The Best Places to Watch Boston’s Fourth of July Fireworks

From the Pru to MIT's campus, the Fireworks Spectacular lights up the sky above the Charles.
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Boston Fireworks. / PHOTO by SUNSET NOIR on FLICKR/Creative Commons

While the checkpoints by the lagoon area and Hatch Shell offer some of the most spectacular views of the classic fireworks show, the crowds gather early and fast. Luckily for the thousands of spectators who don’t make it there in time or don’t want to deal with the hoopla, the show can be gawked and gaped from many vantage points throughout Boston and Cambridge. Check out a few of these alternative locations. Have a secret spot you want to share? Tell us in the comments!

Harvard Bridge or Longfellow Bridge

The city closes traffic on these bridges for the event, and they both offer stellar views of the Boston and Cambridge skylines. But beware, the crowds at these locations tend to grow larger and larger by the year.

Prudential Tower Skywalk

The Prudential Tower Skywalk is an undeniably great view of the fireworks (the 749-foot skyscraper is the second tallest in the city). But you’re not the only one who knows this, so you’ll have to plan ahead for this spot. Tickets go on sale 4 p.m. on the Fourth for $35 per person and are sold on a first come first served basis to 500 people. For a very special event, book reservations for Top of the Hub’s Fourth of July dinner for a meal with a view.

Prospect Hill Park

A great viewing location for Somerville residents, Prospect Hill Park offers a higher view of the pyrotechnics in action.

On a Boat

Whether you book a spot on a dinner cruise on the harbor like the Spirit of Boston or rent a kayak on the Charles, the beauty of watching the display on the water is one of a kind. If you’re looking for the best view, your best bet is to stay on the Charles (logically), while the cruise offers added entertainment.

MIT Campus

Enjoy a great view of the fireworks from the Cambridge side of the Charles River. The fireworks are typically set off across the way from the school’s campus.

Fort Independence in Boston Harbor. / PHOTO BY CRAIG STANFILL ON FLICKR/CREATIVE COMMONS

Fort Independence in Boston Harbor. / PHOTO BY CRAIG STANFILL on Flickr/Creative Commons

Castle Island

Because the Charles River is three miles away, this location doesn’t boast a perfect view of the show. But from the South Boston historical attraction, stargazers will be able to sight up to four firework shows from neighboring towns at once. Not a bad deal.

Museum of Science

The kid-friendly Boston museum offers its members tickets to view the fireworks from the rooftop of their garage, because not everyone has a BFF with a penthouse in Back Bay, OK?

Bunker Hill

Could there be a more fitting place to celebrate the birth of our nation than the site of the American Revolution’s first battle? Didn’t think so. And that view doesn’t hurt either.

Larz Anderson Park

Finally, perch up at this elevated Brookline park for a great skyline view minus the wild crowds and crammed transportation you would have to brave deeper into the city.