There isn’t a better place to celebrate the 4th of July than Washington DC! As one of the most historically rich and influential places in America, this hub of the country is one of the best places to spend your holiday. Whether you’re a local from Maryland or Virginia looking to do a quick day trip or extending your work trip to celebrate Independence Day, the nation’s capital is full of patriotic fun to make for a spectacular celebration. There are plenty of things to do for everyone, from families with young kids, couples on a getaway, or singles and solo travelers looking for fun. Here is a quick guide to your perfect 4th of July weekend in Washington DC.
FOR FAMILIES WITH YOUNG CHILDREN
- Check out the National Independence Day Parade, a huge parade full of floats, music, dancers, and entertainment. If sitting waiting for the parade to start isn’t in your kids’ forte, head to the National Mall and check out all the free Smithsonian museums and catch glimpses of the parade in between your museum walks.
- If fighting the DC crowds with little ones isn’t your thing, take the short drive to George Washington’s home, Mount Vernon, for a patriotic celebration. You and your family can visit Washington’s home, meet “George” himself, listen to a musical performance by the National Concert band, and even catch a fantastic mid-day firework display on the lawn.
- Spend your day at the National Zoo. This is the perfect family-friendly place to spend your day as you wait out the wonderful firework displays throughout the city that evening. The National Zoo is free to enter (which come on parents, we always love a free attraction right?!) and has so many fun animals to see like the elephants and the infamous pandas.
- Pack a lovely picnic (or order some to-go food) and grab a blanket and a spot for the Capitol Fourth Concert. This star-studded concert is full of fantastic bands and orchestras and ends with a slam-bang sparkling finish of fireworks lighting up the National Mall. Be prepared to come early and grab a spot, because it’s the place to be on the 4th of July!
- There is so much history within this bustling city, so explore as much as you can. Lead yourself through Washington on a self-guided tour across the historical monuments, memorials, and museums of the town. The Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, the WWII Memorial, and any of the Smithsonian museums are an absolute must-see on your tour.
- Why not start the festive weekend off with the National Harbor’s Salute the Sunset Concert Series?! This free concert on the National Harbor features an assortment of America’s military bands on July 3rd. Grab some cocktails, enjoy the beautiful water views, and get in the festive mood listening to an assortment of military bands throughout the evening.
FOR SINGLES AND SOLO TRAVELERS
- What’s more American than baseball? The Washington Nationals annually play at Nationals Park on the 4th of July and what better way to kickstart your day with a cold beer, hot dogs, a box of Cracker Jacks, and enjoying America’s favorite pastime.
- Explore Georgetown. The small town that neighbors Washington DC is everything you want: adorable boutiques, scrumptious local eateries, tons of Instagram-worthy photo ops, and plenty of locations to enjoy views of Washington DC. Grab a Georgetown cupcake and an iced coffee and head to the Georgetown waterfront for a full day of fun. Then grab a seat at one of the waterfront restaurants for the most epic water views of the fireworks over DC.
- As things come back to normal, definitely check out the Folklife Festival which is held on the National Mall between the Smithsonian Museums during the July 4th holiday. The festival celebrates cultures from all around the world, representing the epic melting pot that has become the United States. Enjoy authentic cultural representation of dance, delicious food, performances, and workshops throughout the festival.
- Washington DC is definitely one of the most epic places to be for Independence Day. As a mecca of historical significance and a plethora of museums to explore such as the National Archives and the National Museum of American History, it is the perfect place to visit for the 4th of July. Whether you’ve got young children, are here with your significant other, or exploring this city with friends or solo, Washington DC has tons of wonderful things to experience to make your 4th of July one that you’ll never forget. Happy 4th everyone!