The Fourth of July celebrations in Washington, D.C. 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.
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.
Metrorail hours of operation on July 4th for 2019 are from 7 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., with free parking and off-peak fares. It typically takes 1 ½ to 2 hours to clear the Mall after the fireworks. Last year, the Smithsonian Station was “entry-only” after 9 p.m. 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. Use metro stops other than Smithsonian to get around the crowds.
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.
July 4th, Metro will not allow bicycles or large coolers on Metrorail after 2 p.m., but will allow bikes on Metrobus.
In previous years, the SoberRide program, partnered with Lyft, has offered $15 off of a single ride home in the D.C. area from 7 p.m. on July 4th to 4 a.m. on July 5th to keep local roads safe from impaired drivers during this traditionally high-risk holiday period. Head to their site to find out how to get the promo code.
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.
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.
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.
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
U.S. Capitol Grounds:
- 3rd and Pennsylvania Ave.
- 3rd and Maryland Ave.
Expected Road Closures
Streets closed from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.:
- Arlington Memorial Bridge and Arlington Memorial Circle on the Virginia end, to and including Lincoln Memorial Circle in the District
- Rock Creek Parkway south of Virginia Avenue NW to Lincoln Memorial Circle, including all approaches and ramps
- Parkway Drive from Rock Creek Parkway to Lincoln Memorial Circle
- Henry Bacon Drive NW
- Daniel Chester French Drive SW
- Lincoln Memorial Circle and all approaches and ramps into and out of Lincoln Memorial Circle, including Henry Bacon Drive N, Daniel Chester French Drive SW, 23rd Street NW and 23rd Street SW
- Ramp from Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Bridge to Constitution Avenue NW and Independence Avenue SW and Ohio Drive SW; all inbound traffic from the bridge will be directed to the E Street Expressway
- Constitution Avenue NW from 23rd Street NW to 14th Street NW
- 7th Street NW from Constitution Avenue NW to Independence Avenue SW
- 4th Street NW from Constitution Avenue NW to Independence Avenue SW
- 15th Street NW from E Street NW south to Raoul Wallenberg Place SW
- 17th Street, NW from E Street NW south to Independence Avenue SW
- 18th Street NW between Constitution Avenue NW and Virginia Avenue NW
- 19th Street NW from Constitution Avenue NW to C Street NW
- 20th Street NW from Constitution Avenue NW to C Street NW
- 21st Street NW from Constitution Avenue NW to C Street NW
- 22nd Street NW from Constitution Avenue NW to C Street NW
- Virginia Avenue NW from Constitution Avenue NW to 18th Street NW
- C Street NW from 17th Street NW to 18th Streets NW
- D Street NW from 17th Street NW to 18th Street NW
- Raoul Wallenberg Place SW to Maine Avenue SW
- Independence Avenue SW from 14th Street SW to 23rd Street SW, including merge with Rock Creek Parkway
- Madison Drive NW from 15th Street NW to 3rd Street NW
- Jefferson Drive SW from 15th Street SW to 3rd Street SW
- Ohio Drive, SW from the Inlet Bridge to Independence Avenue, SW
- West Basin Drive SW from Ohio Drive SW to Independence Avenue, SW
- East Basin Drive SW east of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial to Ohio Drive SW
- Ramp from southbound and northbound George Washington Memorial Parkway (GWMP) to Memorial Avenue /Circle
- Ramp from northbound Va. Route 110 to Memorial Avenue/Circle
- Ramp from Va. Route 27 to Memorial Avenue/Circle
- The right lane of northbound George Washington Memorial Parkway from the 14th Street Bridge to Theodore Roosevelt Island.
Streets closed from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.:
- 3rd Street from Pennsylvania Avenue NW to Maryland Avenue SW
- Constitution Avenue NW from Pennsylvania Avenue NW to 14th Street NW
- 14th Street NW from Pennsylvania Avenue NW to Independence Avenue SW
- Right lane of northbound George Washington Memorial Parkway from the 14th Street Bridge to Theodore Roosevelt Island
Streets closed from 3 p.m. to midnight:
- Eastbound U.S. Route 50 ramps to the George Washington Memorial Parkway and roads in the immediate area of U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial;
- Southbound GWMP ramp to 14th Street Bridge (9 p.m. – 9:45 p.m. as necessary)
- Northbound GWMP ramp to 14th Street Bridge (9 p.m. – 9:45 p.m. as necessary)