Celebrating 4th of July in Washington DC

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Washington DC – The Perfect Place for Celebrating 4th of July

In 1776, men of different ages, lifestyles, religious backgrounds and political opinions came together and drafted a document that will be a part of the United States of America forever. The Declaration of Independence demanded freedom from England and taxation by the English and was forerun by Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. It was on 4th of July, 1776 that the final draft was presented to the Continental Congress.

4th of July in Washington DC


And so every year, not only American nationals but also non-nationals visit the US in hopes of joining in the big celebration that starts and ends with a bang! Fireworks, live music, rooftop parties, and barbecues are just some of the ways people like to rejoice their independence. Whether you are a foreigner planning to visit the United States in time for 4th of July celebrations or a bored local looking for ways to make the most out of the Independence weekend, Washington DC is a great place to start.
Because what better way to celebrate the country’s birthday than by spending it in the capital? From witnessing the mesmerizing fireworks show on the National Mall to honoring the founding fathers at the National Archives, you can do so much in Washington.

If you haven’t yet planned anything for the upcoming celebratory weekend, here are 7 interesting things you can do that you will only find in Washington:
1. Take a Tour of the City
On Independence Day, Washington DC hosts a ton of sightseeing spots. The city is awash with fireworks, lights, and live entertainment. The best way to soak in all that in the most organized way is to take a city tour. Washington DC bus tours are a great option, as you will get to enjoy the fun and informative sessions about the nation’s capital, while visiting all the top tourist attractions and sites that make this city famous.
2. Partake In the Breathtaking Spectacle of Fireworks
Without a doubt, the 4th of July Firework show is the king of Firework spectacles in Washington. The large-scale show takes place at the National Mall after dark, a little after 9 PM. They start from the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool and can be viewed from various places throughout the DC River and Virginia. The best part about this show and the majority of other 4th of July shows in Washington are that they are absolutely free, which means you don’t have to be loaded to feel part of the celebration.
3. Visit DC Museums and the National Archives
Many DC bus tours offer trips to Museums and other historical places as part of the package, but if you are on your own, make sure to pay homage to the founding fathers by visiting historically significant places, such as the National Archives. The original copies of the Declaration of Independence, the American Constitution and the Bill of Rights are all displayed at the National Archives. You can also see a live show and meet the founding fathers as depicted by performing actors. You can also bring out your inner history geek by visiting DC’s museums and soak up in history, culture, and arts.
An interesting option is Newseum, which highlights the history of news reporting and numerous newsworthy trends and events. Here, you can also meet many people who share a similar love for history and make new friends. The National Geographic Museum is another great option if you are all about exploring history and nature. The institution offers a diverse array of collections and exhibitions that cover a detailed selection of topics, both related to present and past publications of magazines. The options are endless when you are in DC so make sure you really explore the history.
4. Spend the Day with Your Animal Friends
If fireworks don’t really amuse you and you are also not a history person, perhaps a day spent at a zoo might sound fun to you? The Smithsonian’s National Zoo is a good option since it offers various free programs that will allow you to observe nature, meet new people, feed the animals, learn about rainforest habitats and see elephants in their training process. If you know about BeiBei, the adorable Panda, and are looking forward to meeting her, you can do so at the Smithsonian Zoo.
5. Take a Patriotic Walking Tour
Nothing captures the beauty and spirit of the holiday better than taking a walking tour of the city. You can either walk with your friends or select an official walking tour agency that focuses on certain parts of the American history and Washington culture.
6. Attend a Concert at the US Capitol
If you are just here to have fun and stay away from all the boring stuff, no one is judging you. A good place to start is the US Capitol Lawn for the Capital 4th, which typically starts at around 8 PM. The concert features a list of star-studded musicians and a beautiful performance by the National Symphony Orchestra of 1812.
7. Chill at the Riverfront’s Canal Park of the Capitol
Lastly, if you are not in for the hustle-bustle and just want to spend some quiet, quality time with yourself, your significant other or your pet, you can do so at the Canal Park located in close proximity to the National Park. It is a hotspot for meeting up with friends and offers a striking view of the US Capitol. The Riverfront neighborhood also hosts an ecological park that greets visitors with lush green spaces, tables to sit, umbrellas, dancing water sprinklers, and a wood-cooked pizza place nearby called II Parco.

So, there you have it, plenty of reasons why Washington is the place to spend 4th of July, and ways you can make your Independence weekend more fun. An easy and effortless way to really enjoy the city during 4th of July is Washington DC bus tours, but with these ideas, you can also have plenty of fun on your own.

Brandi Marcene | USA Guided Tours DC Blog Contributor