Mannakee St., Rockville; 240-314-8620
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
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.
3101 Wisconsin Ave., NW
Metro: Tenleytown/AU, Cleveland Park
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.
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
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.