8 top city spots to watch Fourth of July fireworks

There are dozens are fireworks displays in cities across the country this Independence Day, so no one has to miss out on the pyrotechnics.

Whether you're at the beach or in the city, check out our list of the top spots to catch a great show and try tribute to our nation's birth.

1. Chicago


Navy Pier's Independence Day spectacular is now known as the city's largest. Chicago has many great vantage points to take in the show, but anywhere along the shoreline will give you unobstructed views.

For a more upscale experience, take your viewing party to rooftop. Dec Rooftop Lounge in the Chicago Ritz-Carlton affords great views of the 9:30 p.m. show while you sip on your hand-crafted cocktails. Or try a little night sailing excursion aboard a cruise or chartered boat around Lake Michigan.

2. New York City


Macy's 4th of July Fireworks show attracts an estimated three million city viewers each year. Rockets will be launched from barges in the East River, to fly high above the Brooklyn Bridge.

There are many great places to catch the show in the city, especially if you have a friend with a rooftop view on the East Side. Other great spots include Brooklyn Bridge Park, Broad Street and Old Slip at Water Street (between the Heliport and the south side of the Brooklyn Bridge) and the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. But really anywhere in the city with a view of the Brooklyn Bridge should offer great views of the show.

The entertainment this year features a star studded line-up with music from Enrique Iglesias, Ariana Grande, Miranda Lambert, Lionel Richie, The DIVA Jazz Orchestra, The Charlie Daniels Band, Idina Menzel and Billy Porter. Nick Cannon is hosting the NYC festivities, which will air on NBC.

3. Washington, D.C.


As the nation's capital, Washington receives an influx of tourism around the Fourth. And the fireworks show is one of the biggest draws.

The National Mall Independence Day Celebration usually lasts around 20 minutes, lighting up the sky and illuminating in the historic Reflection Pool.

Arrive at the National Mall early to get a good spot, but know that the crowds are unavoidable.

Other places in the city to catch the show include the U.S. Capitol, the National Cathedral, all the way to West and East Potomac Parks.  Or to get away from the crowds, book a spot at Capella's rooftop party.  The Georgetown hotel will offer a barbecue buffet, cocktails and an amazing view of the fireworks display.

This year the show is scheduled to begin at 9:10 p.m.

4. San Francisco

Cluster of colorful Fourth of July fireworks

Cluster of colorful Fourth of July fireworks (iStock)

Who says the East Coast has all the Fourth of July fun? San Francisco has some great options to pull off some serious patriotic celebrations.

Pier 39 is hosting a full day of music and entertainment with jazz and blues band Mobility and 80's cover band Tainted Love.

Fireworks will begin at 9:30 p.m. and will be launched from the base of Municipal pier and barges north of Pier 39.

If you can't make it to the thick of the action, there are other great places to view the show. Stick to the waterfront near Coit Tower, Aquatic Park, the Cannery, and Ghirardelli Square.

5. Boston


The Boston Pops Firework Spectacular is one of Boston's biggest yearly events. Drawing between 500,000 and 800,000 people each year, this is one special place to see the show.

Fireworks last for about 20 minutes. If you want to avoid heavy crowds, locals recommend taking a canoe or boat on the Charles River- you can even charter a cruise. According to Boston.com, the full skyline view from MIT is worth the trip. But if you're set on being in the thick of the action by the river, try the Cambridge side which is likely to be less crowded.

The Boston Pops Firework Spectacular will be streamed live for the first time this year on www.cbsboston.com and www.bostonpopsjuly4th.com from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.

6. Atlanta

Colorful Fireworks for the Grand Finale over Lake

Colorful Fireworks for the Grand Finale over Lake (iStock)

Thousands of people flock to downtown Atlanta's Centennial Olympic Park to take in the world class concert and spectacular fireworks show. This year, gates open at 6 p.m. and the live show promises to bring high-energy dance and R&B music. "American Idol's" Taylor Hicks will be headlining the entertainment.

Check the official website for more details and the official list of what to pack and what not not to bring. The stage can be seen from anywhere in the park, but get there early if you want a prime spot.

Can't make it to the park? There are several great Atlanta-Metro area shows including: Fourth of July at Lenox Square Mall in Buckhead and the Decatur July 4th Celebration with fireworks starting around 9 p.m.

7. Los Angeles

Spectators standing on the beach and looking at fireworks

Spectators standing on the beach and looking at fireworks (iStock)

If you find yourself in Southern California during the Fourth, don't despair. This West Coast city has plenty to offer eager patriots. The Hollywood Bowl overlook in the Santa Monica Mountains sports great views of the downtown Los Angeles skyline. If you're in the mood for some music, grab a seat at the Bowl itself and listen to Steve Martin twang on his banjo with the Steep Canyon Rangers all weekend long.

If you don't have a lot of cash to spend, head to Grand Park in the city's civic center. Nabbing a seat at the park is free but don't go empty handed. If you get hungry, try a new food truck while you catch the downtown fireworks show.

California isn't California without a trip to the beach. If you want a little sand in your toes while catching some amazing pyrotechnics head to Redondo Beach. After a day of kids' crafts and swimming, take a break from the fun to watch the annual spectacular begins at 9 p.m. this year.

8. Houston


Have yourself a Texas sized Independence Day at one of the Houston area's many fireworks displays. If you're a country music fan, head straight to Eleanor Tinsley Park for "Freedom Over Texas" on the Fourth. Headliner Jennifer Nettles will be joined by Chip Esten and Clare Bowen from the hit TV Show "Nashville." Tickets are $8 and the night wraps up with a 20 minutes fireworks show.

But if you want to slow it down, enjoy ExxonMobil's Star-Spangled Salute put on by the Houston Symphony at Miller Outdoor Theater. Enjoy the concert at 8:30 p.m. and stay for a rousing rendition of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture-- booming cannons included-- to accompany a fantastic fireworks display.