Fourth of July

July 4 fireworks in DC: Where to watch with rooftop views, live music and cruises

These fireworks watch parties promise a sparkly good time with great views, live music and fun extras. Bonus: Many are free!

The Wharf/The LINE/Sea Suite Cruises

Independence Day in the Nation’s Capital is a celebration like no other in the country. The city comes alive with patriotic spirit and is bustling with activities that honor the birth of our nation – including a huge fireworks display over the National Mall.

Everyone is welcome to hang out on the National Mall for the National Park Service’s annual fireworks display, which is set to start at 9:30 p.m. on July 4. But restaurants, hotels and more spots will host watch parties with dazzling views of those fireworks.

We've kept track of the most exciting fireworks watch parties happening in the District this Fourth of July. This list has something for every vibe and every age, whether you're looking for a family-friendly event, a sophisticated rooftop gathering or a free, star-studded concert on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol.

Get ready to make unforgettable memories under the stars as you watch the skies light up in red, white and blue. Grab your blankets, round up your loved ones and dive into our guide to find the perfect spot to enjoy the dazzling fireworks this Independence Day.

Fireworks watch parties in D.C.

This roundup lists events from cheapest to most expensive.

Fourth at The Wharf

Time: 5-10 p.m.
Price: Free
What to know: Family-friendly

Join the Independence Day festivities at The Wharf from 5-10 pm on District Pier. This free celebration features live country music on four stages from 5-9 p.m. and great views of the fireworks going off over the National Mall.

Food and drinks are available all around The Wharf. You can bring a low-back chair to the District Pier, but come early as space is limited. The Wharf may close access if necessary.

United States Capitol Building in Washington DC

A Capitol Fourth

Time: 8 to 9:30 p.m.; Gates open at 3 p.m.
Price: Free
What to know: Kid-friendly

For over 40 years, A Capitol Fourth, the country’s nationally broadcast Independence Day celebration, has been a Washingtonian favorite. This year, the event on the Capitol Lawn will feature a slate of all-star performances including Smokey Robinson, Fantasia, Fitz & Noelle (from Fitz and the Tantrums) and Sister Sledge.

The concert is free and open to the public; no tickets are required. Gates to the West Lawn are scheduled to open at 3 p.m., and concertgoers will have a nice view of the fireworks.

The Line Hotel

Time: 6 - 10 p.m.
Price: Free with RSVP
What to know: Food and drinks available
🔗 Details

Watch the fireworks and enjoy specialty cocktails from the rooftop of the Line Hotel in Adams Morgan. The event will have elevated American fare by No Goodbyes and a jazz performance by Brandon Woody’s band, Upendo.

Upstairs at The Morrow 

Time: 6-10:30 p.m.
Price: $35
What to know: Standing room only
🔗 Details

Upstairs at the Morrow is having a Fourth of July celebration on their vibrant rooftop in the center of NoMa. The event will include panoramic views of Washington D.C., a barbecue buffet by Le Clou's Michelin-starred chef Nicholas Stefanelli, refreshing cocktails and live music. Buffet reservations sold separately.

Sea Suite Cruises

Time: Departure times vary
Price: $70 to $200 per person
What to know: Drinks sold on board
🔗 Details

Celebrate America's birthday with a lively booze cruise on the Potomac River. Sea Suite Cruises is hosting the opportunity to sip and sail around the nation's capital with their Fourth of July paddle and tiki boat cruises departing from Georgetown, Navy Yard and The Wharf. Join a group cruise or rent a private boat to view the fireworks from one of the best viewing spots in the city.


Price: $125 or $275
Time: 6 p.m. (dinner) or 8:30 p.m. (rooftop party)
What to know: Food and drinks included 
🔗 Details

The Fourth of July dinner party at L'Ardente puts an Italian flare on the celebration.

Guests will be taken to Capitol Crossing’s indoor rooftop conservatory for a private fireworks viewing party full of champagne and the "L'Ardente Dessert Extravaganza" with wine and a bubbles bar. The glass-enclosed and air-conditioned space has views of the Capitol and fireworks from 13 stories above the city. Weather permitting, an additional outdoor lounge on the open-air terrace will be accessible to guests.

Tickets to the rooftop celebration cost $125.

Guests who opt for dinner will be treated to an exclusive seated dining experience designed by Chef David Deshaies. The deluxe dinner is three courses, including soft-shell crab tempura, lobster ravioli, and halibut.

VUE Rooftop

Time: 6-10 p.m.
Price: $149 to $2,450
What to know: Food included
🔗 Details

Experience the Fourth of July like never before at the renowned Hotel Washington's Vue Rooftop Terrace, a short walk from the White House.

Gather with friends or ride solo to enjoy an Independence Day celebration featuring stunning views of the Washington Monument and National Mall. Dress in your best summer attire and join fellow guests for a night of elegance and patriotism. Indulge in a classic July Fourth dinner buffet, with drinks available for purchase at the bar. This event is for guests aged 21 and over, and ticket prices may increase as the event approaches.

Salamander DC

Time: 5-8 p.m.
Price: $175 to $265 ($75 for children ages 4-12)
What to know: Food and drinks included, kid-friendly
🔗 Details

Spend America’s birthday in style on Salamander D.C.’s new Grand Lawn and Garden overlooking the Washington Marina. This year’s event features live entertainment, food, drinks and activities for the entire family. Dining options include fresh local oysters and seafood at the hotel’s raw bar, classic American fare at the Big Green Egg grill and a festive ice cream bar. 

After the event, make only a short walk to the National Mall for the annual fireworks show! 

City Experiences Fireworks Cruises

Time: Departure times vary
Price: $175 to $275
What to know: Dinner cruises available
🔗 Details

Leaving from The Wharf Marina and Alexandria, City Experiences’ Fourth of July fireworks dinner cruises along the Potomac River are one of the best ways to view the fireworks over Washington, D.C. Opt for one of the signature dinner experience cruises, or plan dinner beforehand and make your way aboard the Water Taxi to take in the fireworks. 

Top of The Gate at The Watergate Hotel

Time: 6-10 p.m.
Price: $175- $595
What to know: Food and drinks included
🔗 Details

The sophisticated rooftop bar and lounge at The Watergate Hotel provides 360-degree views of the Washington Monument, Potomac River, Key and Arlington Bridges, the Kennedy Center and the D.C. skyline. General admission tickets include an open bar with wine, beer, and spirits. 

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