Best Places To See Fireworks In Washington DC

June 21, 2013 8:00 AM

There are few places more spectacular than Washington DC on the 4th of July. Between the various patriotic concerts, festivals and the culmination of the day’s festivities on the National Mall with the U.S. Capitol and the Washington Monument in the background, you can’t get much more patriotic than that. Although, what good are fireworks if you can’t see them? So, to save you the time of roaming around in the DC heat this July 4th holiday, here are some prime choices for optimal firework viewing pleasure.

Cardozo High School & Columbia Heights
1200 Clifton St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20009

Two miles from the National Mall in Columbia Heights, Cardozo High School is perfectly situated in one of highest elevation points in the city. Boasting an ample amount of grassy space, Cardozo High School offers optimal viewing of the Independence Day fireworks being set off down by the Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool. And if you are more of a social type, try and make friends with someone with a rooftop deck in one of Columbia Heights’ many apartment buildings. Securing a rooftop viewing invite will guarantee a spectacular view once the fireworks start going off.

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Beacon Bar & Grill Sky Bar
1615 Rhode Island Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 872-1126

Offering a bird’s-eye view from 150 feet up, the Sky Bar at Beacon Bar & Grill is a perfect option if you looking for a firework viewing party that is 21 or older. Costing either $15 or $25 depending on when you purchase a ticket, last year’s party featured handmade cocktails by Sky Bar’s expert mixologists, a live DJ and a variety of door prizes including brunch and bar tabs. If you want to post up at Sky Bar to watch the fireworks show, make sure to get tickets early since last year it only made 100 tickets available for purchase.

The United States Marine Corps Memorial
Arlington National Cemetery
Meade St. and Marshall Drive
Arlington, VA 22111
(703) 289-2500

Also known as the Iwo Jima Memorial, this spot offers an excellent view of the fireworks in a perfectly patriotic setting. The Marine Corps Memorial, one of the most dramatic and inspiring tributes to the Armed Services, offers not only a beautiful view of the fireworks on the National Mall, but a great alternative for anyone looking to avoid the crowds and security delays. The Memorial is also conveniently located about six blocks from the Rosslyn Metro Station on the Blue and Orange Lines.

Watch From The Potomac
Odyssey Gangplank Marina
600 Water St. S.W.
Washington, DC 20024
(866) 306-2469

The Spirit of Washington
Gangplank Marina
600 Water St. S.W., Pier 4
Washington, DC 20024
(866) 302-2469

If you are looking to step up your fireworks viewing experience this year, consider watching the fireworks aboard one of DC’s many cruises along the Potomac this Independence Day. The Spirit of Washington and The Odyssey both offer special Fourth of July cruise packages for individuals looking to trade in the picnic blanket and beach chairs for a premium open bar and a front row seat to the spectacular fireworks show on the National Mall.

The U.S. Capitol
1 1st St. N.E.
Washington, DC 20510

The U.S. Capitol may be one of the best spots in DC to watch the booming fireworks display and festivities go down on the National Mall. A Capitol Fourth, The Independence Day Concert, normally gets underway at 8 p.m. and visitors who choose to watch from the Capitol will have a perfect vantage point to see the star-studded concert and view the fireworks later in the night. The grounds open at 2:30 p.m. and since this is a popular spot, you should plan to stake out your spot on the early side, since the grounds fill up quickly.

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Matthew Scott is a freelance writer covering all things Washington DC. His work can be found on

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