Visiting DC for the Fourth of July? The nation’s capital is in full Independence swing and there is plenty to do, from fireworks to parades, and we made a list of all there is to enjoy in DC on the Fourth of July.
This post covers things to do in Washington DC on Fourth of July 2019 including a top 5 list, nighttime activities, family-friendly things to do, and free things. Read our master post on things to do in DC any time of year.
This post lists the various Washington, DC night tours available to you, including walking, bus, bike and Segway tours. We review and compare the different options to help you make the best decision for yourself.
This post offers options for how to get to King Street station in Old Town Alexandria during the Metro shutdown this summer. We have ordered the options from cheapest to most expensive with insight on each to help you decide which one is best for you.
In the heart of Old Town Alexandria is King Street, which stretches about a mile and is home to around 200 shops and restaurants and some great historic tours.
The best way to get there is by the Washington DC subway system (Metro), as it is conveniently located on the Metro’s Blue and Yellow lines. Unfortunately the Metro shutdown this summer will require you to take alternative transportation to King Street, and we have a few options you can choose from below.
The Washington Monument is one of the most iconic monuments in Washington, DC. This 555′ (170 m) obelisk honors George Washington, the commanding general for the Colonies during the American Revolution and our very first president.
It is usually open to the public and free to go into and boasts the best view of Washington, DC. We have a post that explains how to get tickets and how to plan your visit.
However, it is currently under construction, but the elevators should be repaired and the monument open to the public Fall 2019.
Arguably the most well-known of all DC memorials, the Lincoln Memorial honors Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president and probably the country’s most beloved.
It is located on the western end of the National Mall.
This memorial, made of white marble and designed in part to resemble a Greek Doric temple, is instantly recognizable to most visitors to the city.
The LBJ Grove on the Potomac is the place the president often escaped to when he needed a moment of peace. This is why his wife chose the spot on the river to dedicate to her late husband, a place to be enjoyed by visitors today.
The 15th president of the United Staes James Buchanan has a statue in Meridian Hill Park.
Controversial and the recipient of mixed reviews at the time of its dedication in 1982, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial has since become one of the country’s most visited and well-respected memorials.
The memorial features the names of more than 58,000 Americans who sacrificed their lives in service to their country. bit also has additional statues added after the original dedication.
It is located at the west end of the National Mall adjacent to the Lincoln Memorial and nearby to the Korean War Veterans Memorial.
Korean War Veterans Memorial
Located in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial, this often overlooked memorial is to the surprise of many visitors their favorite memorial in all of Washington, DC.
It is dedicated to the millions of Americans who served in uniform during the Korean War and is rich in symbolism, which we explain in fuller detail.
Like all memorials in DC, it is open 24 hours each day and is certainly a memorial worth visiting both during the day and at night.
Iwo Jima Memorial
The moment that six figures raised a flag on top of Mount Suribachi on the Island of Iwo Jima in the Pacific was captured by AP journalist Jason Rosenthal and became the symbol of victory in the Pacific during WW2.
This image was recreated and cast in bronze, the figures 32 feet (9 m) tall and honoring the Marines that have served our nation since its beginning in 1776.
This memorial is located a short walk outside of Arlington National Cemetery and is a great thing to after your visit.
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery is our nation’s most sacred burial ground for our fallen heroes. It is an active cemetery with roughly 2 dozen funerals taking place on most days of the week.
It is also home to many memorials that visitors can see on a guided tour, including the final resting spot of two of our presidents, President Howard Taft, and President John F Kennedy.
Other War and Service Memorials:
There are a number of other war and service memorials located all around Washington, DC:
George Mason was an important Founding Father whose Virginia Declaration of Rights served as a blueprint for Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence (located in the National Archives).
This often bypassed memorial is set in the beautiful “Pansy Garden” and is lovely especially in the spring and is a pleasant surprise any time of year.
The 12 ft (3.5 m) tall statue of Albert Einstein sits in front of the National Academy of Sciences on Constitution Avenue, just across the street from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
At the base of the statue is a star map embedded with over 2,700 metal studs representing the accurate position of the planets, sun, moon, stars, and other celestial objects on the day of the dedication, April 22, 1979.
