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The 12 best D.C. spots to watch Fourth of July fireworks

The 12 best D.C. spots to watch Fourth of July fireworks

Spending the Fourth of July in the nation’s capital is a bucket list item for many people, and if you live in or near Washington, D.C. — and plan on sticking around for the holiday — you’re already at an obvious advantage. But chances are, whether you’re a longtime resident of the District or if you’re a visitor for July 4th, you’re probably looking for a place to watch the fireworks.

And if that’s the case, we’re here to help.

Without skyscrapers, D.C. offers a wide variety of places with great views of the fireworks. However, selecting the right location is paramount to a fun day and evening — and obviously to a clear look at the fireworks on Independence Day.

So we rounded up our favorite places to catch the fireworks — plus the decidedly worst one.

The most important thing to remember, though, is that everything on this list — like the bars and restaurants and sidewalks and practically everything outside — could get crowded long before the sun sets. If fireworks are a priority, there’s no such thing as arriving too early on July 4th.

Washington, D.C.'s best views of July 4th fireworks

The Best: The trick to a successful D.C. fireworks show is to find a friend with an accessible apartment building rooftop — as long as it’s not the shortest rooftop on the block — and watch from there. And this isn’t limited to a specific area, so there are tons of options around the city. You just have to see who you know with a rooftop.

Other options…

2. The Supreme Court 

1 First Street NE

It’s not quite on the National Mall, and there will surely be a lot of people waiting for fireworks on the steps of the Supreme Court but not as many as other landmarks around the city, like the Lincoln Memorial or Washington Monument.

3. The Yards Park

355 Water Street SE

The upside to this area of the waterfront in Southeast is there is a lot of space for blankets, a little pool area for kids and plenty of restaurants and bars. There’s also a boardwalk and space near the pier. The downside is that for all those reasons and more, this area could get ridiculous crowded early in the day (especially with the Nationals game) and clear out until after the fireworks.

A similar choice in Southwest is the Wharf Marina, but it also has many of the same pros and cons to the waterfront by the Navy Yard.

4. Cardozo High School

1200 Clifton Street NW

While not downtown or anywhere near the water, the school (and the area) is on a hill just big enough that it offers a fantastic view.

5. Meridian Hill Park

15th and 16th streets NW

A couple of blocks away from Cardozo, this park has a similar view with a bit more space that’s away from the masses near the waterfront.

6. St. Albans School

3101 Wisconsin Ave. NW

There’s a lot of space around the school for crowds and a popular option for locals. And because Wisconsin Ave. more or less is an uphill climb, there are numerous places up and down the street where you can get a clear look at the sky above the waterfront.

7. Lady Bird Johnson Park

George Washington Parkway

This park is on the Virginia side of the Potomac River, but it’s also right on the banks of the river with a clear and perfect view of where the fireworks will happen. Can’t forget about excellent options on the other side of the river, which will still be crowded but possibly not as much.

8. Anacostia Park

1900 Anacostia Drive SE

Like the park above, this one lines the Anacostia River and has a lot of space for large groups who might be interested in spending the day there. However, like everything on this list, it’s likely no time is too early to get there and secure a spot for your group.

9. Giesboro Park

MacDill Blvd. SE

Farther south than Anacostia Park, this area of Southeast is a great alternative to the mall for a picnic/blanket style of watching fireworks. About where the Potomac and Anacostia rivers intersect, this park has several baseball diamonds and a ton of space in general, and it should get you a great view of the fireworks.

10. The W Hotel

515 15th Street NW

Certainly the most expensive option, the downtown hotel features a rooftop that’s among the best in the city when it’s not the Fourth of July. And with fireworks exploding almost directly above your head, this view is a spectacular choice.

11. Francis Scott Key Bridge

D.C.: M Street NW between 34th and 35th; Virginia: N. Lynn Street in Rosslyn

A quick walk from Georgetown, the bridge is a perfect place to see the fireworks, but there’s obviously a finite amount of space. But if there isn’t a lot of room once you get there, you could always head to the Georgetown waterfront or to the other side and watch from Rosslyn.

Similar choices without the proximity to Georgetown include the 14th Street Bridge (which is not far from downtown) and Memorial Bridge.

The Worst: The National Mall

This is certainly one of the most popular locations. Yes, the view is incomparable, but it doesn’t come close to outweighing all the cons. First, remember that it’s the middle of summer, so it's reasonable that it could be 100 degrees with so much humidity. The mall is also fairly wide open, meaning there aren’t a ton of trees and opportunities for shade. And countless people want to watch the fireworks on the mall, so people get there super early. Maybe noon, maybe 10 a.m., maybe 6 a.m.?

Whatever time you’d plan to arrive, it’s almost guaranteed you’ll be standing outside in an increasingly growing crowd in the heat and humidity for hours, probably without shade and without an easily accessible bathroom. Oh, and you can’t really leave without sacrificing your place, so you’ll need a day’s worth of drinks and food and sunscreen. No thanks.


11.15.19 Rick Horrow interviews PepsiCo Vice President of Marketing Todd Kaplan


11.15.19 Rick Horrow interviews PepsiCo Vice President of Marketing Todd Kaplan

Edited by Tanner Simkins

In the latest edition of Rick Horrow's Sports Business Podcast, Rick interviews PepsiCo Vice President of Marketing Todd Kaplan and takes you through the biggest sports business stories of the week.


