Where to Find America's Most Iconic Firework Shows

PHOTO: Fireworks over Washington, DC with the Jefferson Memorial in the foreground. (photo via SeanPavonePhoto/iStock/Getty Images Plus)
Patrick Clarke
by Patrick Clarke
Last updated: 7:00 AM ET, Mon June 24, 2019

Independence Day Spectacles

For many Americans, July 4 is the highlight of summer and the ultimate Independence Day celebration can never be complete without fireworks. For those patriotic travelers hoping to take in an iconic display this Fourth of July, here's where you'll find the best of the best.

Boston, Massachusetts

Free and open to the public, the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular is closing in on five decades and in 2019 will be headlined by Grammy, Emmy and Golden Globe award winner Queen Latifah. The annual event is held at the DCR Hatch Shell along the Charles River Esplanade.

Washington, DC

What better place to celebrate America's birthday than in the nation's capital? The Fourth of July fireworks on the National Mall are some of the most spectacular you're likely to see. They are free to watch and can be viewed from various spots throughout the city as well as parts of Northern Virginia. Be sure to arrive early though if you plan on watching from up close.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

If you can't make it the nation's capital, why not head to America's birthplace. The 2019 Wawa Welcome America July 4th Fireworks will light up the skies above the Philadelphia Museum of Art and will be complemented by a patriotic soundtrack.

New York, New York

It's only fitting that New York City host the nation's largest Fourth of July fireworks show. This year's mesmerizing display will require 12 days of work and 60 pyrotechnicians and feature more than 70,000 effects, including the following new ones: Wolf Whistle, Little Snakes, Hidden Happy Faces, Revolving Dragons and Multicolor Meteor Mines.

Seattle, Washington

The Seafair Summer 4th Fireworks over Seattle's Lake Union are some of the best you'll find in the country. The party starts hours in advance and features music and fun all the way up until the bright lights and booming sounds take over.

San Francisco, California

Fourth of July Fireworks in the Bay Area is a hot ticket as summer revelers flock to San Francisco's Pier 39 to ensure a view of the fireworks over the bay. If you can't make it to the Pier or see them from up close on a cruise, consider finding a spot on the hills near the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.

St. Louis, Missouri

2019 Fair Saint Louis features not one but three nights of fireworks kicking off on Independence Day. Known as America's Biggest Birthday Party, other highlights of this event include air shows, concerts featuring big names like Brett Young and The Flaming Lips as well as family-friendly activities.

Austin, Texas

The annual HEB Austin Symphony July 4th Concert & Fireworks draws tens of thousands of people to the Texas capital but the good news is that there are plenty of places to catch the eye-popping display, including Zilker Park and the Lady Bird Lake Trail.

Lake Tahoe, California and Nevada

Another special destination for celebrating America's birthday, Tahoe is home to the award-winning Lights on the Lake fireworks show. After all, the American Pyrotechnics Association rated the South Shore's Fourth of July display one of the top five in the country. You'll want to view this show from the lake if you can.

Nashville, Tennessee

The Music City will be lit up by plenty of fireworks as well as a plethora of stars, with Brett Eldredge, Mac McAnally, Jessy Wilson and Dylan Scott among those set to perform this year. This year's fireworks display will feature more than 62,000 shells and the finale is promised to be the "most powerful" in the city's history.

Dallas, Texas

There's no shortage of places to catch stellar firework displays throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area this Fourth of July but visitors to the region should be sure to check out Addison Kaboom Town, a nationally recognized show just north of the city that kicks off the Independence Day festivities with concerts, an air show and fireworks on July 3.

San Diego, California

The Big Bay Boom July 4th Fireworks Show will light up the sky above San Diego Bay for as long as 17 minutes and there are plenty of places to watch from, including Shelter Island, Harbor Island, North Embarcadero and the Marina District. Visitors can even take advantage of free parking lots and shuttle service to Harbor Island and Shelter Island.

Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta is home to the biggest fireworks show in the Southeast. The Fourth of July Celebration at Centennial Olympic Park returns in 2019 with what's sure to be another spine-tingling display. Other highlights will include more than a half-dozen food trucks and a special set by DJ Yvonne Monet.

Minneapolis, Minnesota

The annual Minneapolis Red, White and Boom Celebration is capped with a spectacular fireworks display but the fun begins just after sunrise on July 4 with half marathon, relay and 5K runs. Attendees can also look forward to live music and family activities later in the day, including face-painting, caricature artists and balloon artists.

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago's Navy Pier puts on incredible firework shows all summer long but you'll want to arrive early for the Independence Day display. If you can't get to the Pier, settle into a spot in Millennium Park or along the shore. And if you can't make the July 4 fireworks, stick around for the July 6 showcase.

Miami, Florida

Few cities can compete with Miami when it comes to throwing a party so it's no surprise the city's Fourth of July fireworks are some of the nation's best. "America's Birthday Bash" at Bayfront Park is one of the largest displays in South Florida. You can also see awesome fireworks at Miami Beach's "Fire on the Fourth Festival" as well as Coconut Grove and Key Biscayne.

Houston, Texas

Like any big city, there are countless places to see stellar fireworks shows in Houston, including the patriotic Freedom Over Texas celebration in Eleanor Tinsley Park downtown. For a free experience, head to the Miller Outdoor Theatre for an Independence Day concert by the Houston Symphony followed by fireworks.

New Orleans, Louisiana

The historic New Orleans Riverfront is the place to be this Fourth of July. The Big Easy's annual Go Fourth on the River event features dueling barges lighting up the Mississippi River and is accompanied by patriotic music to set the perfect Independence Day mood.

Los Angeles, California

Sprawling L.A. offers visitors countless opportunities to ring in another U.S. birthday with dazzling fireworks, from the Rose Bowl to the Hollywood Bowl. Families might consider Disneyland while sports fans can stick around after the Dodgers game to catch a special Independence Day display at Dodger Stadium.

Las Vegas, Nevada

Sin City hosted well over 300,000 people last Fourth of July and that's partly due to the destination's reputation for thrilling fireworks displays, which seem to occur every night of the year. However, Las Vegas takes it up a notch for Independence Day. You can watch the sky light up from anywhere near The Strip but the shows at Caesars Palace and Mandalay Bay promise to be among the best.

Denver, Colorado

Kick off America's birthday early in the Mile High City this summer. The annual Independence Eve Celebration in Denver's Civic Center Park includes a free patriotic concert, a captivating light show projected onto the Denver City and County Building and a finale featuring booming fireworks.

Celebrate America's 243rd birthday in style in one of these patriotic destinations.

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CEO of Zenbiz Travel, LLC

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