10 Great Places to See Fireworks on the 4th of July

Independence Day – the birth of our nation and an excuse for every city around the country to unite in celebration – is one of the most anticipated holidays each summer. With it comes times of togetherness as groups gather to celebrate in their own specials ways before setting out to see the closest fireworks display. While all are beautiful, there are a few cities throughout the country that use fireworks to pay extra special homage. If you’re in the area, make sure you take the time to see one of these incredible shows.

10. Boston, MA

Boston July 4th Fireworks

Image Credit: monkeyatlarge

The fireworks display held on Boston each year has been a 4th of July tradition since 1974. The evening, jam packed with fun and entertainment, starts off with a live concert with the Boston Pops. The trick is to make sure you get a seat somewhere along the river. You won’t be able to see the Boston Pops but the huge speakers will allow you to hear them play. If you sit where you can see the concert you won’t be able to see the amazing fireworks display. Not from the area? Try to reserve your hotel in Boston as soon as possible to avoid high holiday rates.

9. Lake Tahoe

Situated between Nevada and California, the stunning Lake Tahoe is an amazing place to sit and watch the fireworks on the 4th of July. The special fireworks set off by Pyro Spectaculars include floral designs, farfalles (the ones that look like butterflies), and a number of other colorful, symmetrical, and noisy displays. Try to get on board one of the paddle wheelers leaving from the southern end of the lake. If that’s not an option, find your way over to Baldwin Beach or Nevada Beach State Park.

8. Falmouth, MA

tall ships
Vacationing in Cape Cod this summer? If so you’ll appreciate seeing the beautiful fireworks display set off in Falmouth. The fireworks, which have been a tradition since 1980, are paid for by members of the community each year. This year the display will be dedicated to Katharine Lee Bates (the composer of “America the Beautiful” who happens to have been born in Falmouth) in honor of her 150th birthday.

7. Mount Rushmore, SD

Mount Rushmore National Park in South Dakota
What could be more dramatic than watching Independence Day fireworks explode above the incredible Mount Rushmore sculpture. The pyrotechnics, which you can see on July 3rd from the Black Hills, have to use pulleys to bring the fireworks up the face up the cliff and then lower them behind the monument itself. In the end it appears as though the fireworks are appearing out of thin air to illuminate the faces of our nation’s forefathers.

6. Oahu, HI

Magic Island Fireworks
Image Credit: RKHawaii

The folks in Oahu know how to celebrate the 4th of July, too, and their neighbors in Waikiki and Honolulu love viewing the displays from across the waters as well. The fireworks are, unlike most other places, launched from a man-made peninsula known as Magic Island. They do this to protect the area’s natural reefs from the usually used barges.

5. Washington, DC

Washington DC Fireworks
Image Credit: rjs1322

Our nation’s capital is, of course, a wonderful place to celebrate the 4th of July in style. The special effects used to pull of this spectacular show take more than a week to set up – creating the illusion that the fireworks are being set off over the Washington Memorial and Lincoln Memorial when, in fact, they are not (but we’re not going to tell you where they are set off)! The National Symphony Orchestra provides music for not the live crowd but for the crowd watching at home on PBS.

4. New York City, NY

New York City Fireworks
Image Credit: ShutterBugMike

New York City is well known for its spectacular holiday celebrations and the 4th of July is no exception. Macy’s has been sponsoring the fireworks display since 1976 and is one of the largest shows in the entire country. The display is usually launched from the East River but this year will be special. In honor of Henry Hudson’s trip on the waters, the display (aptly named American River) will be launched from the Hudson River instead. We’re talking six barges and over 75,000 pounds of explosives! If you’re lucky you might still be able to find a hotel in New York City with rooms available!

3. New Orleans, LA

New Orleans Fireworks
Image Credit: Spojeni

The folks in New Orleans certainly know how to party so it’s no surprise to find the waterfront lit up by what appear to be “Dueling Barges” each year. Both barges are filled with fireworks that appear to be battling each other to see who can put on the best display. This year the gang in New Orleans will be celebrating the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln AND will have the honor of having their displays streamed to soldiers in Afghanistan by live satellite broadcast.

2. Addison, TX

Addison, Texas is home to a mere 15,000 people but on the 4th of July their fireworks display draws the attention of nearly a half million viewers! Their celebration includes military bands, airplane flyovers, and the most technologically advanced pyrotechnics available on the market. Because the land in Texas is so flat, the display can be seen from several miles away from Addison.

1. Philadelphia, PA

Penn's Landing Fireworks
While the fireworks display may not match that found in New York City, Philadelphia is the place where it all started and the Independence Day celebrations held in the City of Brotherly Love are rivaled by no other. Sponsored by Sunoco as part of the Sunoco Welcome America Festival, the display will include a special feature this year. They’ll be honoring some of our nation’s “Great Orators” and will be including spoken word recordings featuring Maya Angelou, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Barack Obama as well as music. There are plenty of cheap hotels in Philadelphia for visitors who want to celebrate in the place where it all started!

No matter where you end up this year, enjoy your 4th of July!

5 Comments for "10 Great Places to See Fireworks on the 4th of July"

zach says on July 5th, 2009 at 8:32 am:

disney world is the best there will ever be for 4th of july fireworks

Rick says on July 5th, 2010 at 6:23 pm:

The Entire Firework Display was Extremely Lame, BUT the LAMEST OF THE LAME was the Howitzers Battalions salutes mere “squibs ” . My next door neighbors hot chicken wings and chili result in more spectacular booms and sparks and flame when the druncken college kids start lighting their flatulation! I would never waste my time and money, much less effort to ever attend again. Did Gov. Patrick rob the real shells, was the state police afraid of terrorists overtaking the gun positions ? Serious explanations are due. What a waste!


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