8 Best Places To Spend Independence Day In D.C.

David Hatef

FROM BEAUTIFUL PARKS TO HISTORIC MUSEUMS, SPEND THE DAY CELEBRATING AT ONE OF THESE UNBEATABLE VENUES 

There is no better place to be than Washington, D.C. for Independence Day. Offering everything from parades to paddle boarding, there is something for the whole family. Spend the Fourth of July exploring this distinctly patriotic city with these eight fun activities. 

WEST POTOMAC PARK FIREWORKS 

Contrary to tradition, this year’s fireworks will soar over West Potomac Park in coordination with a presidential address in what hopes to be one of the biggest Independence Day celebrations in years. The President’s show, called A Salute to America, will be framed on either side by popular Fourth of July activities. A concert will be held on the Capitol’s West Lawn (another long-running tradition that is free to the public) and will culminate in a brilliant firework finale funded by the National Park Service. It’s one party you won’t want to miss. 

GEORGETOWN WATERFRONT PARK

If you’re looking for a cool place to spend the afternoon, consider moseying around Georgetown’s beautiful waterfront district. D.C.’s oldest neighborhood comes to life during the summer months, and this Independence Day, you can spend your afternoon paddle boarding down the Potomac or sipping something sweet at Washington Harbour. For adventurous spirits, kayak and canoe rentals are available at the Key Bridge Boathouse not far from stunning Georgetown real estate. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, stop by Café Georgetown for an espresso pick-me-up and a sweet treat. Enjoy a sunset view over the river as your evening comes to a close and cheer to another year in American history. 

HIRSCHHORN MUSEUM AND SCULPTURE GARDEN

The Hirschhorn Museum is a facet of the Smithsonian Institute that focuses on contemporary art in sculptures, paintings, and photography. With over 12,000 pieces available for viewing, you’re in for an afternoon of mesmerizing artwork. Inside, indulge your senses with one of the world’s most prestigious collections of 20th-century artwork. The museum offers American Sign Language tours and encourages families with children to visit in an effort to make art accessible to all.  

​​​​​​​The art doesn’t stop there. Outside, the Sculpture Garden is open until dusk, so feel free to peruse the 60 permanent installations after the museum itself closes at 5:30 PM. Popular pieces include Yayoi Kusama’s Pumpkin and Auguste Rodin’s Monument to Balzac. Don’t forget to tie a paper tag wish to Yoko Ono’s Wish Tree for Washington, DC so that it can join other wishes in Reykjavik, Iceland at her “Imagine Peace Tower.”

FOUNDING DOCUMENTS AT THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES

If you’re excited to spend the evening basking under the glow of fireworks in West Potomac Park, consider stepping over to the National Mall during daytime hours to take a peek at the founding documents at the National Archives and Records Administration. You might even be able to hear a live reading of the Declaration of Independence. All three pieces of the Charters of Freedom–the Bill of Rights, the Constitution, and the Declaration of Independence–can be viewed at their permanent home in an upper-level rotunda year round, but it’s especially important to remember our nation’s history on the Fourth of July. Celebrating the nation’s severance from Britain and establishing our core values and individual rights continues to play an instrumental role in our national identity. 

NATIONAL INDEPENDENCE DAY PARADE

Beginning at 11:45 AM on Independence Day, join hundreds of thousands of others as red, white, and blue parades down Constitution Avenue. The parade works in coordination with the National Park Service and Diversified Events to celebrate America’s birthday while honoring the wide variety of people who live here. Marching bands, floats, and balloons representing all 50 states participate in this annual event.

​​​​​​​The parade lasts until 2 PM, and for a clearer view of the action, the parade recommends finding a spot toward the end of the route where crowds are thinner. Rain or shine, the parade is a breathtaking spectacle of patriotic glory that is fun for the whole family. 

WASHINGTON NATIONALS ANNUAL GAME 

Are you ready to buy some peanuts and Cracker Jacks at the old ball game? Sing the national anthem with the Washington Nationals this Independence Day at their annual ballgame at Nationals Park. What could possibly be more patriotic than participating in America’s pastime? 

​​​​​​​This July fourth, the Nats take on the Miami Marlins in an 11:05 AM game, so you’ll have plenty of time afterward to gear up for fireworks. If you want to kick off the celebrations early, the Nationals play the Marlins on July 3rd as well, culminating in postgame freedom fireworks to set the mood for America’s birthday. 

THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AMERICAN HISTORY

Tune into your academic side by making a pit stop at the National Museum of American History in the Smithsonian Institute. The museum functions with the resounding understanding of one patriotic motto: e Pluribus unum–out of many, we are one. The nation has long been regarded as a melting pot, and the National Museum of American History celebrates that with exhibits ranging from Women’s History to Latino History, Religion in America to Disability History. 

​​​​​​​Visit the original Star-Spangled Banner and its exhibit, which teaches about the Battle of Baltimore and the history of our nation’s favorite song, or peer into the role of First Lady and her importance in shaping the nation.

HIKE IN ROCK CREEK PARK

Experience the call of the wild without straying far from the convenience of Washington, D.C. luxury estates by hiking in northwest D.C.’s Rock Creek Park. Brimming with wildlife, the park is twice the size of Central Park in New York City. This park dates all the way back to 1890, making it one of the first federally mandated parks. Rock Creek’s 1700 acres are an escape from urbanity during summer’s heavy heat, where visitors can picnic, ride along horse trails, and more!  

When you’re done exploring the historic Peirce Mill and gazing at stars in the planetarium, consider stopping by the Smithsonian National Zoo next door for a chance to see America’s favorite pandas. 

Don’t miss out on a single Independence Day celebration. Contact me today to learn more about building a life in an incredible Washington, D.C. luxury estate. 

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