A Capitol Fourth


Planning a trip to Washington for the 4th of July? You’ll have a great time! Here are a few hints to make sure everything goes as planned:

4th of July Fireworks

4th of July Fireworks

Make your hotel reservations now. It’s a popular weekend and your first choice may be booked. (You’ll want to stay somewhere you can easily get around – we’ll go ahead and suggest that you stay with us at the Hamilton so you can be a short walk to the Mall for the concert, fireworks and all the festivities. See our specials page for the best rates.)

Have a plan. What do you want to do? Watch the Independence Day parade? See the Declaration of Independence at the National Archives? Stake out the best spot for the concert and fireworks? Access to the National Mall starts as early as 10 a.m. No alcoholic beverages are allowed and anything you bring with you will be subject to inspection. The closest access point is Constitution between 14th & 15th Streets.

Walk or take public transportation. There will be a lot of street closings, so you won’t want to drive. Get an all day metro pass or walk. There will be large crowds on the trains so have a plan
on where to meet in case you get separated from your group. Make sure everyone in the group has the name, address and phone number of the hotel.

Stop by the Folklife Festival. If your plans take you to the Mall, be sure to visit the Smithsonian’s Folklife Festival. This year’s festival celebrates the tradition of music in Latino culture, spoken word in African American culture, as well as the culture and traditions of Wales. All events are free and open to the public.

Pack a picnic. And don’t forget to bring plenty of water and sunscreen – it’s often quite warm and shade is limited.

Enjoy the show. This year’s concert on the West Lawn of the Capitol features the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin, Natasha Bedingfield, the cast of the Broadway show Jersey Boys, the National Symphony Orchestra and the Sesame Street crew including Elmo and Big Bird. Then just relax and watch the fireworks before taking a leisurely stroll back to your hotel.


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