Fourth of July Fireworks Watch Parties: Boat Trips, Rooftops and More

From free to the fancy, here are some of the best Fourth of July fireworks watch parties in D.C.

If you’re still looking for the ideal spot to watch the fireworks this Thursday, or you just want a way to celebrate the Fourth with some extra pizazz, check out our list below of rooftop bars and Potomac boats with parties happening this Independence Day.

4th of July

Of course, there are many more rooftop events happening on the actual holiday, ranging from the free to the considerably less so.


4th of July Party at the Red Derby
11 a.m. - 2 a.m. July 5

This bar on 14th Street Northwest opens at 11 a.m. for a lunch of 4th of July specials including hot dogs, brats, watermelon and more, along with a special Independence Day drink. It stays open till 2 a.m., and while their roofdeck is a little further away from the Mall than other options on the list, it should still have a pretty decent view.

Fourth of July Happy Hour at Jack Rose Dining Saloon
3 — 11 p.m.


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Located on 18th St Northwest, the Jack Rose Dining Saloon and rooftop terrace will open at 3 p.m., and provide $4 cans of Flying Dog beer, $5 drafts and half-priced food until 11 p.m.

Daylight 4th of July Rooftop Fireworks Party at City Winery DC
5 p.m. - 11 p.m.

This party in NoMa is free to get into, with cookout food and frozen drink specials available for purchase. There will also be a DJ playing R&B dance classics and hip hop. The organizers request that attendees RSVP via email ahead of time.

The National Mall

Since the fireworks will be set off from near the National Mall, this is the classic place to bring a picnic blanket and enjoy the view. Be prepared for crowds and take public transit. You'll need to go through security to enter some areas. Here's more information.

A Capitol Fourth

This free Washington tradition brings the full razzle dazzle of the Fourth right in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol. Before the fireworks, expect a show hosted by John Stamos featuring Carole King and a number of other performers.

Neighborhood Watch Spots

In D.C., The National Cathedral (3101 Wisconsin Ave NW), Meridian Hill Park (16th St NW & W St NW), The Kennedy Center (2700 F Street NW) and Anacostia Park (1900 Anacostia Drive SE) are a few neighborhood spots with good views.

In Virginia, get a view of the Potomac River. The U.S. Marine Corps Memorial (Iwo Jima Memorial), Gravelly Point Park and the Netherlands Carillon are a all good bets.

$100 or less

Homewood Suites July 4th Fireworks Watch Party
6—11 p.m.

The Homewood Suites Rooftop Lounge in Southwest DC is hosting a party for America’s birthday, complete with DJs, drinks and summer grilling. Tickets are $30 if you buy them early, $50 if you get them the day of the event, and they cover entrance and one signature drink. The event is 21 +, and the food costs extra, but the hotel’s location should be a great place to see the fireworks this year.

July 4th Fireworks Soiree at the Cambria Hotel Washington
7 — 11 p.m.

The Cambria Hotel is another option that’s a little farther from the fireworks, but their roof has a panoramic view of the city and a DJ, as well as limited seating available on a first come, first serve basis. Tickets are $40, and the hotel requests that guests wear red, white and blue to celebrate at this 21+ party.

Cantina Bambina Fireworks Viewing Party at the Wharf
7 — 10 p.m.

With its location on the waterfront at the Wharf, Cantina Bambina will have a great view for the fireworks this year. Tickets to their party are $45, and include fresh shucked oysters, spiced shrimp, hot dogs, watermelon and cake. There’s also a cash bar. The event is 21+.

Red, White & Blue Skies 4th of July Party at The Graham Rooftop
Noon on July 4 until late

This Georgetown hotel is hosting a rooftop party with a DJ, free Snowballs, a BBQ buffet included in the entrance ticket, and themed cocktails available for purchase. With the change in firework location, organizers say it’s a great place to view the light show. The highest price listed for the event is a whopping $2,500, but that’s for their special "The View" package, which seats up to 10 people and gives them a personal server, 2 bottles of champagne and unlimited food from the buffet. For those willing to make do with a little less, the general admission ticket price is $100.

Over $100

July 4th Fireworks Party at Top of the Gate
6:30 —10:30 p.m.

