4th of July in DC

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by yg17, Jun 24, 2007.

  1. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #1
    So we're going to be in Washington DC over the 4th of July weekend, and I'm sure there's special stuff to do on the 4th, but what? Anyone who lives there want to give some advice? (Or are you sick of all the damn tourists? :p)

    I know my family is dead set on seeing the fireworks display at the Washington Monument that night, but I bet there will be a metric s**tton of people there and it will be impossible to get in? Too bad we couldn't smuggle fireworks through airport security, we bought a ton last year but got rained out, we could have our own fireworks display in the hotel parking lot :D

    Thanks!
     
  2. Vuzie macrumors regular

    Vuzie

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Location:
    Maryland
    #2
    There's always something to do in/near DC.
    One start, depending on the day and what you want to do is to look at the Washington Post City Guide.
    And yes, on the 4th it's an absolute madhouse. There's always the various Smithsonian museums (free to get in, IMAX/movie presentations cost). Most of the museums are on/along the mall. IF you don't mind a short metro ride, there's the National Zoo (also free, it's part of the Smithsonian).

    It shouldn't cost (i.e. don't let someone try to sell you a "ticket") you to see the fireworks/concert but be prepared to battle it out with the masses. You can see the fireworks from the National Mall, Tidal Basin, etc. Generally, if you have a clear view of the Washington Monument, you can see the fireworks. The farther away from the Mall you are, you won't hear the music. Lots of locals go to the roof of their buildings to watch. It's really cool, the fireworks going off with the Monument in the background. Even stranger, planes are usually taking off and landing at Regan National Airport resulting in a surreal experience.
     
  3. steamboat26 macrumors 65816

    steamboat26

    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Location:
    Arlington VA
    #3
    My family doesn't usually do much, just see the fireworks down on the mall (it's better have the vantage point of a tallish building).
    Just a piece of advice: try to avoid the metro at all costs. Especially smithsonian, l'enfant plaza, and everything in that general area before or after the fireworks. IT WILL BE INSANELY CROWDED :D
     
  4. iRachel macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2005
    Location:
    The Soybean Captial of the World
    #4
    I saw the DC fireworks one summer - lots of fun. There are no tickets - the event is free. Good places to sit include the steps at either the Lincoln or Jefferson Memorials, but get there early, they fill up quickly. The FDR Memorial also has steps where you can sit, and it seemed less crowded to me (though, this was several years ago, when that memorial was new, and perhaps the location hadn't yet been "discovered.")

    I can't comment on transportation to/from the area, I stayed within walking distance.
     
  5. yg17 thread starter macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #5
    Thanks. Now how early are we talking about as far as getting there goes?

    And yeah, we'd have to take the metro back to our hotel in Arlington :(
     
  6. steamboat26 macrumors 65816

    steamboat26

    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Location:
    Arlington VA
    #6
    In that case, avoid l'enfant plaza, because that is where everyone gets on to go home. try to get on another stop on the orange line (i assume since you are in arlington that you have to get on the orange or blue line). Smithsonian is usually a little less hectic.
     
  7. hayduke macrumors 65816

    hayduke

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    is a state of mind.
    #7
    DC is always HOT HOT HOT on the 4th. The best plan is to get up in the morning and just chill out. Literally. Go to a movie with A/C. Find a cafe with A/C. Go to a museum with A/C. Whatever you like, but stay inside.

    Then, at about 5pm, maybe 6pm, head to the Mall and camp out for a few hours. Bring drinks, cards, blankets, and a picnic. Maybe a frisbee. Lots of people get there early and just hang out, but because it *will* be hot, you want to minimize how long your really there and bring lots to drink (they are sticklers for beer etc, but if you lay low they usually won't care, but you can just have a nice bottle of wine laying out and not expect the police to ask you to dump it).

    Then after the fireworks just suck it up. Get on the metro wherever. It doesn't really matter. If you think you are better off walking a few stops and getting on, go ahead, but usually no one has gotten off yet so the train is still completely packed and you won't be able to get on until a few trains go past. Metro is pretty good about lining about a lot of trains to get folks home. It is not as if this catches them by surprise each year! You could spring for a cab, but they'll be hard to find for the same reason. Just go with the flow.
     
  8. Vuzie macrumors regular

    Vuzie

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Location:
    Maryland
    #8
    I did the 4th in DC 2 years ago and had to metro in from the 'burbs. Yes it was nuts and they decided to use the capacity to test their city evacuation plan. Don't worry too much about the metro crowds. There were tons of metro trains. One train would be completely packed, then it would pull out of the station and an empty (or nearly empty) one was practically on it's bumper. You'll just have to wait longer than usual.
     
  9. Kwyjibo macrumors 68040

    Kwyjibo

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2002
    #9
    Cubs @ Nationals


    ... I will be there ... then a party then some fireworks. Should be a glorius day ...


    as long as I can yell CUBS WIN! CUBS WIN!
     
  10. yg17 thread starter macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #10
    Our plane lands at, hell, I dunno, 1PMish I think so at least by the time we get to the hotel, settle in, grab some food it will be close to 6.

    <-------- STL!
    I'll be rooting for the Nationals :p
     
  11. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #11
    It's been a looooooong time since I did fireworks on the Mall (from the South lawn of the White House, which wasn't too crowded ;) ) but I think they just open up the Metro, or do a "toss in a couple of coins" thing to move everyone through there. If you get on at Smithsonian you'll be on before any of the L' Enfant Plaza folks- but really the best thing to do is to just go see most of the monuments afterwards so the crowds will thin out.
     
  12. hayduke macrumors 65816

    hayduke

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    is a state of mind.
    #12
  13. MrSmith macrumors 68040

    MrSmith

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    Nov 27, 2003
    #13
    You reckon the Founding Fathers are up there letting off fireworks in celebration of what their creation has become? You should never have treasoned and turned your back on your masters. Rule Britannia, we shall fight them on the beaches, etc. ;) :p :D
     
  14. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Location:
    A geographical oddity
    #14
    Just wondering how things turned out. I didn't know you were in town for the fireworks - we spent the evening making fun of the folks in DC while hanging out on the Bay watching Baltimore and some of the cities along the coast set off their firewworks. I'm sorry. Hopefully the evacuation (from what I heard) didn't cause you guys too much trouble.

    Anyway, you said you're here for the weekend - was it the front or back half of the week?
     

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