10 Best Cities to Watch Fourth of July Fireworks by Boat

fourth of july fireworks by boat
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When it comes to fireworks, Independence Day celebrations are hard to beat. However, as great as they are on land, they’re even better from the water. Here are the best boat-friendly destinations for watching fireworks this Fourth of July.

Where Can You Watch Fireworks By Boat On the Fourth of July?

1. Boston, Massachusetts

boston fireworks fourth of july

Celebrate the Fourth of July on the Charles River Esplanade with the world-famous Boston Pops. The annual Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular will be held on Tuesday, July 4, 8–11 p.m.

2. Chicago, Illinois

The legendary pyrotechnics show off Navy Pier will light Lake Michigan on the Fourth of July weekend!

On Saturday, July 1, if you’re close enough to shore, you might even hear the music to which the spectacle is synchronized. Navy Pier also hosts fireworks shows every Wednesday and Saturday night through Labor Day weekend.

3. Lake Tahoe, California, and Nevada Border

lake tahoe fireworks

Lights on the Lake literally lights up the southern waters of Lake Tahoe. Between the highly touted display and the Sierra Nevada Mountains, it’s no wonder the show is considered among the country’s best fireworks shows. Get your boat ready for this year’s Lights on the Lake show, beginning at 9:45 p.m. on July 4.

4. Marina del Rey, California 

This 20-minute fireworks spectacle attracts onlookers (including boaters) from miles around. The annual event start time is 9 p.m. on Tuesday, July 4.

Check the Visit Marina del Rey website for tips on when to arrive (they recommend as early as 1 p.m.) and options for kayak and paddleboard rentals if you decide to spend the day.

5. Miami, Florida

miami fourth of july fireworks

South Floridians have lots of options when it comes to boat-friendly places for watching fireworks. The Fire on the Fourth Festival, over the Atlantic Ocean in North Miami Beach, is especially popular. This year’s Fourth of July fireworks show begins at 9 p.m.

6. New York, New York

The largest display in the USA is the iconic Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks. Because the 25-minute show encompasses the Brooklyn Bridge and four barges along the East River, there are many good vantage points.

7. Kemah, Texas

Grab the kids and spend the day at the Kemah Boardwalk before returning to your boat at the adjacent Kemah Marina to watch the annual fireworks show!

The Fourth of July Celebration over Galveston Bay starts at 9:30 p.m. In addition to the fireworks show, there will also be live music.

8. Seattle, Washington

seattle fourth of july fireworks

Seafair Summer Fourth is one of the most spectacular ways to celebrate the Fourth of July in the Pacific Northwest. The full choreographed fireworks show begins at 10:15 p.m. and is visible from both the Gas Works Park and Lake Union Park areas.

9. Tampa, Florida

Tampa’s fifth annual Star Spangled Sparkman Wharf celebration will be an event to remember. In addition to a waterfront fireworks display, beginning at 9:00 p.m., this free event includes a boat parade and water ski show.

10. Washington, D.C.

washington dc fourth of july fireworks

While the fireworks display on the National Mall is the highlight of the Independence Day celebration in the nation’s capital—boaters know the fireworks are even more impressive when viewed on the Potomac River. You’ll be in good company since there are several options for catching a fireworks show in this area on the Fourth.

Regardless of where you go, be mindful of possible Coast Guard waterway restrictions, and remember to follow these simple safe boating tips. Have a happy and safe Fourth of July on the water!

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