July 4 is nearing, and in the United States, that means kaleidoscopes of color are about to illuminate the night sky. 

For many, this entails setting up camp at local parks and piers to watch the fireworks. But our favorite cities, metro areas, and beachside towns have so much more to offer than end-to-end blankets in alcohol-free public spaces. If you'd prefer to enjoy the festivities while sipping chilled cocktails perched above the crowds, here are nine fantastic bars and restaurants at which to enjoy fireworks this Fourth of July.

We looked for restaurants and bars across the country, in big cities and small beach towns, from tourist favorites to local hangouts, to compile this list. We picked our friends’ brains for their hometown haunts and scoured TripAdvisor for favorite vacation destinations where you can catch the biggest and best firework displays. Location, location, location is key, and we’ve got you covered to nab the best view accompanied by top-notch food and drinks.

Outdoor patios, rooftop lounges, and hilltop restaurants rule this list, which takes you from the romantic, rocky cliffs of La Jolla Cove in San Diego County to the music-filled party scene in Nashville. Spend your evening 11 stories above Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park at SkyLounge or tucked away under the Brooklyn Bridge at the River Café.

No plans yet? Let this list be your guide. Find someplace local or plan a last-minute getaway to one of our fantastic vacation town finds. Whether you’re looking for quiet and romantic or a festive party, this list takes you far beyond simply fireworks, to an evening of food and fun, cocktails and coastal views. You’re sure to find a spectacular Fourth of July destination!