The 20 Best Places to Watch Fireworks Across America

From sea to shining sea.

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If you've arrived to this page after Googling "Where to watch fireworks near me," we have good news and, well, even better news. Let's start with the good: You've in the right place! We're here to share the absolute best towns, cities, valleys, mountains, and back roads from which to watch this year's 4th of July fireworks displays—and we've left no stone unturned. Whether you hail from the Northeast or the Southwest, there's something for you on this list. But here's the kicker—the "even better" news that we think you'll be happy to hear: Our guide doesn't limit your fireworks viewing to the perimeters of your hometown. Once you've found a spot that's purely "convenient" for you and your family, keep reading, because we have a feeling you'll ditch your current plans in favor of a road trip after reading up on all the cool events happening in our great nation this year. Believe us when we say there's a whole lot of 4th of July goodness to be had out there, from pageants to dog parades and even, yes "cowboy shootouts." Without further ado...

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New Orleans, Louisiana

Everything's a little bit more fun down in New Orleans, and the 4th is no exception. Set off from steamboats, the fireworks begin at 9 p.m.; we recommend watching them from one of the city's waterside parks.

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New York City

You didn't expect a small fireworks display in the Big Apple, did you? The annual Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks celebration of 2019 features seven large barges, which dock on the East River, and lasts around 25 minutes, with the spectacle beginning around 9:25 p.m. With so many ships, it's no wonder you can see the fireworks nearly anywhere in the city, from Midtown all the way to Brooklyn and Queens.

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Stowe, Vermont

Stowe may be a small town, but it more than makes up for its size with its annual 4th of July festivities. For over 40 years now, participants in the town's parade promise to adhere to a pretty comical set of rules, spending no more than $10 on their float decorations and not beginning work on them until the morning of the actual parade. The fun concludes with face painting, food, and an out-of-this-world fireworks show.

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Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

The fun thing about the fireworks display in Myrtle Beach—besides the fact that it's electrifying levels of gorgeous, expansive, and colorful—is that it doesn't just take place on the 4th. Instead, you can catch spectacular displays every single Tuesday and Friday all summer long at . Specifically on the 4th, though, you can watch from a number of different locations, including and .

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Estes Park, Colorado

What better place to spend a day honoring our great country than in a beautiful mountain town in the Rockies? Yes, it's true that Denver and Boulder boast bigger displays, but we've always been impressed with the spectacle Estes Park manages to put on, especially given its smaller size. There's great live music to check out too.

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Cody, Wyoming

It's not so much "Independence Day" as it is "Independence Days," plural, in this small Wyoming town. Five days of parades, craft fairs, and festivities will leave you seeing stars and stripes for days. The fireworks display is not to be missed, of course, but neither is the Cody Stampede Rodeo, which was launched the same year Buffalo Bill Cody died—all the way back in 1919.

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Virginia City, Nevada

Not only does Virginia City host a fantastic, one-of-a-kind fireworks show on the 4th (the fireworks are shot from below, so they appear at eye-level!), they've also got a parade, a "cowboy shootout," saloon-style music, delicious barbecue fare, and more.

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Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Gatlinburg is known for hosting our country's first 4th of July fireworks display of the day—as in, their event takes place at 12:01 a.m., as soon as the day officially begins. Oh, and 80,000 to 100,000 people typically observe. Color us impressed.

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Minneapolis, Minnesota

If you haven't heard of Minneapolis’ festival, we're here to clue you in: It's gorgeous, it's big (in fact, it's Minnesota's biggest fireworks display), and it takes place over the Mississippi River. You'll be in good company if you do make the trek, as tens of thousands watch this show each year. But make sure to buy tickets beforehand.

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Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia

Who would've thought Colonial Williamsburg would be the place to be on the 4th of July? The Virginia capital not only hosts some fun Colonial experiences during the day (including a cannon firing!), but they've got an insanely cool fireworks show at night right on Palace Green.

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Bristol, Rhode Island

Bristol's first 4th of July celebrations happened over 200 (!) years ago, which means its big celebration is one of the country's longest-running. It might make sense, then, why the town's residents devoutly begin their celebrations all the way back on June 14 (Flag Day), and why they include pageants, concerts, a ball, a parade, and more. Like in many other small towns around the corner, Fireworks take place on Fourth of July Eve in this star-spangled city.

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Old Orchard Beach, Maine

There are few things more wonderful than the shores of a New England beach on the 4th of July. This charming town kicks off its celebrations with a sand sculpture contest, a dog parade, a bike decorating competition, concerts and dancing, and more. But the main event, of course, is the fireworks display that takes place once evening rolls around.

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Nashville, Tennessee

It's Music City, after all, so it makes sense that pre-fireworks festivities in Nashville center around free concerts. And they're every bit as electrifying as the light show itself.

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St. Augustine, Florida

Shops and bars offer extended hours in St. Augustine in honor of the 4th, so you'll have plenty to do while you wait for the fireworks to explode over the famous Castillo de San Marcos. There's also swing dancing with a live big band. Count us in!

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Bend, Oregon

Like seeing dogs, cats, and, yes, llamas in costume? Then you'll probably want to head to Bend, Oregon for the 4th of July—their Pet Parade will give you all that and more. Hula hoop contests, three-legged races, and delicious food will keep you entertained all the way until nighttime, when you'll be dazzled by fireworks launched off Pilot Butte.

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Las Vegas, Nevada

What happens in Las Vegas, stays in Las Vegas—except the unbelievably huge Caesars Palace Fireworks Show, which you'll definitely want to post on Instagram.

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Lake Tahoe, California

If a 4th of July fireworks viewing in Lake Tahoe isn't already on your bucket list, it should be: With 100,000+ spectators, it's one of the country's most popular Independence Day spectacles. Beautiful during the day and night, we think you won't have trouble finding things to do with your family before the show begins.

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Boston, Massachusetts

The Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular takes place along the beautiful Charles River, and guess what? It's free!

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St. Louis, Missouri

You can head to St. Louis' Gateway Arch Park for a handful of fantastic performances by some of your favorite singers and bands. Billed as "America's biggest birthday party," the spectacle typically includes an air show too.

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Washington, D.C.

Last, but certainly not least, is the annual 4th of July celebration in Washington, D.C. From the National Mall to the Potomac River, there's several different shows to choose from. So no matter where you end up, you shouldn't have a hard time finding a prime viewing spot.

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