What better place to celebrate Independence Day than in our nation’s capital? People draped in red, white and blue, children waving American flags, and watching the fireworks against the DC skyline of monuments… if that doesn’t get your patriotic senses going, I don’t know what will!
Visiting Washington, DC for the Fourth of July has been a bucket list item for me, and it was everything I expected and more. I had read many blog posts from others stating that it was overcrowded and to avoid DC around this time, but I found that not to be true. It was not more crowded than an average weekend there, and we had an amazing time on our visit.
I would highly recommend staying for two nights when visiting for Independence Day, giving you time to get settled in and enjoy the city itself. DC is where you can access the world’s best museums, most of them are free! With it’s waterfront views, countless parks, monuments, memorials, and history – DC is a lively city that has more to offer than people realize. It is the capital of the United States, but it so much more than that. Go and see for yourself!
I have compiled a list of the three A’s: Accommodations, Adventures, and Appetite! If you have any questions about Washington DC or our trip please shoot me an email!
We stayed at Homewood Suites by Hilton Washington DC Convention Center and were thrilled with the location. You are a quick 10 minute walk to the Capital One Arena, making it a great place to stay if catching a game. It is also just a one mile walk from the National Mall, passing many delicious restaurants and museums on the way! If you are needed to ride the subway on your visit, it is a quick 7 minute walk to the nearest station at the Convention Center.
The hotel itself is beautiful and modern. The staff is extremely helpful and goes out of their way to help you navigate your visit, they pulled out maps and highlighted routes for us. Our room had one king bed and a pull out couch, a large shower, and full kitchen with large refigerator (my favorite).
Free breakfast is included with your stay, and they had a big selection every morning from pastries to sausage and bacon. It is the perfect way to start your day before exploring DC.
My absolutely favorite thing about the Homewood Suites in DC was that we were able to watch fireworks from our room long after the “official” fireworks had ended. We arrived back at our room around 10:30 PM and had so many more to watch from our bed which was an amazing end to our trip (but you could not hear them, so it was great if you were already asleep!).
Nationals Baseball Game – Hot dogs, baseball, beer, the Fourth of July… it doesn’t get much better than that folks. We had a quintessential American ball game at the Washington Nationals Baseball game! Our girls got an official certificate of their first MLB game from guest services which was a huge highlight for them. We stayed the entire game (yes, with a 4 and 6 year old) and had a great time. It did get hot, but we brought handheld fans and got ice cream to cool ourselves down! The ball park has great food and drinks, and we look forward to going back to another game on our next visit! The electric vibe in the stadium is addicting!
Yards Park – Just outside the Nationals Stadium is Yards Park, a great spot to bring your kids and play in the water to cool down. We stopped here before the game and let our kids get some energy out playing in the fountain.
National Mall – You cannot visit DC without stopping at the National Mall. This is where you will find iconic monuments such as the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, and the World War II Memorial. It is also surrounded by many of the Smithsonian museums. There are large grassy lawns and beautiful trees – the perfect place for a picnic.
The Wharf – Looking for good food and shopping with waterfront views? The Wharf is a fun spot to stop for a bite to eat and feeling like a kid again on the big swings on the pier!
4th of July Fireworks – Fireworks at the National Mall is a must do for Independence Day. Now you will have a lot of people tell you otherwise… but hear me out! We got dinner from Wawa (you can’t beat their subs) to have a picnic dinner while getting a “good spot” on the lawn next to the Washington Monument. We arrived two hours early – and there was no reason to do that. We could have arrived 30 minutes early and gotten the exact same spot! There are barricades up, and certain entry points to go through security, this could be a bit time consuming depending how many are in line.
Bring blankets to lay on the floor (chairs are prohibited) and a deck of cards. We played card games and bonded as a family while waiting for the fireworks which started at 9:07 PM. Once the fireworks stated, my daughter looked at me and said “WOW, this was TOTALLY worth it!!!” – and that says it all! The fireworks in DC are unlike anything you will experience, the display itself is amazing… but paired with the Washington monument and the live music, it is unbeatable! That being said – there were some spots outside of the National Mall that looked equally amazing – but just go anywhere to see them and feel the overwhelming pride to live in this country!
Reren Lamen & Bar – Located in Chinatown, this Chinese-style ramen restaurant is a great stop near the hotel for delicious food. It had a steady flow of people, and we got food to go so we could eat back at the hotel (it is small inside).
Nationals Park – Hot dogs, beer, and ice cream… need I say more? If you are heading to a Nationals game, there are a lot of varieties of food to chow down, but we stuck with the classics!
Wawa – Yup… Wawa! We stopped here on our way to the fireworks and got sub sandwiches for everyone. They know how to make a delicious sandwich, and fast.
Until next time…