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-   -   Washington DC July 4th (https://www.fodors.com/community/united-states/washington-dc-july-4th-611885/)

moldyhotelsaregross Apr 30th, 2006 05:41 PM

Washington DC July 4th
 
I'd like to go to Washington DC for the 4th of July festivities. Does anyone have any holiday favorites to suggest? I just decided on a whim to take this trip today.

Thanks :)
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Lena456 Apr 30th, 2006 05:51 PM

We were there a couple of years ago and people started bringing chairs and blankets to the mall pretty early to get good spots to see the fireworks. Security was pretty intense and I don't know how much you can carry in now - there is probably a website about it.

moldyhotelsaregross May 1st, 2006 09:15 AM

ttt

Underhill May 1st, 2006 09:49 AM

Friends who live near the National Cathedral tell me that the grounds there are a great place from which to watch the fireworks. You can picnic in the Bishop's Garden, too.

moldyhotelsaregross May 1st, 2006 01:08 PM

Thanks for the suggestion. :)

carcassone May 5th, 2006 08:29 AM

We're also considering a week in DC around the 4th. However, I'm wondering if the sights are closed around the 4th and thus, have to plan around the closures? Any ideas?

MikeT May 5th, 2006 08:42 AM

The Fourth is one of the biggest days of the year, here. EVERYTHING will be open since it's prime tourist time. It will be very very hot and crowded, but worth the experience.

CherylP May 5th, 2006 09:22 AM

It can be awfully hot, so make sure to have plans that include both outside and inside time. We like to metro or drive to Rosslyn area in Virginia and then walk to the park with the Dutch Carillon (Iwo Jima). Less crowded and great view of the fireworks, although not as much in the middle of everything to be sure. The Smithsonian festival also puts on the Folklife festival every year at that time on the downtime mall. Google it to get the schedule. They typically pick 3-4 cultures and have music, food, arts, etc. from that culture. It is really neat although can get crowded.

carcassone May 5th, 2006 10:46 AM

Good to hear that all major tourist sites will be open. How about the "working" sites? I know there are tours to see Congress/Senate in session or will they be in summer break? What about the FBI, Capitol, Mint?

Kal May 5th, 2006 11:29 AM

Loved DC for the 4th...even in spite of the heat. We've been there 3-4x and loved it every time...expect in 2001, I believe when a torrential downpour soaked us to the bone!

Fireworks over Cap Mall will spoil you for any fireworks ever again.

400,000 of our closest friends so if you can snag a hotel room near the Mall, do so.!

The Smithsonian Fest is very nice as mentioned and I think there is usually some sort of other ethnic-regional food/music fest up near Pershing Sq by the JW Marriot.

I recall most Govt buildings being opened but maybe limited hours.
Don't know about the Cap at all but check with your local Congressperson for passes and times.

If it's not too hot, get to the west steps of the Cap early for good seat for the "A Capitol Fourth" show.
Usually broadcast live on all local PBS stations.

Good show and if you get a seat on the Cap steps a GREAT view of the fireworks over The Mall.

If you go on the 3rd of July, you can watch some rehersals.

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cab5s May 5th, 2006 12:03 PM

Congress will be out July 1-9 for Independence Day Recess.

tusion May 5th, 2006 12:20 PM

It's very hot. You may want to consider a Nationals game during the day and then metro straight from there to the Mall for the fireworks. There will be a large time gap b/w the game and the fireworks but it should give you time to walk around.

I actually prefer to go to the VA side and watch the fireworks from the banks of the Potomac - it's a bit of a hike to get there, but considerably less stressful once you find a spot to sit down.

Grcxx3 May 11th, 2006 07:40 PM

Great info - as we will also be there on the 4th.

Will there be lots of food/drink vendors along the mall (more than the norm)? I imagine we can't bring stuff in with us, so I want to make sure there is plenty of food, water, soft drinks, beer.....

Kal May 12th, 2006 04:06 PM

Grcxx3,
We were there on July 2001 and there were plenty of carts selling water, sodas, munchies etc...but have some CASH!!!

But it may have changed after 9-11 or maybe they moved them farther off the Mall? Anybody been since???

Stephanie May 12th, 2006 05:37 PM

I wouldn't buy anything from the vendors except maybe if there were the Afgani people with hot dog carts. JW Marriott has a food court with plenty of choices. I have to give you credit for going this time of year. I went July 4th in D.C. 1987 when I lived there and went with several people and we were at the Washington Monument. There is an exceptional amt of people there and don't expect to have an easy time to catch the subway back. I remember leaving early to catch the subway and it was too crowded that a whole other crowd of us decided to walk to l'enfant plaza to actually catch the subway back to their destination. you may want to do some research about military bands. i was interested but with as many people as there is on July 4th you can't see too much into the distance compared to when it's emptier.

carcassone May 17th, 2006 07:24 PM

Thanks, cab5s, for the tip on Congress' Independence Day Recess. I now have reservation arriving on 6/27 which give us Wed/Thu/Fri to visit anything that will be close during the week of the 4th.

I need some help in trying to figure out what we must visit during these 3 "work" days and what can be left for the week of the 4th. We are leaving Fri 7/7.

Work days will be Lib of Congress,
White House?

Museum, monuments for the week of the 4th?

Of course, we'll reserve the 4th for the Mall/fireworks/CapitolSteps Show.





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