In DC for the 4th

Tips, stories, and questions about travel-related topics, including restaurants
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e chin
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In DC for the 4th

#1 Post by e chin » May 22nd, 2018, 10:24 pm

Any suggestions on the best place to plant yourself to watch the fireworks? Also how early do I need to be there to insure I get a place, as I assume DC will be a zoo at that time. Any restaurants a possibility?
Ed

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Neal.Mollen
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#2 Post by Neal.Mollen » May 23rd, 2018, 5:59 am

e chin wrote:Any suggestions on the best place to plant yourself to watch the fireworks? Also how early do I need to be there to insure I get a place, as I assume DC will be a zoo at that time. Any restaurants a possibility?
Where are you staying?

The Mall is a huge mass of humanity and the crowds are unavoidable; you just have to surrender to it. If you want to get away from the crowds a little (very little) you can take the blue/yellow line metro to the Arlington National station and either find a spot on the banks of the Potomac or go up the hill to the Iwo Jima memorial.l Both offer very fine vantage points, SLIGHTLY less crowded and (likely?) no metal detectors to slow things down. They start shutting down the roads mid-morning so access will be limited to Metro and it will start populating by late morning at the latest (unless the weather is bad).

I haven't done the fireworks since my son was much younger so others may have more current info.

Because of the crowds restaurant reservations are a must and well in advance (plan now). Let me know where you will be and what kinds of food you want and I will be happy to make some suggestions. DC is a GREAT restaurant town.
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#3 Post by Neal.Mollen » May 23rd, 2018, 6:02 am

Oh, one alternative I have not tried but would be good is the (newish) Air Force Memorial in Arlington. Hard to get to without a car or an Uber, but it is on a hill overlooking the Pentagon, the Potomac and the monuments. A little further away and you won't get the full impact of the explosions, but a panoramic view to be sure. Less space there for viewing (if it is open; check!) so it would fill up quickly
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#4 Post by doug johnson » May 23rd, 2018, 6:08 am

2 Amy's then a short walk to the National Cathedral.

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#5 Post by Neal.Mollen » May 23rd, 2018, 6:12 am

Love 2 Amy's, but can't imagine that the Cathedral is a very good place to watch the fireworks. WAY too far away
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#6 Post by e chin » May 23rd, 2018, 8:37 am

Neal, thanks for the info. I don't know the exact location (wife is in charge), but the description says we are a 2 min. walk from the Gallery Place Station. Given the amount of people it sounds like the day maybe shot for sightseeing if I want to guarantee a location to sit. As for restaurants nothing too fancy as I won't be bringing any nice clothing. Also my wife mentioned that her friend suggested going to the Kennedy Center to view. Is it too far away?
Ed

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#7 Post by Neal.Mollen » May 23rd, 2018, 9:03 am

e chin wrote:Neal, thanks for the info. I don't know the exact location (wife is in charge), but the description says we are a 2 min. walk from the Gallery Place Station. Given the amount of people it sounds like the day maybe shot for sightseeing if I want to guarantee a location to sit. As for restaurants nothing too fancy as I won't be bringing any nice clothing. Also my wife mentioned that her friend suggested going to the Kennedy Center to view. Is it too far away?
It is a lovely place and about a mile and a half from ground zero. Not really any place to sit though; I am not sure what they have in mind (unless you mean on the rooftop, which would be awesome if there is a way to arrange that).

Close to Gallery Place and not too fancy dress-wise: Oyamel (outstanding small plates Mexican, not tex-mex); Rasika (best Indian restaurant in the country in the estimation of many and my fave in DC); Hill Country BBQ; Zaytinya (med small plates). A couple of blocks further away: Michele Richard (RIP!) Centrale; Centrolina (very nice Italian spot); DBGb DC (Boulud bistro; no BYO, but I've talked them into it before when bringing a nice bottle).
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#8 Post by e chin » May 23rd, 2018, 9:10 am

Again thank you Neal.
Ed

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#9 Post by doug johnson » May 23rd, 2018, 4:50 pm

Neal.Mollen wrote:Love 2 Amy's, but can't imagine that the Cathedral is a very good place to watch the fireworks. WAY too far away
Guess it depends what you want out of fireworks watching...it is one of the highest points in DC and you see the display quite well. People are there watching but it is not so crowded that you need to arrive hours early, get delayed for a long time leaving, nor fight for a spot to see.

