FQotD: Dear PoP – Where to watch the fireworks BESIDES on the mall?

“Dear PoP,

I would really like to watch the fireworks displayed on the mall this year, but i don’t want to wait around on the mall for hours and hours in order to have a nice view. I’m a little more interested in a bar that has view of the 4th of July fireworks. Any ideas? I know there are some roof top bars which are most likely stuffy, like the W, but are there any recommendations where to watch other than the mall?”

In July 2008 I wrote:

Without a doubt the best place farthest north would be at 13th and Clifton, NW by Cardozo High School. I mean this view is unbelievable everyday when there are no fireworks. You can imagine how sick it is with fireworks mixed in. I usually start off on my porch and just walk block to block. Others have written me about great local shows that can be seen at Grant and Sherman circles. However, Cardozo also has the benefit of being a stones throw from many of the great bars along U Street. So you can get some drinks along U Street first and then head up 13th, NW to Cardozo HS or vice versa.

We discussed where to take children to watch fireworks here.

And we talked about other good spots to watch last year, here.

You can see a video of what street fireworks look like in Petworth here.

So for the Friday Question of the Day: Where do you guys recommend to watch the fireworks not on the Mall? Specifically, if anyone has any favorite roof deck recommendations please mention those as well.

14 Comment

  • Every street corner 🙂

  • For those wanting to avoid the mall because it is crowded and crazy and endlessly long to get home on metro – yes it is – but it is also really fun. The crowd is generally very friendly, excitement is contagious and there is almost a “fallout shelter” camaraderie as it approaches nightfall and more and more people squeeze in.

    I certainly understand all the reasons not to go – but there is a unique experience there that everyone should try at least once.

  • cardozo HS is excellent. there are some great views from the Cathedral too.

  • If you want to chance the metro you don’t exactly have to go on the Mall itself. Just walk straight through the campus of GWU on 22nd or 21st street to Constitution Avenue and hang out on the walls or steps of one of the govt buildings. The Monument is only a couple of blocks away and the fireworks are right over your head. Then turn around and run to the metro before the crowds close in. There’s also a wall I used to sit on right outside of the Kennedy Center. You can see everything.

  • Gravelly Point near the airport.

    Haynes Point, but maybe that isn’t open.

  • We watched one year from near the Roosevelt Memorial. There aren’t a lot of people, at least there weren’t six years ago. The fun thing was that you could hear the crowds near the Washington Monument cheering, but you couldn’t see them. Kind of made a fun soundtrack.

    Also try Ft Myer in Arlington. Again, this was years ago and pre-9-11, so rules may have changed, but they allowed people to come on their grounds and watch. It was similar to being at Iwo Jima, but a family/military crowd which is nice on the 4th.

  • If you want to go to a bar Tabaq would be my choice.


    I think you need to reserve a table for the fireworks.

  • I’m a big fan of watching from Key Bridge–fireworks over the Kennedy Center, reflected in the Potomac. Gorgeous!

    • I watched them from Jack’s Boathouse so we were under the Key Bridge. It was great to have them framed by the bridge and over the Kennedy Center. Definitely my favorite fireworks viewing so far.

  • Holy Rood Cemetery on Wisconsin north of Georgetown is a pretty good spot. Watch the fireworks there before Georgetown University gets its way and turns the cemetery into a dorm.

  • I’ll be watching from the roof at Park Place. I have two extra tickets BTW.

  • McKinley Tech High School in Eckington has great views of DC and other cities’ fireworks! As well as a healthy showing in the parking lot.

  • is the top of meridian hill park any good?

  • PoP had a post last summer (http://www.princeofpetworth.com/2009/08/holy-rood-cemetery-a-sad-sight-but-fascinating-history/) about the old quasi-abandoned and overgrown cemetery adjoining Wisconsin Ave — and an anonymous mention in the comments that it was supposedly a great little-known firework spot. We’re going to stick around Cardozo this year, but I’d be curious if anyone can actually verify that claim or is willing to try it out this year.

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