11 Best Places to Celebrate the 4th of July

All over the United States the skies will be filled with colorful fireworks celebrating the nation's Independence Day. Here are the best places to celebrate the 4th of July around the country.

It’s almost that time of year when the skies all over the United States will be filled with colorful fireworks celebrating the nation’s Independence Day.  Here are the 10 best light shows and festivities around the country.

1. New York City

The Annual Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks is one of the most famous fireworks displays in the country.  For the past several years, the show was moved to the Hudson (in 2009) to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s voyage of discovery up the river.  2014 will be the first year that the show is returned to its original location over the East River where more than 40,000 pyrotechnics will be set off from barges in the river from the Manhattan bridge stretching down toward the harbor — and from atop the Brooklyn Bridge. Prime viewing spots will include Brooklyn Bridge Park, the DUMBO waterfront and the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, where the plan is set to be announced Monday. More Details

Photo credit: nyhabitat.com

2. Philadelphia

There is nothing quite like celebrating July 4th than in the city where the country was born. Join The Roots and special guests including John Mayer, Ne-Yo, Jill Scott and host comedian Kevin Hart on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for nation’s largest free outdoor Fourth of July concert, followed by an eye-popping, jaw-dropping, light-up-the-sky fireworks display. Benjamin Franklin Parkway between 18th & 23rd Streets | More Details | Where to Watch Map – Parkway

Photo credit: visitphilly.com

3. Las Vegas

Sin City is filled with plenty to do all up and down The Strip starting several days for the 4th. Hotels book up quickly so be sure to book plenty in advance.  Firework displays from the hotels vary but typically every year Caesar’s Palace shoots off fireworks from the hotel’s Roman Tower.  The Stratosphere Casino Hotel and Tower also will have a fireworks show this year that will be launched from the Stratosphere’s North parking garage and visible anywhere in the Las Vegas Valley.  The best views will be from The Strip at the front fountains of the hotel. Be sure to also head to some of the pool parties during the day where famous DJs like Afrojack and Calvin Harris will be spinning at Wet Republic at the MGM Grand. More Details on events in Vegas

4. Boston

Head to the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular at the DCR Hatch Shell on the Esplanade. The event is free and admittance is on a first-come, first-serve basis so get there early to secure a spot. 47 David G Mugar Way Boston, MA 02108 on the East End of Storrow Drive | More Details

Photo credit: bostonmagazine.com

5. Washington DC

The nation’s capital is filled with different ways to celebrate the 4th of July.  The West Lawn of the Capitol is the site of “A Capitol Fourth,” the free hour-and-a-half concert put on each year by PBS. The National Symphony Orchestra and the Choral Arts Society of Washington back up a lineup of stars. It all leads up to a spectacular fireworks show, which usually kicks off shortly after 9:00 p.m.  West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol | More Details

Photo credit: dc.about.com

6. Austin

Every Fourth of July the Austin Symphony Orchestra performs their annual Fourth of July Fireworks & Symphony at Auditorium Shores. The orchestra begins at 8:30pm and the fireworks start at 9:30pm. Come early, bring a picnic and claim a grassy spot. The Long Center for Performing Arts, 701 Riverside Drive | More Details

Photo credit: Todd Bellers

7. Bristol, RI

The Annual Bristol 4th of July Celebration began in 1785 when Rev. Henry Wight of the First Congregational Church and a Veteran of the Revolutionary War conducted the first Patriotic Exercises. The Fourth of July Parade begins at 10:30 a.m. and will step-off at the corner of Chestnut Street and Hope Street (Rt. 114) and ends on High Street, between State Street and Bradford Street. More Details

Photo credit: july4thbristolri.com

8. San Francisco

Head to PIER 39 in Fisherman’s Wharf for an elaborate fireworks display over the San Francisco Bay. The day features musical entertainment and activities starting at noon and lasting until the fireworks end around 10pm. Admission is free but come early to snag a good spot. PIER 39 at 2 Beach Street | More Details

Photo credit: newstimes.com

9. Key West

Why not head to the beautiful beaches of Key West and enjoy a tropical getaway mixed with the festivities surrounding the 4th of July holiday.  Head to Key Largo where a colorful parade kicks off the festivities in the morning followed by a community picnic from 5-8pm on the grounds of the Murray Nelson Government & Cultural Center.  Find a spot along the bayfront for the Fireworks Show on Blackwater Sound which starts at 10pm For the best views, try Sundowners, Senior Frijoles, Caribbean Club or Marriott Key Largo Bay Resort, all located near MM 104 bayside. Because seating is limited, reservations are suggested.

Photo credit: Joe Parks via Flickr

10. Chicago

Navy Pier shoots off fireworks all summer long, beginning Memorial Day weekend and lasting until Labor Day – every Wednesday at 9:30pm and Saturdays at 10:15pm.  On 4th of July, the show begins at 9:30pm.  600 E. Grand Avenue | More Details | Printable Map

Photo credit: Monika Thorpe via Flickr

11. San Diego, CA

The Annual Big Boom July 4 Fireworks Show is one of the largest fireworks displays in the country.  Fireworks are launched from four barges in the North San Diego Bay.  The fireworks can be seen from Shelter Island, Harbor Island, the Embarcadero area and Seaport Village/Coronado Landing. The show starts at 9pm.  Just find a place along the bay and you will not be disappointed. More Details | Map

Photo credit: mojo2u via Flickr
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