Refrigerate some PBRs, apply that sunscreen, and brush up on those tricky National Anthem lyrics cause its red, white, and blue season baby! There have been some great upsets in history, David over Goliath, Rocky over Apollo Creed, Average Joe’s Gym versus the Globogym Purple Cobras, but everyone knows the absolute greatest underdog victory of all-time happened in 1783 in Yorktown. Yep, the rag-tag American revolutionaries over the cocky and villainous redcoats. The end of the Revolutionary War was an unprecedented triumph of goodness that has forever shaped history. Without it we’d all be having afternoon crumpets, never know the excellence of Super Bowl Sunday, and be taking orders from a fragile old monarch in neon garden hats.
Since Independence Day (yes the day in 1776 when the Declaration of Independence was signed, not the Battle of Yorktown in 1783) falls on a Wednesday this year, Americans have the right to celebrate all week long, from weekend to weekend. Of course, the true crescendo of patriotism happens all across the country during the evening when the fireworks start cracking. While boozy BBQs may claim some people before the night time activities arrive, those still standing should consider flocking to these places for the best spots to view the dazzling displays.
San Diego, with its miles of beautiful beaches and temperate evenings, is an ideal spot to watch the fireworks. While the natural landscape is an appeal, San Diego also has maybe the richest military history in the West, so it grants everyone an opportunity to appreciate those who have served as well. Perhaps the best place in the city to see a fireworks show is from Coronado Island to see the Big Bay Boom, where fireworks circle the harbor and illuminate the city’s skyline.
Music City, USA can boast of having one of the largest fireworks displays in the country when it hosts its “Let Freedom Sing!” Independence Day celebration. The event, besides having fireworks, welcomes in local food trucks, pleases kids with its Family Zone carnival, and of course, has plenty of musical performances. This year, the live music will culminate with headliners Lady Antebellum.
An obvious choice we know, the feeling of watching 4th of July fireworks from our nation’s capital cannot be understated. The absolute best spot to witness the epic fireworks would be to find a seat on the National Mall. The explosions happening above the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument will have a chilling effect and will help remind many of the hopes of two of the greatest American presidents.
South Lake Tahoe, CA
Technically the fireworks are sent skyward from South Lake Tahoe, but really the show can be seen from most beaches on the scenic lake. There is something wholly American and nostalgic about watching the fireworks from the shores of a lake, surrounded by quaint towns and vacationing families. Unlike the cities on this list, once the grand finale ends in Tahoe, viewers can stay put to gaze towards the heavens to watch smoke drift over clear, star-filled skies.
New York City
Always needing to do things big, New York City unsurprisingly can brag about putting on the largest firework show in the country. 2018 marks the 42nd Macy’s 4th of July fireworks display which will be launched from barges in the East River. Sit back and enjoy the show as the American Idol, Kelly Clarkson, serenades you with a rendition of “America the Beautiful.”
Some may take offense to California having three spots on this list. After all, besides from Texas, California probably has the most joking “secede from the rest of country” claims per capita. There’s really only one explanation… California knows how to party (thanks Pac), so why not let them do their thing for the country’s biggest celebration. In all seriousness, the San Francisco Bay has some of the most breathtaking views to watch the fireworks with backdrops as diverse as the city itself, including the Bay and Golden Gate Bridges, rolling green hills dropping into the Pacific, and Alcatraz.
One of America’s most beloved historic cities, Boston will not be outdone by its East Coast rivals. Boston Pops, Beantown’s own pyrotechnic spectacle of American pride, is one of the nation’s best 4th of July celebrations. So “park tha car in Havard Yard*” and let that inner patriot out for Uncle Sam and Lady Liberty’s birthday.
*No idea if this is an appropriate place to park for the party. Just making Boston jokes.