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Top Spots to Catch the Fireworks

The most important part of any Independence Day is where you’re going to watch the fireworks. We have just the spots to optimize your view so you catch all the booming flashes and cascades of red, white and blue.

Every summer, fourth of July fireworks splash the sky with reds, whites and blues above the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and U.S. Capitol.


Pick a plot and plop down on a blanket for the night with close-up views of the fireworks and music from the National Symphony Orchestra.

Considering the fireworks are shot off from the Reflecting Pool, the National Mall is the ideal place to catch the action. Scores of families and folks set up between the Capitol and the Washington Monument, lounging around and picnicking. Otherwise, the Lincoln Memorial is a top spot for its photo-friendly perspective. Determined viewers also venture out to the Jefferson and FDR Memorials, where the water in the Tidal Basin reflects the spectacle from the sky.

Illuminated after dusk, the United States Marine Corps War Memorial depicts the flag raising at Iwo Jima in 1945. The memorial is dedicated to Marines who have fought to defend the U.S. since 1775.


If you’re going to watch the fireworks from Virginia, the Iwo Jima Memorial is a no-brainer.

A few blocks from the Rosslyn Metro station, the Marine Corps War Memorial, commonly called the Iwo Jima Memorial, is favored on the Fourth by the in-the-know set as well as savvy photographers. Juxtapose exquisite views of the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and the U.S. Capitol Building with the patriotic pyrotechnics on display.


How do you kick it up a notch when watching the fireworks in DC? You get out on the water.

Embark from Pier 4 on Water Street on Spirit Cruise’s Independence Day journey for an evening full of music, satisfying eats and, of course, a bright and bold fireworks display. Cruise along the Potomac in style and class, and keep the night going long after the grand finale.

P.O.V. Rooftop Lounge & Terrace at the W Hotel is the scene to see and be seen  - and a favorite destination for locals and visitors alike.


W’s P.O.V. Rooftop Terrace hosts an annual Fourth of July extravaganza, and it’s one of the hottest tickets in town.

Peep immaculate views of the White House and National Mall with expertly mixed cocktails and gourmet cuisine at the rooftop’s annual Independence Day event. Aside from the exploding fireworks, a DJ and live music will also entertain your ears.


Switch it up by pairing your fireworks with another awe-inspiring, airborne spectacle: flight.

Get out in the open for a scenic view of the Potomac, monuments, fireworks and the barrage of incoming and outgoing airplanes. There’s plenty to keep your attention at Gravelly Point, which is located just off the George Washington Memorial Parkway.


Hains Point offers spectators lots of breathing room and the option to fire up the grill.

Coordinating can be tough on the crowded National Mall, but not here. The park is one of the best outdoor spots to catch the show, especially if you’re with a large group of people. If you’re feeling extra ambitious, make a day of it by playing mini golf with the kids or shooting 18.