You are encouraged to climb old Albert.
John J. Pershing
John J. Pershing held the rank of General of the Armies, a rank he shares only with George Washington, thanks to his leadership during World War I.
His statue now sits in front of the Willard Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue, a short walk from the White House, and overlooks the site that will soon become the site of the National World War I Memorial.
William Tecumseh Sherman
William Tecumseh Sherman was a Union Army general during the American Civil War from 1861-1865. His equestrian statue sits in Sherman Plaza, a part of Presidents Park near the White House.
Close by in front of the Treasury you can also get a glimpse of the statue of Hamilton.
Other Individual Memorials:
There are a number of other memorials to individuals around Washington, DC:
While DC has a number of memorials to individuals sprinkled throughout the city, we also have a number of statues on Embassy Row. Below are a few worth visiting, some of which are featured on our Embassy Row walking tour.
In front of the British embassy is a statue of Winston Churchill put there in 1966. If you look closely, he is standing on the edge of the property. One foot is on British soil (the embassy) and the other on American.
His mother was American, so the idea was to represent his dual-nationality and his efforts to promote the relationship between the two countries. He has a cigar in one hand and the other raised with V for Victory.
In front of the South African embassy is a statue of Nelson Mandela dedicated in 2013.
Mandela stands with his fist raised, reminiscent of when he was released from prison after 27 years on Feb. 11, 1990.
The Indian Embassy gave this statue of Mahatma Gandhi in 2000. It depicts Gandhi on his famous 1930 Salt March to the sea. Made of red granite from India, both the aesthetic of the stone and his clothing remind us of his dedication to a simple, grounded life. His peaceful non-violent resistance would be the heart of Indian independence from the British Empire.
In front of the Croatian Embassy is the statue of St. Jerome, born in the 300s in what is today Croatia. He’s most known for translating the Bible into Latin, the Vulgate version still used heavily in Roman Catholic churches. He was known for criticism of his intellectual rivals and thus is the patron saint of people with difficult personalities.
This statue of Robert Emmet is one of four, the others are in San Francisco, Dublin, and Emmetsburg, Iowa. The DC version was dedicated in 1917. Robert Emmet was an Irish nationalist who tried to lead a rebellion against British rule in 1803. It failed and he was hanged for crimes against the Crown. While you wouldn’t expect a statue to a failed patriot, his Speech from the Dock that he gave before his hanging inspired other Irish nationalists.
Below are some other statues worth visiting on Embassy Row:
Below we have a list of other general and national memorials we believe should be visited on your trip to DC.
Outside of the Pentagon, our nation’s Department of Defense, is the Pentagon Memorial, a subtle tribute to those who lost their lives on the morning of 9/11 when American Airlines Flight 77 was hijacked and crashed into the Pentagon. 184 benches mark each life that was lost, a permanent tribute to each victim. Each bench is sorted by age lines of stainless steel strips by the year the victim was born. It is a lovely, peaceful place to visit and reflect.
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum was built in 1980 for the documentation, study, and interpretation of Holocaust history. Visitors from all over the world come to remember and learn about the Holocaust. Admission is free but lines can get long, and during busy season (March-July) we recommend reserving tickets online to guarantee entrance.
Law Enforcement Officers Memorial
The Law Enforcement Officers Memorial at Judiciary square honors over 21,000 U.S. law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty throughout American history. Visitors can etch a name from the wall, taking a piece of that wall home with them. Each year during Police Week new names are added for all those who fell the year before.
Near the Vietnam Memorial is a hidden little place called Constitution Gardens, home to the Signers Memorial honoring the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence. To get to it, you must walk across a footbridge to Signers Island. It is a quiet, relaxing place to explore while you are on the National Mall.
This memorial was funded nearly entirely by former slaves and was their way of paying homage to President Abraham Lincoln for his issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation. The memorial was dedicated in 1876, not long after the 16th president was assassinated. It is located in Lincoln Park near Eastern Market, a great place to go on a food tour while you’re in DC.
Here are a few other memorials to see in Washington, DC: