Skip to main content
Fourth of July Fireworks

California, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Massachusetts

5 Awe-Inspiring Fourth of July Celebrations in the U.S.

By: Jennifer Swann

Tristan Loper
1 of 1
  • States:
    California
    Pennsylvania
    Louisiana
    Massachusetts

The Fourth of July is one of the most awe-inspiring summer celebrations in the United States.

Cities throughout the country light up with fireworks displays, accompanied by backyard barbecues and parades. Formally known as Independence Day, the national holiday commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1776. From steamboat cruises to riverfront concerts, here are five memorable places to experience the Fourth of July from coast to coast.

Fourth of July Jam — Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Home to landmarks like Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, the East Coast city of PhiladelphiaPennsylvania — called by some the “Birthplace of America” — celebrates with block parties, historic reenactments and parades. The main attraction takes place after nightfall at the Fourth of July Jam on the scenic Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Billed as “the largest free concert in America,” past performers have included Nicki Minaj, the Roots and Sugarland. It concludes with a fireworks finale above the Philadelphia Museum of Art. 

Fourth of July Fireworks in Philadelphia

Fourth of July Fireworks in Philadelphia
View more
J. Fusco

Go Fourth on the River — New Orleans, Louisiana

For a Southern-style Independence Day, head to the historic port city of New OrleansLouisiana, to watch red, white and blue fireworks explode from dueling barges over the Mississippi River. Find a spot on the grassy waterfront at Woldenberg Park or while strolling the nearby French Quarter, where you will find live music, street performers and a thriving nightlife scene. For a closer view of the fireworks, book a deck seat on the Creole Queen, a paddle wheeler that offers jazz bands and a buffet-style dinner.

Fourth of July Fireworks in New Orleans

Fourth of July Fireworks in New Orleans
View more
Kathy Anderson
More information

Boston Harborfest — Boston, Massachusetts

As one of the oldest cities in the USA — and a pivotal spot during the Revolutionary War — BostonMassachusetts, doesn’t just celebrate the Fourth of July on one day alone. For nearly a week, Boston Harborfest pays tribute to the city’s colonial roots and role in the revolution with reenactments, walking tours and educational programs. But no Independence Day celebration would be complete without nighttime festivities. Watch Boston’s symphony orchestra perform a free concert on the banks of the Charles River, followed by a half-hour fireworks show.

Fourth of July Fireworks in Boston

Fourth of July Fireworks in Boston
View more
Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau
More information

Lights on the Lake Fireworks — South Lake Tahoe, California

Situated on Lake Tahoe and nestled in the Sierra Nevada mountains, South Lake TahoeCalifornia, draws crowds for its winter sports. But summer offers just as much fun in this idyllic resort town 302 kilometers east of San Francisco, especially when it plays host to a monumental pyrotechnics show on the Fourth of July. Pack a picnic and watch the nighttime fireworks from any of the city’s beaches, such as Timber Cove Marina. Arrive early to find a spot before the crowds or buy a ticket on the Tahoe Queen paddle wheeler to enjoy the view from the water.

Fourth of July Fireworks In Tahoe

Fourth of July Fireworks In Tahoe
View more
Ben Fish
More information

Big Bay Boom — San Diego, California

Thousands of revelers head to San Diego, California, to experience the largest fireworks display on the West Coast at the city’s annual Big Bay Boom celebration. Four barges launch hundreds of fireworks along North San Diego Bay at this seaside city 204 kilometers south of Los Angeles. Bring a lawn chair and stake out a spot on the beach at viewing destinations such as Coronado Ferry Landing or Seaport Village. Both spots have plentiful restaurants and shopping but few options for parking. If you need transportation, the city provides a free shuttle service to and from popular fireworks destinations Shelter Island and Harbor Island.  

Fourth of July Fireworks in San Diego

Fourth of July Fireworks in San Diego
View more
USS Midway Museum

Explore more