Oh, the 4th of July fireworks on the Mall! If you ask me, this is one of the great things about living in DC. And yet, I know most people either avoid them completely, or, are so overwhelmed by the idea of how many people come out for them, they decide staying home and watch the display on TV. Well, I’m here to tell you seeing them in person is the best, even with the crowds!
A few years ago, I put together this handy post on seeing the fireworks; it’s still quite good and worth a read. However, I’ve decided that what’s needed is something more visual. So, I packed decades of Mall fireworks excursions, and a few years of photos, into this handy Google Map (it’s after the jump, as well). And if you want some nice photos, here are my 4th of July shots from the past few years.
A quick note: blue pins are places I’ve been and can give firsthand pros/cons (I even have photos of what you can see); red pins are places that have been suggested to me, but I’ve never gone. What’s also on there is security info that I’ve gleaned from the Park Service’s websites. Definitely check the Park Service site again the morning of the 4th, as they have been known to change things at the last minute.
Expect long lines and waits if you are going to the Mall, the Capitol, or the Iwo Jima Memorial; this is normal, and it’s because of the bag and security checks done by the Park Service. And, seriously, chill out if you’re taking Metro; there will be a ton of people doing exactly what you are doing, so it’s not Metro’s fault that there are long lines. Also, Smithsonian Metro station is typically closed on the Fourth, so plan accordingly. Beyond that, just have a fun Fourth!
View 4th of July Fireworks Viewing (2013) in a larger map
The Ellipse and Capitol Reflecting Pool are other good places to watch.
Also…Smithsonian Metro station will be open on the 4th, but will be entry-only after the fireworks show.
Metro press release on service on the 4th: http://www.wmata.com/about_metro/news/PressReleaseDetail.cfm?ReleaseID=5523
Add the McKinley High School parking lot in Eckington and the parking lot of Our Lady of Perpetual Help on Morris Road SE, near the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum.
anon: Ugh, Metro goes back and forth on that every year. They really should keep it closed because it’s the only station people near the Washington Monument consider.