Nothing screams summer like catching a fireworks show on the 4th of July. Who doesn’t have memories of picnics, BBQ, ice cream and sparklers with the family, leading up to the finale of explosions of color and sound in the air? If you think your local fireworks show is great, check out our favorites (along with hotels that offer great views) this 4th of July.
Written by Lissa Poirot
Macy's 4th of July Fireworks - New York City
No one does big like New York City, especially on the 4th of July. The Big Apple's Independence Day fireworks take place near the Brooklyn Bridge. Watch the fireworks outside, from your Brooklyn hotel or even on a cruise.
Boston's fireworks show commences with the Boston Pops, who perform classics and modern tunes and invite popular artists to sing along. Synchronized sounds get bigger and louder until the orchestra puts down their instruments and fireworks light up the sky. With so many sparklers, you can see the faces of the people gathered on the other side of the river!
The fun begins even earlier in the day, when the USS Constitution fires a 21-gun salute along the harbor.
Sitting on the National Mall, with the Washington Monument, White House and Lincoln Memorial surrounding your family, is surely one of the best ways to witness our nation's celebration of freedom and independence. Washington D.C.'s A Capitol Fourth celebration begins with a parade of marching bands, floats and military before the evening's other 4th of July activities, which include musical performances.
Where else would one want to celebrate our nation's independence than in the city where our forefathers signed the Declaration of Independence? Philadelphia puts on one of the nation's most fantastic fireworks shows, which grandly displays in the sky above the Philadelphia Museum of Art. And that's not all -- festivities actually take place over the course of eight days and include free admission to museums and attractions, such as the National Constitution Center, plus a Party on the Parkway, which includes kid-friendly crafts, eats and more.
Seattle celebrates Independence Day via Seafair Summer Fourth, which takes place in Gas Works Park and Lake Union Park. Families find food carts, interactive exhibits, live entertainment and features just for kids, such as hula hoop contests and sack races at these July 4th fireworks. After a day of fun, families stake out their spot to watch magnificent fireworks displays light up the sky.
If there's one city that knows how to put on a party, it's the Big Easy. Instead of dueling pianos battling to provide the best entertainment, the river throughout New Orleans features dueling barges attempting to outdo each other with the biggest bang and the greatest gasps. Visitors should bring radios to hear the dueling barges battle with patriotic music. Before this 4th of July show, enjoy the French Quarter's pre-show party.
St. Louis really gained attention when it, once upon a time, hosted the World's Fair, unveiling its Gateway Arch, the gateway from America's eastern half to the west after crossing the mighty Mississippi River. Now, Fair St. Louis is the city's Independence Day party under the Gateway Arch. The three-day party features nightly concerts, air shows, parades, 4th of July-themed activities for kids, and nightly (yes, nightly) fireworks. Of course, the biggest and best are saved for the 4th.