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The Best Ways to Spend 4th of July in Washington DC

Even though the US Soccer Team lost this week in the World Cup, it doesn’t mean us American’s will lose one patriotic step. The 4th of July weekend is almost upon us and Washington, DC may be one of the best places in America to celebrate it. If you are in town visiting, or you’ve lived here all your life, there is definitely something to do. We got out top picks for spending 4th of July in the Capital City right here:

4th of July Parade

Anywhere near the National Mall on the 4th? You can’t miss the the 4th of July Parade down Constitution Ave. This is just like your Main Street parade back home, only a little bigger. The marching starts at 11:45am and will feature bands and performers from all 50 states.

A Capitol Fourth

The annual concert on the Capitol grounds is capped off with the fireworks show. But preceding it is grand performances as a part of PBS’s Capitol Fourth. You may have seen the show on PBS all across the country, but the real thing happens live on the 4th and there is nothing like it. Make sure you get there early to save your spot. The gates open at 3pm and it doesn’t hurt to bring a blanket. This year’s show features performances from Franki Valli, the Muppets, Philip Philips, Michael McDonald, Jordan Sparks, and more!

Adult Beverages

Yes, we know. You can admit it. Somewhere between graduating college and having kids, 4th of July can be better than Christmas. The good news is that there are 158 bars in Washington, DC open till 4am on the 4th, so you can make sure you really celebrate every second of America’s Birthday. The way the founding fathers intended.


4th of July is to Fireworks like the summer is to baseball. And DC is not immune to dramatic, choreographed explosions in the sky. In fact, seeing the fireworks drape the National Monuments and Memorials is something special. As you can imagine, thousands descend on the city with the sole purpose of catching the show. Destination DC put together and awesome list here of places to take in the fireworks. We think the best view is by the Iwo Jima Memorial because you can see the whole skyline like the picture above. But, if you can, get to the top of your hotel roof or up to Meridian Park. Anywhere high up and you can usually see fireworks shows from the surrounding cities as well!

Don’t Forget!

The 4th of July in DC has dozens of festivals, parties, and special places. There will be performances on the National Mall, memorial services at many of the war memorials, dramatic readings of the Declaration of Independence, and the Smithsonian Folklife festival, just to name a few. Destination DC has a great rundown of the top 10 right here. Not to mention that this is the first year in 200 years that Francis Scott Key’s manuscript of the National Anthem is in the same place as the flag that inspired it. Find them both at the American History Museum. And don’t let the party only happen on the 4th. DC Cool has some other ideas for your entire 4th of July weekend right here.


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A family by the eiffel tower.