Top 10 Parks to View Fireworks Around the Nation on July 4th


Independence Day fireworks at the National Mall, in Washington, DC, on Monday, July 4, 2011. USDA Media by Lance Cheung.

Independence Day fireworks at the National Mall, in Washington, DC, on Monday, July 4, 2011. USDA Media by Lance Cheung.


10.) National Mall and Memorial Parks – Washington D.C

As you sit on the lawns of the National Mall and watch from the Washington Monument as American flag colored blues, reds, and whites sparkle above the skyline of democracy – you’ll be in for a treat! The July 4th celebration in Washington D.C starts well before the evening of July 4th, but that’s to be expected…it is after all the epicenter of our 237 year old nation. So, grab a blanket or a chair and spread across the National Mall near the Lincoln Memorial or between any of the Smithsonian museums that pepper the Mall. Who knows, maybe you’ll run into your congressman who is looking for a great fireworks display this year.


9.) Ala Moana State Recreation Area – Hawaii

If it’s Summer, you might find yourself coasting the clear, warm waters of the tropical Hawaiian coast; and who could blame you? Margaritas on white-sandy beaches while you bronze your skin into Greek-God tanned perfection. Actually, how about I hold off on this article and join in…save me a seat!

Hawaii isn’t the place we see in our minds when we hear ‘fireworks’ and ‘Independence Day.’ But make no mistake that Hawaii is one state with more American history than most American history classes might allude to. So plant your keester on the shores of the Ala Moana State Recreational Area’s vast warm sands and waters for a fireworks display you won’t soon forget.

Nothing beats sitting on a tropical beach and enjoying some fireworks

Nothing beats sitting on a tropical beach and enjoying some fireworks


8.) Mount Rushmore National Memorial – South Dakota

Did you know that Mt. Rushmore was named after a New York City lawyer? Well, now that that’s out of the way, we can concentrate on what makes this destination a great place to sit down and watch a fireworks display on the 4th of  July. Not only are you celebrating our independence day with spectacular display of fireworks, but you’re doing so with four presidents that made this country great, and our citizenship as Americans a possibility.



From the left to right: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and …..can you name the fourth President on Mount Rushmore?


7.) DL State Park – Lake Tahoe, California

The Southern part of Lake Tahoe, CA hosts for our visitors a beautiful escape from the surrounding traffic that might flood the town of Lake Tahoe, CA on July 4th weekend. The best part of DL State Park though, is that they offer campgrounds to enjoy nature during the day, and a fabulous fireworks display in the evening. A boat ferries itself across the clear turquoise waters of Lake Tahoe and unleashes an eruption of fireworks that you can enjoy from the shores around the lake. Then, head back to camp and reminisce about the beauty of the fifteen minute firework’s display as you roast marshmallows and realize that maybe, just maybe, Lewis and Clark did the same thing when they came to the West-coast.


Ferries of the shore blast away a beautiful display of fireworks


 6.) Chelsea Waterside Park – New York, New York

You’re on the East-coast and you want to see fireworks on July 4th? Well then, it seems like it’s ‘up – to -you – New – York, New -Yorkkk…” Sinatra fans, anyone?

The greatest thing about the five-boroughs of New York in downtown is that on Manhattan Island, they like to do things big. Would you blame them? There are almost 9 million people living in the five boroughs ( Brooklyn, Manhattan,Staten island – can you name the other two?). So, just like most big or national holidays, New Yorkers plan to do something spectacular and every year only on July 4th it’s Macy’s that is organizing the fireworks display on the Hudson River! Make your way down to the shores around the southern tip of the Hudson, or climb a skyscraper (using the elevator ofcourse) for a panoramic view of the night’s festivities. Our personal favorite? Make your way down 23nrd street towards Chelsea Waterside Park. Although the Park will be closed off as to safeguard against litter into the Hudson, the park’s existence offers a panorama free of building, skyscrapers or any obstruction above the height of a ten- twenty foot tree.


