Top Spots to Watch the Fireworks in DC Without Being on the Mall
The National Mall Fourth of July Celebration is one of the best fireworks displays in the country, but not everyone wants to be in the crowd on the National Mall. While there will still be crowds in other prime viewing areas around the DC area, you will be able to avoid the main pack of tourists by watching from one of these alternative spots.
Here's the lowdown on the DC Fireworks as you plan your viewing spot:
- The fireworks are scheduled to begin at 9:09PM (but make sure to grab your spot well in advance!)
- The fireworks display lasts for 17 1/2 minutes
- They are launched from the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool
Landmarks & Parks
Meridian Hill Park | 16 & W Streets, NW, Washington, DC
Known for the thirteen basin cascading waterfall (which is the longest in North America), this park provides a great viewing spot for the fireworks. Even better is that after the fireworks are finished, you can keep celebrating the 4th with just a quick walk over to the U Street area bars and restaurants.
Anacostia Park | 1900 Anacostia Drive, SE, Washington, DC 20020
This is an alternative spot recommended by the National Park Service for viewing of the fireworks. The park offers a variety of things to do before the show begins like grilling, playgrounds, fitness stations and sports fields.
Gravelly Point Park | George Washington Parkway, Arlington, VA 22201
Located just north of Regan National Airport, this park is known for providing great up close and personal views of the airplanes taking off and landing. The park has trails that provide view of DC from across the Potomac River.
United States Air Force Memorial | One Air Force Memorial Drive, Arlington, VA 22204
Avoid getting close to DC with this spot. The elevation of this memorial provides great views of the fireworks while keeping your distance away from the craziness of DC.
U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial | US Marine Memorial Circle, Arlington, VA 22209
By far, this memorial has one of the most scenic and iconic views of Washington, DC. The unobstructed direct view of the Marine Corps Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and Capitol are stunning on a normal day and are even more spectacular with fireworks added into the mix.
U.S. Supreme Court Building | 1 1st Street NE, Washington DC 20543
The steps of the Supreme Court Building provide a viewing point that is still close enough to the monuments on the Mall while not being a part of the main crowd.
Washington National Cathedral | 3101 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington DC 20016
Being one of the highest points in DC, you'll be able to get a good view of the fireworks from here. The grassy slope is the recommended viewing area for this spot.
The 14th Street Bridge, Arlington Memorial Bridge, and Key Bridge all provide great viewing areas for the fireworks. The Key Bridge provides easy access to the Georgetown bars to keep celebrating America after the show is over.
POV at The W Hotel | 515 15th Street NW, Washington DC 20004
The P.O.V is the rooftop bar and restaurant at the W Hotel and provides spectacular views of the city. To get on the roof for July 4th, you'll need to purchase a tickets to their event Boom With A View. The price of admission includes an open bar and food.
The Sky Bar at Beacon Bar and Grill | 1615 Rhode Island Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
Located between Dupont Circle and Logan Circle, the rooftop of the Beacon Hotel is another ticketed July 4th event.
Carr Workplaces Willard Event Center Terrace | 1455 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004
We can't have a complete list of rooftop spaces without mentioning one of our own! The rooftop space is booked for the 2016 fireworks, but is located next door to the W Hotel and is available for private rentals for future July 4th viewing parties.
Flight Wine Bar | 777 6th Street NW, Washington, DC 20001
A great wine bar located near Chinatown. Tickets for their July 4th event at the rooftop of Flight Wine Bar include seating, dinner, open bar, and the view of the fireworks.
Georgetown waterfront restaurants located in Washington Harbour such as Tony & Joe's Seafood Place, Nick's Riverside Grill and Sequoia DC all have great views of Washington, DC and the fireworks from their outdoor seating options.
The best way to avoid the crowds of people for the fireworks is to be on a boat. While the water becomes crowded with boats, you know that your boat crowd is capped at a maximum number. If you don't have a friend with a boat, there are local cruises that depart from all local area ports who offer fireworks cruises. Check out The Odyssey, Spirit of Washington, Embark, Capitol River Cruises, Potomac Riverboat Cruises, Boomerang Boat Tours and DC Cruises as options to watch the fireworks from the water.
Wherever you plan to watch the fireworks this Fourth of July, enjoy and be safe!
Fireworks photography by Carol M. Highsmith