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Tips for celebrating the Fourth of July in Washington DC

Fourth of July in Washington DC

Photo Credit: Ken from MD / Washington, D.C. Fireworks / Flickr

Washington DC is a short drive from The Wayside Inn in Ellicott City, Maryland, making it an easy and educational day trip. In particular, visiting the Nation’s Capital is quite patriotic on the Fourth of July. If you plan to spend the Fourth of July in Washington DC, you can rest assured there are plenty of fun-filled activities taking place that will not only strike a chord with your patriotic side, but provide memories that will last a lifetime.

Below are our two favorite activities to enjoy on the Fourth of July Washington, D.C.

Independence Day Parade

The annual Independence Day Parade takes place July 4 at 11:45 a.m. Find a spot along Constitution Avenue or 7th Street to watch this patriotic parade that consists of bands from all over the country that have been invited to play, fife and drum corps, floats, military and specialty units, drill teams, dignitaries, celebrities and more.

Fireworks over the National Mall

The July Fourth Fireworks show over the National Mall is one that will send chills up your spine. You know you’re seeing something special when you are watching the colorful display of fireworks exploding with the U.S. Capitol, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Monument and many other monuments visible. The fireworks themselves are shot from the Reflecting Pool on the National Mall.

One of the best spots to watch the July Fourth Fireworks is the National Mall itself. Here you can enjoy watching the fireworks. About 700,000 people go to DC to watch the fireworks each July 4, so be prepared to arrive early and go with the flow when the fireworks are over. It reportedly takes about 2 hours to exit the National Mall once the fireworks have ended. There is a security checkpoint when you enter the Mall. No glass bottles or alcohol are allowed. Admission is free. Gates to the National Mall open at 10 a.m.

The West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol grounds is another great spot to view the fireworks, as a concert is put on simultaneously by the National Symphony Orchestra. Gates open at 3 p.m. Admission is free, however there is a security checkpoint. The concert begins at 8 p.m.

Fun tip: There is a full dress rehearsal for the concert and the fireworks on July 3. Beat the crowds and enjoy the concert and fireworks a day early!

Best spots to celebrate July 4 in Howard County

If you’d rather stay closer to The Wayside Inn for the fireworks, check out these locations for viewing fireworks in Maryland.

  • Howard County Recreation & Parks set off fireworks on the Columbia Lakefront in Columbia each July 4 at dusk. Bring a blanket, chairs and picnic.
  • Catonsville also celebrates July 4 with a family-friendly parade and fireworks.

Planning your trip

Since Washington, D.C. is a short drive from Maryland, let The Wayside Inn in Ellicott City serve as home base during your visit. While you’re planning your trip, please be sure to download a copy of our FREE Vacation Guide. It contains a variety of information on things to do and see while you’re in the area. The Wayside Inn has six beautiful guestrooms to choose from and offers a delicious breakfast each morning.

Photo Credit: Ken from MD / Washington, D.C. Fireworks / Flickr