• The fourth of July will soon be upon us and if you’re coming to DC for the weekend, or a lifelong resident, then you’re most likely going to go watch the fireworks. But you can’t spend the whole weekend watching kickass explosions. Here are the best places to catch the sun while melting away the three-day weekend!

    Smith Commons - H Street

    Smith Commons – H Street

    Smith Commons – H Street

    Celebrate the weekend on the east side of DC and take the DC Streetcar to this chic American bistro that serves the best cocktails and dishes on H Street. With President Obama’s stamp of approval, you know the food has got to be good, so try some amazing French fries and wash it down with a Smith’s Street Car cocktail.

    The second and third floor patios, surrounded by wood-plank walls, provide plenty of seating for you and your friends while keeping out the noise from H street below. While you’re at the Smith Commons, try the Pisco Sour and DC Street Car cocktail.

    Takoda - Florida Avenue

    Takoda – Florida Avenue

    Takoda – Florida Avenue

    Celebrate the fourth on Florida Avenue with its latest restaurant, Takoda. Named for the Sioux word meaning ‘friend to everyone,’ Takoda features an all American selection of over 24 drafts and 51 different whiskeys.

    Takoda celebrates America’s rustic side while infusing modern aesthetics. You’ll dine and drink in a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere, amidst the rustic signage and picket fence décor. For a special treat, head up to the all-season rooftop bar and beer garden and check out a one of kind view of Shaw and U street.

    If you’re here for the weekend, enjoy a brunch selection of all American eats!

    Bar Deco - Chinatown

    Bar Deco – Chinatown

    Bar Deco – Chinatown

    You’ve got to check out the sights and sounds of DC’s famous China Town while you’re in DC. Home of DC’s downtown nightlife, the National Portrait Gallery and the Verizon Center, this area is a popular spot to catch a game and enjoy a drink. Just a short walking distance from the National Mall, Chinatown is a perfect pit-stop while sight-seeing.

    One such restaurant to go to is the newly opened Bar Deco. Housed in the historical Bulletin building, the Art Deco invokes the carefree days of roaring twenties. Further adding on to this aesthetic are the Gatsby inspired cocktails; classically inspired with a modern twist.

    One last card up Bar Deco’s sleeve is the upstairs rooftop bar, which offers a great spot to hang out and an extraordinary view of Chinatown.

    Two Birds, One Stone - 14th Street

    Two Birds, One Stone – 14th Street

    Two Birds, One Stone – 14th Street

    Even the high-minded cocktail drinker has to celebrate the fourth somewhere and Two Birds, One Stone has some of the best cocktails around.

    Located underneath Doi Moi, this bar lets you celebrate the American speakeasy tradition. You’ll feel like a venerable gangster as you follow a nondescript sign to this hidden bar.

    Once you’ve gone through the rigmarole of finding the place, enjoy one (or two) of the many revolving craft cocktails featured on their artisanal hand-drawn menus. Once you’ve ordered, spend a leisurely time in a booth (perfect for groups) or a nook (perfect for dates).

    The Big Hunt - Dupont Circle

    The Big Hunt – Dupont Circle

    The Big Hunt – Dupont Circle

    Have some fun this weekend at Dupont Circle’s largest dive bar, The Big Hunt. Unleash your wild side with underground comedy, skee-ball and over 30 delicious craft beers.

    For the person who enjoys the eclectic and strange, The Big Hunt will keep you entertained with its carefully curated collection of curiosities hanging from every ceiling and wall. If you’re looking for an outdoor experience, The Big Hunt has got you covered. Just head to the outdoor patio located on the second floor.

    Perfect after a long day of exploring museums and monuments, the bartenders here will help you cool down with eclectic cocktails and draft beers. Afterwards, stay for some tasty burgers and fries.

    Honorable Mention - The National Mall

    Honorable Mention – The National Mall

    Honorable Mention – The National Mall

    What DC experience wouldn’t be complete if you couldn’t say you had a beer on America’s front lawn?

    Every Friday evening, from May 27th to September 2nd , the National Gallery of Art plays host to its Jazz in The Garden series. During this event the National Gallery offers cheap sangria and beer for your drinking pleasure. While getting sauced up, you can listen to a varied arrangement of Jazz-Funk performances by local Washington area artists.

    If you’re looking for some beer while on the National Mall, there are plenty of locations outside almost every Smithsonian museum to cool off. Just don’t try to walk away with your beer, otherwise you might be dealing with the National Park Service’s finest.

    Oh, and last but not least. Stop by the mall on the fourth for the Fireworks starting at 9:09 pm. After all, there is no better place to be on Independence Day than the National Mall.

    Written by Kevin Marchand Photography by DJ Akisanya