The July 4th holiday weekend will see 59 million U.S. boaters take to the water to celebrate with family and friends.
Many of the nation’s major metropolitan areas mark their Independence Day celebrations on their waterfront, making watching fireworks from a boat the best seat in the house.
Discover Boating, a national public awareness program dedicated to recreational boating, has listed several popular on-the-water locations for viewing fireworks displays from a boat:
- Austin, Texas: Marked by beautiful symphony music and a spectacular fireworks display, Austin's Town Lake is the place to be for this annual celebration. Rent a kayak or head out aboard your own boat where the best seats in the house are on the water. (July 4, 8:30 p.m., Zilker Park)
- Chicago, Ill.: Join that special someone for dinner aboard a chartered cruise or relax with family and friends on your own boat as the skies above Lake Michigan and Chicago’s famous skyline are illuminated with accompaniment from the Grant Park Orchestra and U.S. Air Force Singing Sergeants. (July 3, 9:30 p.m., Grant Park)
- Los Angeles, Calif.: Join a variety of power and sailboats out on the water to enjoy live music and big booms over the main channel in Marina Del Ray for free family fun and a patriotic fireworks display. (July 4, 9 p.m., Marina Del Ray)
- Memphis, Tenn.: The Beale Street Fourth of July celebration is a festive time with great food, infamous live music and, of course, a thunderous grand finale of fireworks. Enjoy the lively display as the fireworks burst over the mighty Mississippi River. (July 4, 9 p.m., Tom Lee Park)
- Milwaukee, Wisc.: Named Discover Boating’s "Top City to Watch Fourth of July Fireworks from a Boat” in 2007, Milwaukee's annual Summerfest draws thousands to the Lake Michigan shoreline to watch the U.S. Bank fireworks show. Taking in the show from a boat provides an unparalleled panoramic view. (July 3, 9:20 p.m., Veterans Park)
- Myrtle Beach, S.C.: With an entertainment megaplex featuring shops, restaurants, nightclubs, theatres, miniature golf course, Ripley's Aquarium and the 23-acre Lake Broadway, the Broadway at the Beach area is the place to be for Independence Day fireworks in the Southeast. (July 4, 10:15 p.m., Broadway at the Beach over Lake Broadway)
- New York, N.Y.: With more than 35,000 pyrotechnic shells in a half-hour display, Macy's dazzles viewers each year with a fireworks display of grand proportions in honor of the nation’s birthday. Launched from two East River locations, taking in the spectacular views from aboard a boat cannot be beat. Visitors can also celebrate in style on a cruise beneath the Statue of Liberty, featuring live music and dancing. (July 4, 9 p.m., East River between 23rd & 42nd Streets)
- Philadelphia, Penn.: In the nation’s birthplace, July 4 means history, music, fun and fireworks. After visiting the Liberty Bell and Independence Mall, climb aboard a boat on the Delaware River to view the roaring fireworks display as the City of Brotherly Love shines in the background. (July 4, 8:30 p.m., along the Delaware River)
- St. Paul, Minn.: St. Paul's Taste of Minnesota is a six-day food and music extravaganza at Harriet Island and the perfect place for family fun. As the sun sets, sail, motor and paddle out to the best on-the-water spot to catch the fireworks over the Mississippi River. (July 4, 10:15 p.m., Harriet Island)
- Tacoma, Wash.: Freedom Fair events cover two miles of the Ruston Way waterfront on July 4. After the annual log boom competition, Tacoma boaters drop anchor to end the day with the Tacoma Air Show. Visitors can also enjoy the city skyline from the water aboard a chartered cruise to view the spectacular Emerald Queen Grand Finale Fireworks Extravaganza. (July 4, 10 p.m., Ruston Way waterfront)
About Discover Boating
Discover Boating is a national awareness campaign developed by the recreational boating industry and managed by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA.) Discover Boating programs focus on increasing participation and building interest in recreational boating by demonstrating the benefits, affordability and accessibility of the boating lifestyle, while helping potential boaters experience why life is better with a boat. (DiscoverBoating.com)