The Nations Capital, Chocolate City, the District of Corruption… Washington, D.C. has been called a lot of things and to that list of names I’d add one more title,”Fireworks HQ of the Nation.” Once you’ve seen the big and loud fireworks show on the National Mall surrounded by monuments to Washington, Lincoln, and Jefferson all the other Independence Day fireworks shows around the country just seem a little, well…whimpy.
In DC they do a non-stop boom, bam, pop, pop, boom style show that’s the biggest and loudest in the nation. It’s fantastic! When it’s over the smell of gunpowder is thick in the air. To top it off, you’ll see firefly’s lighting up the surrounding trees when the show is over. Here’s a photo of just a second of the show. And some of the monuments in the area.
Not only does DC do 4th of July fireworks like nobody’s business, there are also a gazillion different museums to see and most of them are free! All of the Smithsonian’s museums are no-charge, and if you visit the inspiring National Air and Space Museum there are cool things to do that include: touching a moon rock and seeing the actual Apollo and Gemini space program capsules, including the command module for Apollo 11, the first lunar landing mission. They also have the Spirit of St. Louis, the plane that Charles Lindberg flew across the Atlantic Ocean, and even the Wright Brothers first plane. Here are some photos of that.
There’s also a huge exhibit with TONS of stuff from the Apollo missions. My favorite, the harmonica and jingle bells that the crew of Gemini 6 used to broadcast their rendition of “Jingle Bells” back to Earth from space at Christmastime in 1965. Here’s a photo.
Another mind-blowing museum in DC is the truly outstanding Newseum. I could have easily spent the entire vacation there because it’s SO much fun! It’s news junkie nirvana with interactive exhibits, displays, films, and a very beautiful 9/11 memorial. Here are a couple of photo’s of historic front pages from newspapers from around the country that they have on display. And get this, the Newseum’s front pages display goes all the way back to the first printed newspaper in 1455. Yes, that’s one thousand four hundred and fifty five. Stunning! Here’s a photo of some big news from the 1800′s…
Along with all the museums, sculpture and gardens of DC, there’s a lot of great music and food. I actually heard a string quartet playing dance music of Transylvania during the Folk Music Festival on the Mall. Cool stuff. The area is known for their exquisite, sweet and tender Maryland Blue Crab. It’s actually crab season now, so take a look at this Crabcake Sandwich. It tasted as good as it looked, too.
If you ever think about getting away for the 4th of July, you might consider putting a trip to DC on your list. It’s a beautiful place to visit, especially for Independence Day.
Check out all the photos from my 4th of July Vacation in the photo gallery here!