1. Sports investor Bruin Sports Capital received $600 million more to spend. According to the New York Times, Bruin Sports Capital is a sports investment and management company that invests in the technologies of media, marketing, and data surrounding sports. After raising $600 million from two even larger investors – CVC Capital Partners and the Jordan Company – Bruin Sports will be able to expand its portfolio of investments, which already include data analytics, media and streaming companies, and a fledgling drone-racing league. Currently, Bruin, led by Sport Business Handbook contributor George Pyne, has nearly $1 billion invested, including significant stakes in six companies across the modern sports landscape, from sports media start-ups such as The Athletic to a live-event provider selling high-end trips to events like the Super Bowl and the NFL draft. Overall, Bruin Sports Capital’s guiding philosophy is that people under 40 watch and consume sports and media in radically different ways from their parents – and this is likely how the strategic company will invest its newly-acquired $600 million: toward attracting future generations of sports and tech fans.

2. The NBA altered its bylaws prior to the start of the 2019-2020 season to allow teams to sell sponsorship packages outside of the U.S. and Canada for the first time. League rules previously prevented teams from participating in any ad campaign or sponsorship event outside of their home market. However, NBA chief innovation officer Amy Brooks told JohnWallStreet that the companies currently participating in the league’s jersey patch program – two-thirds of which have an international presence – indicated that the time was right “to grow [the NBA] brand and our partners’ brands globally.” Loosening bylaws surrounding international marketing rights should help the league grow revenues and connect with fans in other regions. The Washington Wizards were the first NBA franchise to take advantage of the rule change, signing an agreement with Japanese tech conglomerate NEC. The Wizards made Rui Hachimura the first Japanese player ever selected in the first round of the NBA Draft in 2019.


3. Airbnb is set to announce a global sponsorship with the International Olympic Committee running through the Los Angeles 2028 Games, according to SportsBusiness Journal. The deal would represent a significant shift in the home-sharing platform’s sports marketing strategy as Airbnb prepares for its IPO in 2020. According to SBJ, the deal would focus on Airbnb’s “experiences” strand, which allows hosts to offer access to their hobbies, skills, or expertise as part of offering out their homes for rent. The arrangement is not intended to infringe on the hotel and hospitality business that Olympic organizers require to stage the Olympics. Recent partners joining the IOC’s global TOP program have made significant investments, with a joint Mengniu Dairy and Coca-Cola deal back in June being valued at $3 billion over 11 years. Currently, 13 companies comprise the TOP program, getting category-exclusive rights to every Games, the IOC, and national Olympic committees.

11.1.19 Rick Horrow interviews Alex Saratsis

NBC Sports

11.1.19 Rick Horrow interviews Alex Saratsis

Edited by Tanner Simkins

In the latest edition of Rick Horrow's Sports Business Podcast, Rick interviews Senior Director of Operations Alex Saratsis and breaks down the biggest sports business stories of the past week.


1. A new football league unveils its inaugural schedule. The XFL unveiled its 2020 schedule which will serve up a 10-week regular season that starts February 8 at 2 pm with the DC Defenders hosting the Seattle Dragons on ABC, followed by the Los Angeles Wildcats traveling to Houston for a game against the Roughnecks at 5 pm on FOX. According to Cynopsis Sports, the eight-team league is divided into two four-team divisions, East and West. The XFL East features the DC Defenders, New York Guardians, St. Louis BattleHawks, and the Tampa Bay Vipers while the Dallas Renegades, Houston Roughnecks, Los Angeles Wildcats, and Seattle Dragons comprise the XFL West. Overall, ABC and ESPN will combine to televise 22 games during the 2020 XFL season, concluding with the inaugural XFL Championship on April 26. ABC will televise 14 games with most telecasts starting at 2p on Saturdays and both ESPN and ESPN2 will combine to carry eight games, all on Sundays. The XFL season is being broadcast after the end of the NFL season which finishes in early February, but the XFL needs to be careful to not make the same mistakes as the AAF, which collapsed after just three months into its inaugural season in 2019.

2. National Women’s Soccer League inks an exclusive deal with Octagon for media rights and marketing consulting. According to Sports Video Group, Octagon will provide comprehensive media rights valuation, sales strategy services, and work directly with NWSL executives to secure and amplify new media distribution opportunities. In addition, Octagon’s Marketing division will assist the league with brand marketing, asset development, sponsorship valuation, and fan engagement insights to help generate increases in overall reach and revenue for the league and its teams. Featuring more than 200 of the world’s best professional soccer players, including U.S. Women’s National Team members and two-time World Cup Champions Megan Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd, and Alex Morgan, as well as international stars Marta, Christine Sinclair, and Sam Kerr, the NWSL is highlighted by 23 current FIFA Women’s World Cup Champions and 58 FIFA Women’s World Cup team members. Budweiser has also launched a campaign focused on finding the NWSL new sponsors as more money is being put into women’s soccer across the globe.

3. The sports world aims to tackle ocean plastic pollution. According to SportTechie, a research expedition embarked from the southwest coast of the U.K., on a two-year mission to sail westward around the world. The crew aboard the S.V. TravelEdge, a 73-foot floating laboratory, will travel 38,000-nautical-miles and cross all five of the world’s major ocean gyres, regions where rotating currents lead to the accumulation of floating plastic waste. The 300 women joining the all-female rotating team will investigate to find solutions to plastic pollution. The “eXXpedition Round The World” is being organized by sailor Emily Penn, who is among a growing group of athletes and people connected to the sports world that is advocating for and taking action to protect the environment. Another goal of Penn’s journey is to create a global network of ambassadors who can advocate helping solve the problem. She has been working with a larger environmental organization called 11th Hour Racing over the last few years to give talks and run workshops for other sailors to learn how they can play a role in tackling plastic pollution. By having athletes tackle environmental problems head-on, they can use their social influence to be advocates for policy and lifestyle change.