Top 10 Places to Be on the Water this July 4th Weekend
For the perfect Fourth of July weekend, avoid the crowded shoreline and experience the celebration of America’s Independence from the comfort of your very own vessel. Rent a boat at any one of these HOT Fourth of July boating spots. Each of the places you will read about below puts on a very unique firework show.
Choose your favorite city below and rent a boat for the best Fourth of July fireworks experience:
- Boston, MA
- New York City, NY
- Chicago, IL
- Houston, TX
- Lake Tahoe, CA
- New Orleans, LA
- San Diego, CA
- Miami, FL
- Milwaukee, WI
- Seattle, WA
1. Boston, MA
A tradition since 1930, the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular is known as America’s premier Independence Day celebration. It’s also known as one of the most expensive pyrotechnic displays in the country, which means it’s gotta be good!
Celebrating it’s 40th year, the Boston Harbor receives over 500,000 visitors annually for the fireworks display. Don’t get stuck crowding around the banks of the Charles River and view the show from the best spot, which is on the water!
2. New York City, NY
Macy’s 38th 4th of July Fireworks, is one of the largest shows in America and regularly attracts around 2 million people. Boasting more than 40,000 fireworks, this year’s show will be synchronized to a 25-minute hand-picked score curated by Usher.
Vantage points are scattered throughout the West side up to NJ, but the best views can be found while on the water in the Hudson River.
3. Chicago, IL
Chicago’s waterfront firework display will take place on 4th of July weekend on Saturday, July 1st.
From spectacular fireworks at Navy Pier that light up the city’s lakefront to a concert of beloved classics in Millennium Park, from a baseball game to a bbq rib fest, there is no better place to celebrate the country’s independence than Chicago.
4. Houston, TX
Set to a soundtrack of classic American music, the Freedom over Texas firework display is the largest display in the country!
While you could show up just for the fireworks, you must know that this is an all-day event with an event filled with six-hours of festivities, tradition, and live concert stages, along Allen Parkway.
Catch the best views while on the White Oak or Buffalo Bayou.
5. Lake Tahoe, CA
Tahoe South Lights’ fireworks display is ranked by many as one of the top displays in the country.
Pro tip: The fireworks are set to music, so make sure you ask the boat owner to show you the radio so you tune into KRLT radio station by 9:45 pm!
The fireworks are shot from a barge in the middle of the lake and are visible from all over town. As you might have guessed one of the sweetest spots to view the show is on the water, directly under the fireworks.
6. New Orleans, LA
Go to Crescent Park for an all day 4th of July event. You’ll get to explore the famous French Market District and fun activities set up in celebration of America’s birthday.
The firework show, starting around 9 pm, takes place over the Mississippi River and has been consistently ranked as one of the top nationwide. With a dueling barge firework extravaganza, the only place to view is from the water.
7. San Diego, CA
What’s better than two barges shooting off fireworks? Three barges! The fireworks will launch simultaneously for a full 17 minutes, located on Shelter Island, Harbor Island, and the North Embarcadero area. The display is estimated to last for a full 17 minutes over San Diego Bay.
8. Miami, FL
9. Milwaukee, WI
Milwaukee’s lakefront firework display dares to be different by celebrating Independence Day a day earlier on July 3rd with an entire 60 minutes worth of fireworks over the Lakefront in Veterans Park.
And the show goes on! In case you end up missing the July 3rd celebrations, there is always the standard lakefront firework display the next day.
10. Seattle, WA
Go to Angle Lake Park in SeaTac this 4th of July! Enjoy the Parade of Decorated Boats at sunset (around 9 pm) before the fireworks begin at approximately 10. This event is great for families with small kids or a group looking for a more intimate 4th of July.
But if you’re looking for a big 4th of July throwdown, go to Gasworks Park on Lake Union— the must-go in Seattle for the fireworks show. This event does get crowded so arriving early is highly encouraged.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in June 2021 and updated in June 2023.
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