There's no bad time to visit Washington, DC, and it's definitely the place to be for Fourth of July inspiration. You're not too late, either. Book a seat on one of the cheapie buses that head there (all with free wireless) including Megabus, BoltBus, and DC2NY, ignore the traffic and have a fabulous holiday. Here are some ideas for all you procrastinators.
The Normandy Hotel: In the Embassy district and a nice distance away from the crowds along the National Mall or in the museums, The Normandy has a holiday package starting at only $149 per night with a two-night minimum. They keep you “chill(ed)” with handheld cooling fan and Evian misters. You also get two all-day Metro passes and a DC travel guide and a box lunch for two. Love this one!
2118 Wyoming Avenue NW; Washington DC, 20008; 202-483-1350;
W Washington D.C .: Washington’s first W hotel exemplifies classic Washingtonian elegance with a splash of swank, in a landmark 1917 Beaux Arts building steps from The White House. The Boom with a View package gives you accommodations for the Fourth of July and tickets for two to the hotel’s P.O.V. rooftop party, with an open bar, bites by Culinary Concepts by Jean-Georges, and live performances by New York based DJ Sky Nellor as well as the Honey Brothers featuring Adrian Grenier, for $899. You can also buy individual tickets for the evening for $225 by calling 202-661-2478.
J&G Steakhouse: Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Executive Chef Philippe Reininger invite you to enjoy a three-course patriotic picnic on the patio, for $35 per person. Appetizers are light and cool with cherry tomato gazpacho, watermelon and goat cheese salad, and shrimp cocktail. Entrees are picnic-perfect: J&G cheeseburger, J&G hot dogs, BBQ chicken, or a lobster roll. Traditional picnic sides include cole slaw, potato salad, and corn on the cob. For dessert the restaurant is serving ice cream sandwiches and chocolate pudding.
515 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004; 202-551-2440;
B. Smiths: It’s a Southern-style celebration at B. Smith’s Restaurant at historic Union Station. The all-you-can-eat BBQ on the patio from 11:3am-6pm is priced at $25 for adults and $17 for kids 12 and under. Try the BBQ burgers and chicken, hot dogs, and buttered corn along with some special Southern favorites. We recommend going before the fireworks since the restaurant is located a quick walk from the National Mall.
50 Massachusetts Avenue NE, Washington, DC 20002; 202-289-6188;
Adour: Stop at Adour at the St. Regis to pick up some of their famous macaroons. Pastry Chef Fabrice Bendano will be offering his mouthwatering treats in patriotic colors packaged in specially designed boxes by the dozen for $20. You can also try their holiday Bubbles and Pearls cocktail, featuring red-white-and-blue Cointreau pearls in champagne, in the St. Regis Bar.
A Capitol Fourth: Jimmy Smits hosts the annual Capitol Fourth concert live from the West Lawn of the Capitol from 8pm-9:30pm.The free concert is open to the public and no tickets are necessary. This year’s performers are Steve Martin, Josh Groban, Jordin Sparks, Million Dollar Quartet, Glee’s Mathew Morrison, and more. Following the show is the magnificent fireworks display over the Washington Monument. Gates open at 3pm.
National Independence Day Parade: Celebrate all things America during the National Independence Day Parade. The parade starts at 11:45 am at Constitution Avenue and 7th Street and continues down to 17th Street. Enjoy bands and drummers, military units, floats, and performances.
National Freedom Fest: Head to the brand new Yards Park along the DC riverfront on July 3 and 4 and celebrate with 40+ bands and DJs on 5 stages, crafts, food and drinks, and a countdown to the fireworks display on the Mall. Foodies will love the Clash of the Cupcakes on the 4th, where Battersweet, Cupcakes Actually, and Sweet Tooth will compete for the title of All American cupcake. The Taste of Freedom tent will be open on both days to enjoy American wines and craft beers with food pairings. Tickets are $24.99 per day or a 2-day ticket can be purchased for $39.99 .
GET A TASTE OF HISTORY
An American Celebration at Mount Vernon: Visit the home of George Washington and enjoy the annual Independence Day event including military reenactments; a special wreath laying ceremony at Washington’s Tomb; the “Red, White, and Blue” concert; a naturalization ceremony for 100 new citizens; and more. “Daytime” fireworks will light up the sky over the Potomac River all day from 8am-5pm, the duration of the event. Tickets are $15 for adults, $7 for children 6-11; kids 5 and under are free.
3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon, VA 22309; 703-780-2000;
National Archives Celebration: Spend your morning at the National Archives Building on the Constitution Avenue steps between 7th and 9th Streets and listen to the reading of the Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Ned Hector from 10am-11am. After the reading, enjoy other historical activities such as signing a full-size facsimile of the Declaration of Independence and listening to patriotic stories from the past.