Being under a firework display isn’t always necessary. Sometimes a vista of the fireworksmakes for a much more memorable evening


5.) Golden Gate National Recreational Area – California

If you’d like to get a feel for formal yet exotic then we suggest ‘the Paris of the West’- San Francisco. This is a great city to spend your July 4th weekend in, if you happen to be vacationing in Northern California. Yet the view of the fireworks that bombard the night sky over the bay aren’t limited to crowded areas or a small public park where the crowds congregate and cram into a patch of grass in a struggle to participate in the festivities. The fireworks in Frisco’ can be viewed from most of the areas of the Golden Gate National Recreational Area. If you’re on the north side of the bay, the south side, to the east of the bridge or from the cafes on the west shore – there is no limit to where you can see these magnificent sparkles reflect off the frigid waters of the bay and give you a 4th of July you soon won’t forget.



View from the south of the Golden Gate Bridge


4.) Chicago Navy pier on the shore of Lake Michigan – Illinois

The unofficial “third-coast” of the United States, Lake Michigan sits as the only lake of the Great Lakes to be entirely within the borders of the United States. This has seemed to cause a stir during Independence day celebrations, and so with that excitement, the city of Chicago which sits on the shore of Lake Michigan has decided to put on its most spectacular fireworks displays via a large (or series of large) boats that anchor out from shore. The great thing about this firework’s display is that it is accessible for free from a large part of the lakeshore! Our favorite spots are: Jane Addams Memorial Park , Pic Milton Olive Park, Dusable park, Gateway park


Fireworks errupt off of a boat on the shores of Lake Michigan, Chicago.


3.) St. Croix State Park, Minnesota 

If there was a park on our list that we would suggest as the best vacation spot to go to during July 4th weekend, it would definitely be the St. Croix River that runs through the St. Croix State Park. You’ve got 33,000 acres of prime Minnesota landscape teeming with wildlife, beautiful weather and a hefty list of recreational activities. On the night of July 4th ofcourse, there is a bright and beautiful fireworks shows that takes place on the St. Croix River. As the lights reflect off the calm waters, sit back in your campground and enjoy an all American burger with the family – looking up to the flashing sky and feeling the cool breeze caress your skin as you celebrate our country’s independence into the night.


Over the harbor of the St. Croix River – this fireworks display will be sure to make you see more than just lights and sparks in the sky.


  2.) Woldenberg Park, New Orleans 

“La Nouvelle-Orléan,” hosts more than just Mardi Gras and beads. New Orleans has been a cultural mecca for those who want a real taste of what the Southern United States is like. Cajun food, Blues music, Southern hospitality, and the green-hand of nature all come together in this beautiful city. It should be no surprise to the reader then that New Orleans hosts a gorgeous July 4th fireworks display behind the infamous French Quarter. Right on the banks of the Mississippi river, enjoy the display from a steam boat styled ferry launching firework rockets into the Southern-sky while you are nestled by the breeze of a warm summer night. ParkVisitor‘s choice of where to park our blankets is Woldenberg Park, right on the river front before the Jean Lafitte National Historic Park and Reserve – where you might even find a bench if you’re early enough. If not, take a tarp or a blanket.


Look for Woldenberg Park on the Mississippi River infront of  the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park


1.) Huntington State Beach – California

Before you set your lawn chair down to watch the display of reds, whites and blues burst through the air – get to Huntington State Beach before the evening festivities to enjoy one of the most colossal displays of natural fireworks this side of the the Earth. Think about a firework that creates a boom of 4.26 million metric tons a second in bright greens, blues, yellows and whites. I am ofcourse speaking of the sun, and its setting display of colors as they shine across the water’s edge. We chose Huntington State Beach as our top pick because you get the most magnificent opening scene before the firework display.


A sunset display from the Huntington Beach makes for the best prologue to your evening under the stars and sparks.