So for me, it is the only place to watch DC fireworks. And if one wanted to sight-see during the day and show up at dusk and have a place to sit - it should work for that, too!

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#10 Post by Neal.Mollen » May 23rd, 2018, 5:47 pm

doug johnson wrote:
Neal.Mollen wrote:Love 2 Amy's, but can't imagine that the Cathedral is a very good place to watch the fireworks. WAY too far away
Guess it depends what you want out of fireworks watching...it is one of the highest points in DC and you see the display quite well. People are there watching but it is not so crowded that you need to arrive hours early, get delayed for a long time leaving, nor fight for a spot to see.

So for me, it is the only place to watch DC fireworks. And if one wanted to sight-see during the day and show up at dusk and have a place to sit - it should work for that, too!
Sure I understand that. For the 10th time seeing the fireworks it would be perfect. But for a visitor to DC coming for the fireworks? Not sure that is what I'd choose
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#11 Post by Howard Cooper » May 23rd, 2018, 7:17 pm

Neal.Mollen wrote:
e chin wrote:Neal, thanks for the info. I don't know the exact location (wife is in charge), but the description says we are a 2 min. walk from the Gallery Place Station. Given the amount of people it sounds like the day maybe shot for sightseeing if I want to guarantee a location to sit. As for restaurants nothing too fancy as I won't be bringing any nice clothing. Also my wife mentioned that her friend suggested going to the Kennedy Center to view. Is it too far away?
It is a lovely place and about a mile and a half from ground zero. Not really any place to sit though; I am not sure what they have in mind (unless you mean on the rooftop, which would be awesome if there is a way to arrange that).

Close to Gallery Place and not too fancy dress-wise: Oyamel (outstanding small plates Mexican, not tex-mex); Rasika (best Indian restaurant in the country in the estimation of many and my fave in DC); Hill Country BBQ; Zaytinya (med small plates). A couple of blocks further away: Michele Richard (RIP!) Centrale; Centrolina (very nice Italian spot); DBGb DC (Boulud bistro; no BYO, but I've talked them into it before when bringing a nice bottle).
Also, Jaleo (Spanish Tapas) and Zaytinya (Middle Eastern).
Howard

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#12 Post by Howard Cooper » May 23rd, 2018, 7:20 pm

Does your hotel have a roof where people view fireworks. I have done this on the roof of a number of office buildings in the area, but don’t know if hotels do this.
Howard

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#13 Post by e chin » May 24th, 2018, 12:34 am

It’s an Airbnb rental that I think is apart of a condo complex. Also thanks for the additional recommendations.
Ed

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#14 Post by Neal.Mollen » May 24th, 2018, 4:51 am

I mentioned Zaytinya. I am not as much a fan of Jaleo as others, but I do know that I am in a minority on that. I much prefer Oyamel
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#15 Post by e chin » July 8th, 2018, 8:47 pm

Neal, Just got back and wanted to say thanks again for the reco's. Went to Centrale for lunch and DBGB for dinner the same night. Wife and kids enjoyed both meals as did I, but other than my steak at DB being a little over salted the meal was solid. Have you been to Proof? Another solid meal there and quite the wine list. I did find it kind of strange that the food was comparable to your suggestions, but there were only a handful of covers.
I noticed most if not all the sidewalks were done with pavers of some sort or another. Is this done because of the winters there?
Ed

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#16 Post by Neal.Mollen » July 9th, 2018, 5:00 am

Glad you had a good time, Ed. I haven't been to Proof in a while. They've cycled through a number of chefs; I am hoping for a little stability there, and there are so many other options. Plus I BYO pretty much everywhere!

The pavers are just for appearances sake, I think, and are limited to certain high-traffic tourist areas.

Where did you watch the fireworks? And sorry about the weather; it was beastly! The last few days have been perfect though; hope you were here on Saturday at least
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#17 Post by e chin » July 9th, 2018, 7:08 am

The weather was beastly as you say but thankfully all the museums have ac. As for the fireworks my wife was invited by someone on her team to have dinner and view the fireworks at the Kennedy Center. I have never been there so it was a great opportunity. I would have loved to stay longer as there was plenty of other sites we didn’t get a chance to see. Also I have to agree with you on the byo. I rarely buy a bottle because of the markup.
Ed

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#18 Post by Neal.Mollen » July 10th, 2018, 5:14 am

We will be here when you want to return. Probably. Glad you had such a good time. It is a wonderful place
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