Where to watch fireworks in Washington

For many Americans, seeing fireworks on the Fourth of July means bug spray, sunscreen, and a folding chair. But there are plenty of places around the city offering elevated views to those lucky enough to have the keys or connections to the right buildings.

Here’s a highly unscientific sample of a few of the best perches, and some to come:

Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Buildings on Pennsylvania Avenue are taller than most downtown, which adds to the advantage of being close to the action. There’s the W Hotel, the Mills Building at 1700 Pennsylvania Ave. NW and the Warner Building just off Penn on 13th Street NW, where Vornado is known to have rooftop viewing parties. In a couple years’ time, guests in the right rooms of Donald Trump’s new hotel at the Old Post Office Pavilion should be in an enviable spot.

Massachusetts Avenue NW. It’s a few blocks north, but a string of residential buildings there afford great views. Find your way onto the rooftop at Ten Ten Mass and you can watch the fireworks from a pool. A similar vantage point can be had at 400 Massachusetts Ave. NW.

Rosslyn. If you have friends at Monday Properties, be sure to stay in their good graces. Not only does Monday own and operate Rosslyn’s Twin Towers, but they are building a 390-foot skyscraper at 1812 N. Moore St. that is likely to offer even superior views. Otherwise, find a connection at one of the town’s tall condo buildings: “Incredible views, like you see on television,” said Keith Sellars of the D.C. Economic Partnership.

Hay-Adams Hotel. Seeing the fireworks at from the “Top of the Hay” at the Hay-Adams Hotel, at 800 16th St. NW, has become such an attraction that the hotel offers a “dinner and fireworks” package. A room reservation is required, if you can get one.

1700 New York NW. It isn’t quite done yet — construction is expected to be completed late this year — but keep an eye on the new glass office building being erected next door to the Corcoran College of Art and Design. For next year, it could be the place to be. “That probably is going to be the best place in the city to see the fireworks,” said John Sikaitis, director of research at Jones Lang LaSalle.

Jonathan O'Connell has covered land use and development in the Washington area for more than five years.
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