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Fireworks over Boston Harbor
Photograph: ShutterstockFireworks over Boston

Fourth of July Fireworks in Boston

There's no better place to celebrate America's birthday than in The Hub; here's what you need to know

Written by
Gerrish Lopez
Time Out Boston Staff

No city does the Fourth like Boston, which puts on one of the most festive celebrations in the country. The annual Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular regularly attracts more than 500,000 spectators to watch along the Charles River, but if navigating massive crowds is not your thing, you can still catch the fireworks from an alternative spot in or around The Hub. For a different perspective, rent a canoe or a kayak from Paddle Boston and view the fireworks from the Charles River. Looking for more fun things to do? Check out our lists of the best free things to do in Boston and best things to do with kids in Boston.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Boston

Where to watch the fireworks

Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular
Photograph: Shutterstock

1. Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular

On July 4, the annual Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular will take place along the Esplanade, highlighted by a big concert at the Hatch Shell. This year's edition will feature Queen Latifah, Amanda Mena of America’s Got Talent, and The Texas Tenors. At 10:30pm, the massive fireworks display begins, accompanied by a festive soundtrack.

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Not one for big crowds? Head to the Rowes Wharf portion of the Greenway for an evening of live-streamed entertainment straight from the Hatch Shell. Revelers will get into the spirit by watching all of the fun on a big screen. The concert broadcast begins at 8pm and concludes with the fireworks from 10:30pm-11pm.

MIT, Cambridge
Photograph: Shutterstock

3. MIT, Cambridge

The view of the big bursts is just as good across the river. Take the Red Line to Kendall/MIT and grab a spot on campus near the river. If you're lucky, you'll find yourself stationed near a speaker broadcasting the show.

Wollaston Beach, Quincy
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Rebecca V.

5. Wollaston Beach, Quincy

Looking to take in the Fourth from the water? Grab your towel and treats, then head to Quincy's Wollaston Beach, which provides a nice, if distant, view of the big blasts. If the weather's good, you'll have plenty of company along the shore.

Charles River, Paddle Boston
Photograph: Courtesy Paddle Boston

6. Charles River, Paddle Boston

Paddle Boston is pulling out all the stops this year for the Fourth. For a real workout, you can use the Soldier’s Field Road location in Allston/Brighton and paddle around four miles to the fireworks. For an easier time of it, there's the Cambridge location in Kendall Square, which is only a five minute ride from the fireworks. Options range from single or double kayaks to canoes that can seat up to five adults. There's also a guided 10-person canoe tour and a fireworks cruise with Cycleboat Boston.

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