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Celebrate July Fourth in America’s Capital City

Washington, DC is the place to connect our country’s past with the present on Independence Day. It’s an ideal distance for a vacation without committing to faraway travel a busy holiday weekend. Only two and half hours south of Philadelphia by car or 90 minutes by train brings you to the center of the nation’s capital. With some of the country’s most treasured artifacts, monuments and memorials Washington, DC is one of the most patriotic destinations to celebrate our nation’s birth.

Start at the beginning. Visit the National Archives to see the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights. Each year on the 4th of July, the facility holds a special celebration that begins at 10 a.m. and includes a presentation of colors, patriotic performances, and a reading of the Declaration of Independence. The family-friendly festivities continue from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with visits from such historical figures as “Thomas Jefferson” and “Benjamin Franklin.” Then head over to the National Museum of American History to see the original Star-Spangled Banner, which inspired Francis Scott Key to write our national anthem. The 30-by-34-foot flag is stored in a special chamber to protect it, but it’s visible to the public. The exhibition includes information on the flag’s history, how it was made, and its continued influence.

Enjoy American icons. Combine history with favorite activities for kids and adults alike at Tudor Place’s Independence Day Ice Cream Social. The historic estate was built by Martha Washington’s granddaughter and her husband. The neoclassical house, completed in 1816, is now a National Historic Landmark. The ice cream social experience includes a house tour, a sundae bar in the garden, and family-friendly crafts and games. Then enjoy America’s pastime at Nationals Park. With views of the city and its landmarks, the ballpark is much more than a place to watch baseball. The Washington Nationals play select dates at home Friday, July 3, through Wednesday, July 8.

Celebrate our independence. Washington, DC is home to a lot of serious decision-making but on July Fourth, the Capital City shows off its party side. The National Independence Day Parade includes marching bands from across the country, military units, patriotic floats, and dignitaries. Music rings throughout the city from the free Annual Independence Day Organ Concert at the Washington National Cathedral to the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol where the National Symphony Orchestra performs “A Capitol Fourth.” The free 90-minute musical spectacular concludes with live cannon fire provided by the United States Army Presidential Salute Battery. Around 9 p.m. the fireworks show caps the evening on the National Mall. To complete your DC experience, make a reservation at The Willard InterContinental hotel, which plays host to a Fourth of July block party.

For more information on these Washington, DC, activities and additional ways to celebrate Independence Day in our nation’s capital, click here.