There are plenty of activities Americans love to partake in on the Fourth of July, from barbecues to picnics to boat rides. In other words, most people want to spend the day outdoors with friends and family.
And there is one universal activity that nearly everyone ends up enjoying together: watching the celebratory fireworks.
Looking for a new display to check out? Here's a list of some of the best fireworks festivities America has to offer:
Minneapolis’ Red, White, and Boom festival boasts the state’s largest fireworks display, over the Mississippi River. The event attracts over 75,000 people every year, and there are multiple ways to watch. If you want to check it out with your pets, try heading over to Stone Arch Bridge (but make sure you get there early, because it fills up quick.) Looking for a more traditional experience? Go to Gold Medal Park, which is said to be one of the most underrated spots to watch the fireworks, and offers space to lie on a blanket, toss a football around, and relax during the show. And if you want the VIP experience, go to Mill City Museum, which is allowing only 50 people to view the fireworks from its observation deck. This year's tickets are already sold out, but at $35 a pop, it's worth keeping in mind for next year. Plus, you'll get access to the museum beforehand.
The fireworks kick off at 10 p.m. sharp.
Lake Tahoe, California
Lake Tahoe’s Fourth of July celebration was voted as one of the top in the nation by USA Today, and Travel & Leisure. It is one of the most popular in the west, with an estimated 100,000-plus onlookers.
The fireworks are visible from all over, but some spots give you a front-row seat. The view from the lake is probably the most unique, so hop on the M.S. Dixie II to view the show from the water. You can also board the Safari Rose, from Tahoe Cruises, for a more catered experience, featuring dinner and unlimited beer, wine, and champagne, as well as live music. If you would prefer to stay on land, however, perhaps take a drive to Nevada Beach, where your family can watch the fireworks while playing in the sand.
The show is scheduled to begin at 9:45 p.m.
Country music fans will have a blast at Nashville’s Fourth of July celebrations. Before the fireworks show even begins, free concerts — beginning at noon and centered at Fifth Avenue and Broadway — will kick off featuring acts such as Lady Antebellum, Chris Janson, Lucie Silvas, and many more. Once the concerts end, the Nashville Symphony is set to perform from the Ascend Amphitheater along the Cumberland Riverfront. There, audience members can also view the city's spectacular display.
The fireworks show begins at 9:30 p.m.
New Orleans is known for putting their own special twist on holidays — and the Fourth of July is no different. Before going to the Riverfront to watch the fireworks show, spend the day in the French Quarter, or enjoy the French market and flea markets along the Riverwalk Marketplace. Then, once nighttime rolls around, steamboats start setting off on fireworks cruises for an up-close and personal experience of the show. The city’s parks along the water also offer prime views of the display, in case you prefer to stick to dry land.
New Orleans' fireworks begin at 9 p.m.
New York City
The Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks celebration is very unique to city dwellers, with seven barges lined up on the East River between East 23rd street and East 40th street, making the show visible to New Yorkers from Midtown to the East Village to Brooklyn to Queens and beyond. It's also on the longer side, lasting 25 minutes.
The fireworks begin at 9:25 p.m. on the dot.
St. Louis, Missouri
There is no better place to celebrate the Fourth of July in St. Louis than at the new Gateway Arch Park. Not only will you be one of the first to experience the opening of the new museum at the Arch, but admission is also free for the entertainment at Fair St. Louis, along the grounds of the Gateway Arch National Park. Performances include Jason Derulo, Martina McBride, and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. The celebrations also include the Boeing Air Show prior to the finale of the fireworks.
The show begins promptly at 9:30 p.m.
There will be multiple fireworks displays across Washington, DC, this Fourth of July, each with their own unique backdrop. The busiest is perhaps the show along the National Mall, where viewers can watch the skies from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial or the plaza in front of the Jefferson Memorial. Along the Potomac River is also an ideal location. With the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial in the background, the fireworks take on an even greater meaning.
If you want to be on the water, take a cruise with the Potomac Riverboat Company and enjoy the show from there. DC also boasts a number of rooftop bars and restaurants, which offer prime viewing as well.
The fireworks begin at 9 p.m.
If you're in the mood for an outrageous celebration this Fourth of July, Las Vegas is the place to go. From pool parties to nightclubs to live music and more, the city offers something for everyone, and that includes fireworks. The Caesars Palace Fireworks Show is the biggest spectacle, though. Located right in the middle of the action, the display will be visable from most spots along the strip.
Be outside at 9:15 p.m. to watch the show.
Head to the banks of the Charles River this Fourth to watch the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular for free. Along with the fireworks, the celebration is also offering performances beginning at 8 p.m. from Rachel Platten, Andy Grammer, Leslie Odom Jr., and many more. And later on, the fireworks are launched from seven barges in the middle of the Charles River.
The show begins at 10:30 p.m.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
You don't have to wait for the Fourth to see the fireworks in Myrtle Beach. Broadway at the Beach hosts fireworks displays every Tuesday and Friday throughout the summer, with a larger display for Independence day. The fireworks shot off over Lake Broadway, can be seen from all around the water, but popular places for viewing include near each of the bridges crossing the lake.
The fireworks begin at 10 p.m., with Cheery Grove's kicking off earlier at 9:30.