Someone is waving the American flag in the air.

The best places to celebrate the 4th of July this year

Experience the American Independence Day in 7 of the country’s largest metropolises.

April 2023
There’s nothing like the 4th of July with its spectacular fireworks and grandiose parades! Scandinavian Traveler gives you the inside scoop on where to find the most magnificent American Independence Day celebrations.

On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as the 13 former colonies declared their freedom from British hegemony. The next year, the very first Independence Day celebration was held, with patriotic speeches, 13-gun salutes (one for each former colony), parades, and fireworks. Today, Independence Day is an important holiday that is proudly celebrated just like it was over 200 years ago – with fireworks and parades all across the country. Here’s our best tips on where to go in the US to celebrate this important holiday.

Fireworks over Manhattan

New York

Where’s the best place to enjoy the 4th of July fireworks in New York City? Why, right by the East River, of course! This is the place to be if you want to see the world famous Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks – a spectacular fireworks show accompanied by live music and a full orchestra. In 2022, almost 2,000 fireworks were launched each minute, illuminating the night sky with creative special effects like smiley faces and jellyfish. Like last year’s celebration, this year’s is guaranteed to surprise and delight!

Parade during the 4th of July celebration in Boston


A blissful symphony of fireworks and orchestral music. If you’re in Boston, you won’t want to miss the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular on the Esplanade. The discordant bursts of colorful fireworks over the Charles River are accompanied by the harmonious strains of the Boston Pops Orchestra, which serves up everything from delightful jazz to time-tested pop favorites. For the best view of the “Spectacular” event, make your way to Memorial Drive on the Cambridge side of the river.

Fireworks at night over Chicago
Photo: iStock


“The Windy City” hosts an annual fireworks show that will blow you away. Navy Pier, on the coast of Lake Michigan, arranges magnificent shows – not only on the 4th of July, but also every other Wednesday and Saturday in the summer months. Of course, the Independence Day celebration is in a class of its own, with choreographed dance performances and live music from popular artists. If you want front row seats, find a spot along the coast near Navy Pier, where you’ll enjoy an incredible view of the awesome aerial display over the Chicago skyline.

People watching fireworks at dusk from the beach in Los Angeles

Los Angeles

The 4th of July – balmy California weather, a seaside fireworks show synchronized with music... Is that everything you’ve dreamed of? Then head to the Marina del Rey pier next to LA’s famous Venice Beach. The best spots to catch the celebration are Burton Chace Park, Fisherman’s Village, and Marina Beach, but if you want to avoid the crowds, more distant vantage points like Venice Pier, Playa Vista, and Dockweiler Beach are also good options.

Popcorn food truck


If you’re in Miami around the Fourth of July, you won’t want to miss the parade that marches down Key Biscayne’s Crandon Boulevard from Ocean Lane to Westwood Drive. Afterwards, you’ll want to make sure you visit Bayfront Park, which is known for its family-friendly Independence Day celebration featuring live music, DJs, bouncy castles, and food trucks dishing up cuisine from around the world. The highlight of the celebration: the unforgettable evening fireworks show over beautiful Biscayne Bay.

Fireworks in San Francisco
Photo: iStock

San Francisco

Fisherman’s Wharf, one of San Francisco’s most popular tourist haunts, is the place to go if you want to celebrate Independence Day in style. The fireworks are synchronized from two different launch sites, Aquatic Park and Pier 39, which makes for a stunning effect. You’ll enjoy the carnival-like atmosphere, with mimes and other street performers, live music, and fresh seafood.

National independence day parade in Washington
Photo: Shutterstock

Washington DC

One of the largest annual Fourth of July parades, America’s National Independence Day Parade, marches down Constitution Avenue from 7th to 17th Street in the nation’s capital. The festive parade, which includes marching bands, drill teams, fife and drum corps, and uniformed minutemen, passes a number of historical sites and monuments. Tip: Find a spot toward the end of the parade route if you want to avoid the crowds.

Text by Liv Bossuyt