Getting to the National Mall on the Fourth of July

••• Photo © Vito Palmisano/Getty Images

The Fourth of July celebrations in Washington, DC are among the most attended events of the year and many people arrive early at the National Mall to stake out a seat on the lawn. There are lots of things to do throughout the day. For details, see a guide to Washington, DC's Fourth of July events.

There will be many street closings and parking will be limited. Both the National Park Service and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority strongly encourage all visitors to take public transportation to attend the Independence Day celebrations.

Public access to the National Mall begins at 10:00 a.m. on July 4th. The following transportation information is provided by the National Park Service.

Public Transportation

Metrorail hours of operation on July 4th are from 7 a.m. to midnight. Note the early closing time of Metro after the fireworks this year. ​It typically takes 1 ½ to 2 hours to clear the Mall after the fireworks. The Smithsonian Station will be “entry-only” at the conclusion of the fireworks display. Metro Stations near the National Mall include Smithsonian, Federal Triangle, Metro Center, Gallery Place-Chinatown, Capitol South, L’Enfant Plaza, Federal Center SW, Archives-Navy Memorial, and Arlington National Cemetery.

Off-peak rail fares will be in effect all day. To avoid long lines at fare vending machines, be sure to have enough fare value on your SmarTrip card to complete the round trip. See a guide for using Washington Metro.

Metrobus will provide free shuttle service between the L’Enfant Plaza and Pentagon stations. On July 4th, Metro will not allow bicycles on Metrorail, but will allow bikes on Metrobus.

See a map and directions to the National Mall

Bike Valet Parking

Capital Bikeshare will provide a bike corral at the 10th Street and Constitution Avenue NW station to handle the large number of riders expected to use the system to visit the National Mall on July 4.

The corral will be made available from  3 p.m. to until one hour after the fireworks are over.

The National Park Service will provide free bike "self-parking” areas on Independence Day, located between 14th and 15th Street on Independence Avenue, S.W. This is self-parking so please bring your own lock. There will be no valet or attendant.


Parking throughout the National Mall area will be extremely limited and public transportation is highly encouraged. See a guide to parking lots near the National Mall. Limited public parking will also be available at the Pentagon’s North parking lot. Many people view the fireworks from the Virginia side of the Potomac River. The Gravelly Point parking lot, located about a quarter mile from the 14th Street Bridge, is a popular spot to watch the fireworks.

Emergency Notifications

To receive 4th of July National Mall and Virginia Potomac River shoreline event related emergency notifications or event messages from the United States Park Police via text messages, text the code word JULY4DC to 888777. This is a free service and will not result in subscribing to you any other programs or systems other than the United States Park Police 4th of July emergency notification system.

Security Checkpoints

On the 4th of July all visitors must go through security checkpoints to enter the National Mall and areas along the George Washington Memorial Parkway. Coolers, backpacks, packages and persons will be subject to inspection. Possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages and the use of personal fireworks are prohibited.

National Mall Checkpoints:

  • Constitution Avenue NW between 23rd Street NW and Henry Bacon Drive NW
  • Constitution Avenue NW and 17th Street NW (opens at 2 p.m.)
  • West side of 14th Street NW at Madison Drive NW (opens at 2 p.m.)
  • West side of 14th Street SW at Jefferson Drive SW
  • Maine Avenue SW and Raoul Wallenberg Place SW (15th Street SW)
  • East Basin Drive just south of the Jefferson Memorial (visitors will not be able to access the National Mall from here)
  • East Basin Drive at Inlet Bridge SW
  • South side of Memorial Bridge

Capitol Grounds Entrance Points for A Capitol Fourth:

  • 3rd and Pennsylvania Ave.
  • 3rd and Maryland Ave.

Expected Road Closures

No Parking Restrictions 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

  • TR Bridge inbound to Constitution Avenue. All traffic diverted to the E Street Expressway
  • Independence Avenue SW from 15th Street to 23rd Street SW
  • 23rd Street NB from Constitution Avenue to Virginia Avenue NW. Southbound 23rd Street traffic will be allowed to flow and access outbound TR Bridge.
  • 22nd Street NW from C Street to Constitution Avenue
  • 21st Street NW from C Street to Constitution Avenue
  • 20st Street NW from C Street to Constitution Avenue
  • 19th Street NW from Virginia Avenue to Constitution Avenue
  • 18th Street NW from Virginia Avenue to Constitution Avenue
  • 17th Street NW from New York Avenue to Constitution Avenue NW
  • 15th Street NW from Pennsylvania Avenue to Independence Avenue SW
  • Henry Bacon Drive 7th Street from Constitution Avenue NW
  • Constitution Avenue from 14th Street to 23rd Street.
  • Arlington Memorial Bridge
  • South Bound Rock Creek Parkway closed at Virginia Avenue
  • 7th Street from Pennsylvania Avenue NW to Independence Avenue SW
  • 4th Street from Pennsylvania Avenue NW to Independence Avenue SW

Streets Closed from approximately 11:15 a.m. until approximately 11 p.m.

  • Constitution Avenue from 3rd Street to 14th Street NW
  • 14th Street from Pennsylvania to Independence Avenue SW
  • 12th Street from Pennsylvania to Constitution Avenue NW
  • 10th Street from Pennsylvania to Constitution Avenue NW
  • 9th Street from Pennsylvania to Constitution Avenue NW
  • 6th Street from Pennsylvania to Constitution Avenue NW
  • 3rd Street from Pennsylvania Avenue NW to Independence Avenue SW

Motorists should be advised that the 14th Street Bridge and the Roosevelt Bridge will remain open throughout the day. Motorists are reminded that there is no parking or stopping on the bridges. Any vehicles that stop on the bridge will be immediately ticketed and towed.

The SoberRide program will be available on July 4th from 10:00 pm until 4:00 a.m. on July 5th as a way to keep local roads safe from impaired drivers during this traditionally high-risk holiday period.

Read more about the Fourth of July Fireworks in Washington, DC.

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