Just days before the anniversary of the political espionage that made this hotel a household name, the Watergate's rooftop is hosting  a July 4 party that costs $250 if you’re an adult or $125 for children 12 and under. Tickets include entrance to the hotel’s roof, which has a great view of the fireworks this year, as well as food and a premium open bar. There will also be party activities for families with kids on the Kingbird Terrace.

July Fourth Fireworks Celebration at the Rooftop Pool at the Embassy Row Hotel
11 a.m. — 11 p.m.

The Embassy Row Hotel, in Dupont Circle, hosts a Fourth of July party every year. This year the celebration includes snacks and beverages from their Rooftop Cantina, a DJ, and prizes, along with a view of the fireworks. Tickets are $150, and include two cocktails, an appetizer, entree, dessert and the chance to win one of the prizes.

CityBar Presents the 4th With a View
4 — 10 p.m.

CityBar’s annual 4th party has an All-American buffet, a premium open bar, music and a great view of the fireworks, since it’s on top of a hotel that’s basically parallel to the new launch site. Tickets are $125 kids and $250 for adults.

Stars and Stripes at Summit at Conrad Washington DC
6:30—10:30 p.m.

Tickets to this rooftop party include entrance to the Conrad’s roof, food from their gourmet rooftop cookout, an open bar with specialty cocktails, life music and party activities for families with kids. Tickets are $225 if you want alcohol included, or $135 for an alcohol-free ticket. The fireworks near the Lincoln Memorial might be obstructed, but there will still be great views of the fireworks around the city.

BOOM with a VIEW Fourth of July Celebration at POV on top of W Hotel
6:30 — 10:30 p.m.

POV, the rooftop lounge on top of Washington’s W Hotel, has recently been renovated, and now those who want to can celebrate the Fourth in the new space. The party will include signature cocktails, a limited open bar, music and passed bites. General standing room tickets go for $275 at this point, but the highest price listed for the event is $3,400, if you’re 21+ and interested in lounge table seating for up to 8 people.

On the Water

If you want to see the fireworks, but you heights aren’t your thing or you just like the water, there are also an abundance of boating options for you to choose from. You can find boat rentals near you at the Discover Boating website.

Key Bridge Boathouse Paddle to the Fireworks

If you want to pick exactly where on the water you get to see the fireworks from on July 4th, you can always rent a kayak from the Key Bridge Boathouse. You have to reserve your boat ahead of time, which you can do online. A single kayak costs $99, while a double kayak costs $198.

4th of July Fireworks Cruise and Celebration with Post Georgetown Nightlife Experience
July 4, 7:30 — 11:30 p.m. is also hosting a boat ride on America’s birthday, in addition to the day before. The private boat will have pizza, a cash margarita bar and the opportunity to win a trip to the Caribbean with the plane and hotel paid for. Tickets are $130. 

Spirit Cruises 4th of July Cruises
July 4, 6:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.

Spirit Cruises is hosting two cruises on the Potomac on the Fourth of July, on their Spirit of Washington and Spirit of Mount Vernon boats. The cruise will have patriotic decor, a DJ and dance floor, games like giant Jenga and shuffleboard and a buffet-style dinner. The Spirit of Washington cruise is already sold out, but the Spirit of Mount Vernon still has space for its 3-hour ride, and prices start at $209.90.

Potomac Riverboat Company Independence Day Fireworks Cruises
July 4, 8:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.

Potomac Riverboat Company will have two cruise options available for people who want to see the fireworks from the water this year. One leaves from The Wharf, while the other leaves from Alexandria City Marina. Both boats have a two-hour ride, with views of the fireworks and concessions and beverages available for purchase. Tickets are $135 per person.

Odyssey Cruises 4th of July Cruises
July 4, 6 — 10:30 p.m.

This fireworks cruise will sail for 3 hours on the Fourth, and includes a plated dinner menu, a platinum open bar with liquors, beers, wines and cocktails, and a live band with a dance floor. Ticket prices start at $269.90, and attendees must be 21+. 

Washington Marina-National Ferry Corporation 4th of July Family Friendly Fireworks Cruise
July 4, 6:45 p.m boarding

The Washington Marina National Ferry Corporation will be hosting a family-friendly cruise on their ship “Freedom.” The boat will sail along the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers, and include raffles, hot dogs and chips, cookies and brownies for dessert and champagne for the adults during the fireworks. There is also a full bar for those who want to purchase alcohol. Tickets range from $115 to $135.

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