July 4th in Washington, D.C.

Celebrating July 4th in D.C.? We've found the best places to party like it's Independence Day in the District. Slip on your reds, whites and blues and dip into the city's rich history, bountiful outdoor spaces and panoramic waterfront?plus discover the best spots for watching fireworks, the best places for family fun and hubs for partying patriots.

Updated: July 02, 2010

July 4th in DC: Where to Watch Fireworks

National Mall

no address, Washington, DC 20599

Whether you're on the Washington Monument grounds, or "way back" at the Lincoln Memorial, you're guaranteed an excellent view of the show this July 4th. The display starts around 9pm, but arrive early with chairs and blankets to claim a spot! A rain date is scheduled for the following day.

Odyssey Cruises

600 Water St SW, Washington, DC 20024

For $199.90, enjoy a three-course meal, live entertainment and an open bar, plus watch the magnificent fireworks display from an elegant seat on the river. Odyssey III docks at the Gangplank Marina, 6th and Water streets, SW Washington, D.C. Contact (866) 305-2469 for information and reservations.

Cardozo High School

1200 Clifton St NW, Washington, DC 20009

This Colombia Heights high school sits at one of the highest points in D.C., making it a popular neighborhood spot for viewing the fireworks away from the madness of the Mall. Arrive early to stake out a spot near the top of the grassy hill.

Marine Corps War Memorial

1400 N Meade St, Arlington, VA 22209

Convenient, accessible and with clear views of the Mall stretching across the Potomac, the Iwo Jima Memorial is one of the quieter options for watching the city display. Take Metro's Orange Line to Rosslyn, just a short walk from the Memorial. Bring chairs and blankets and enjoy the fireworks from this beautiful and poignant site.

July 4th in DC: Restaurants with a View

Indigo Landing

1 Marina Dr, Alexandria, VA 22314

Enjoy an all-American feast on the banks of the Potomac. Indigo Landing's outdoor buffet will include fried chicken, seafood, barbecue, corn on the cob and macaroni and cheese. The $75 ticket price includes a complimentary Champagne toast at the start of the fireworks. Call (703) 548-0001 for information and reservations.

Beacon Martini Sky Bar

1615 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036

This rooftop bar offers great views of the fireworks at the National Mall, but reservations go fast! Call (202) 872-1126 to reserve a spot. For $15 you gain access to the roof, where there will be an all-American-style buffet dinner.

July 4th in DC: (Free) Family Fun

National Archives & Records

700 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20408

Beginning with a ceremony at 10am, this all-day celebration will include patriotic music, a dramatic reading of the Declaration by historical re-enactors and family activities and entertainment for all ages. Gather at the Constitution Avenue Steps at the National Archives Building between 7th and 9th streets NW. Call (866) 272-6272 for more information.

July 4th in DC: For Partying Patriots...

Capitol Skyline Hotel

10 'i' Street Sw/south Capitol St., Washington, DC 20024

Celebrate America's birthday one day early (July 3) at the Capitol Skyline Hotel's rooftop pool. Part of brightestyoungthings.com's Summer Camp Party Series, the party will include music, swimming, special guests and plenty of food and drink. Party from 12pm to 8pm for just $10. Tickets and more info available soon on brightestyoungthings.com.

Southwest Waterfront

800 Water St SW, Washington, DC 20024

Visit the Southwest Waterfront for 2010's Uncle Sam Jam: From 3pm to 10pm, this first annual outdoor festival ($10, if you buy early) will feature four party areas, five bands, six DJs and tons of food. Enjoy a prime view of the fireworks and free entry into Zanzibar and Hogate's. For more information, visit www.theunclesamjam.com.