Happy Birthday America…
Last summer I experienced independence day in the best way possible, celebrating in the countries capital. I thought this year I would write a little throw back and tips for how to celebrate independence day the best way I know how!
It was so much fun Travelling across the states in the lead up to independence day, watching people get prepared for their big 4th of July celebrations, all the shops filled with the red, white and blue decor, US flags in every place possible. Americans know how to celebrate properly. The whole country was filled with pride and patriotism. I was always aware that Americans were like that but experiencing it over the biggest celebration of the year was just insane.
Being the basic brit abroad, I got completely swept up in all the excitement, after clearing out Walmart, I ended up with a giant American themed hair bow, red, white and blue star earrings, an American bandana and my own USA flag. Not to mention my pre-planned red, white and blue outfit and red lipstick… But as I was told by everyone over there, if you aren’t looking like a walking american dress up shop advert on the 4th of July you will get strange looks and I am all for throwing myself into the celebrations.
I spent a couple of days in DC, exploring the city and then ending with watching the most spectacular firework display over the mall.
If you have the chance to visit Washington DC for independence day I would 100% recommend arranging accommodation in advance as the city gets jam packed with people from all over the place. I stayed at a great hostel ‘Hostelling International Washington DC/HI-DC’ which is pretty central, reasonably priced and really comfortable to sleep in.
If you are a museum geek you will fall in love with the city…there are so many to get lost in and on the plus side they are free! I really loved the National Museum of Natural History, but there are so many others to explore, the national air and space museum, National Museum of American History and the National Museum of African American History and Culture to name a few. Not to mention the war memorials which are definitely a must to walk around. I always recommend doing a walking tour of some description when on a city break, and especially in a place like DC, there is so much to see and a walking tour is a great way to navigate yourself around the city and find all the hot spots. I did a moonlight tour my first evening there, which was incredible, the city is so beautiful even at night and everything is illuminated so you can still appreciate all the impressive sights.
I made it my mission on the 4th of July to start the day by finding the best pancakes to get me in the party mood… luckily for me there was a really cute local cafe across the street from my hostel which completely exceeded my expecatitions.
I can’t even put into words the sounds as you are walking down the street, everyone is in high spirits, there is people playing music and dancing around every corner. Its such a fun and exciting atmosphere. I spent the morning watching the independence day parade, looking slightly ridiculous but having the time of my life non the less. I spent the rest of the day exploring museums and unfortunately getting soaked in a complete down pour… the city was full of people in ponchos!
After stumbling across a hotdog man and freshening up after the storm, it was time to make my way down to the Lincoln Memorial steps to get a good spot for the fireworks. Again I can’t stress how busy the city is, you definitely need to get down there in good time as this is the hottest spot in America on the 4th of July. I don’t think I will ever watch another firework display that can compare to that.
Not only a highlight from my trip to the states but an experience I’ll never forget.