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Where to watch July 4th fireworks in Philly

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July 4 is kind of a big deal here in Philly. After all, our founding fathers did sign the Declaration of Independence in this very city way back in 1776. In fact, it’s such a big deal that Wawa Welcome America, the big July 4 party of free concerts, block parties, and parades is an weeklong extravaganza.

But among all the other festivities, there’s one thing that says “Independence Day” more than anything else: fireworks. And luckily for us, there are a ton of viewing options.

This is the ultimate map of 4th of July Fireworks in Philly. City-dwellers and visitors have three main choices: the Parkway on the 4th (arguably the most-anticipated 4th of July event), or Penns Landing on the 29th and the 1st. But that’s not saying you have to be in one of those places, specifically. Here’s a rundown of all the best fireworks happenings, as well as all the places around the city where you can catch a great glimpse.

Note: Did we miss your favorite fireworks-gawking spot? Do share.

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Front and Center at The Parkway

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The big July 4 fireworks show starts at 9:30 p.m. You can stake out a spot anywhere along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway from Logan Circle to Eakins Oval. The entire street is shut down in honor of the celebration.

Penn's Landing (June 30, July 4)

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There are two fireworks shows over the Delaware this year, starting with a display at 9:30 p.m.on Saturday, June 29 and another (same time) on Monday, July 1. Both are held after free concerts by the The United States Army Band. The grand finale will be on July 4 on the Camden side of the river, but they’ll be visible from Penn’s Landing, also at 9:30 p.m.

Photo by K. Ciappa for Visit Philadelphia

Paine's Park

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Paine's Park on the Schuylkill River Trail is set slightly beneath the festivities on the Parkway, so it offers a unique vantage point for the Parkway fireworks. Add to the skaters and bikers flipping tricks during the show (Photo: Bittenbender)

R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

Sister Cities Park/Ben Franklin Parkway

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Any point along the Ben Franklin Parkway will offer amazing vantage points of the Parkway’s concert and fireworks. But if you'd like to get out of the crowds, Sister Cities Park offers an great venue for the fireworks. The water features also might help keep the kids cool and occupied so you can sneak a few more sips from your thermos before the inevitable bedtime melt-down.

M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

MLK Drive

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MLK Drive offers spectacular views of the city, regardless of the time of year, but the Fourth of July is amazing with reflections off of the Schuylkill and outside of the crowds of the concert. It's a winner if you’re planning on checking out the Parkway show.

R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

Schuylkill Banks

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Yes, it will be packed with people wanting to see the fireworks, but the Schuylkill River Trail should be your go-to spot. Get there early with your chair(s) and blanket(s) and simply enjoy the show and the scenery.

A post shared by Aries McFadden (@baccarati) on

Boathouse Row/Kelly Drive

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Boathouse Row/Kelly Drive is one of the best spots for Parkway fireworks—if you get there early enough to grab a spot on the grass. Views of the Schuylkill River and the majestic boat houses are almost unbeatable.

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Belmont Plateau

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Stunning, peaceful views of the skyline are a regular attraction of The 'Plat—the Fourth of July makes it even better. This is probably one of the best places to go to beat the crowds and toss around a frisbee with the family on the 4th itself.

A post shared by @pahayes on

Spruce Street Harbor Park (June 30 and July 4)

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Imagine catching a glimpse of a firework or two while snuggling with your S.O. in a hammock down at Spruce Street Harbor Park. Get there early to snag a seat/sling for the nights of fireworks on the Delaware River Waterfront (see No. 2).

Summerfest (June 30, July 1, July 4)

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You probably need to be roller skating while the Delaware River fireworks explode in the sky behind you. That may be a life experience you need to have.

M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

Penn Treaty Park (June 30, July 4)

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Check out the fireworks show over the Delaware from this grassy space. Parking might be an issue but you won't get better sight lines of the Delaware River, Ben Franklin Bridge, and those boomers.

A post shared by Wendy Lambour (@wenders_wanders) on

Race Street Pier (June 30, July 4)

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The views of the Delaware fireworks at the Race Street Pier will be stunning. Bring your blanket and hang out of the lawn, but get there early, this place will fill up. We recommend walking from Old City or parking elsewhere and taking the EL out there.

A post shared by M A T T (@matthew_s_d) on

Yards Brewing Company (June 30, July 1, July 4)

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The triangle in and around the Yards Brew Co. makes a great spot to stop and watch the fireworks. It's walkable to NoLibs and Fishtown and is close enough to the action (plus, you can really get into the spirit of Philly with a local brew).

DRWC

Camden Waterfront (July 4)

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If you're in New Jersey or want to take a trip, the Camden Waterfront is where it's at for the Delaware fireworks. Take the ferry. There's unrivaled vantage points, skyline views and plenty of room up and down the riverside. Bring your camera. On the actual fourth, the city will host its own fireworks extravaganza at 9:30 p.m. (see No. 2).

James Jennings

The Residences at Dockside (June 30, July 1, July 4)

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No, we don't want you to go inside the Dockside. The landing on Columbus Boulevard near Chart House, while noisy due to traffic and crowds, offers a great vantage point. Hop back into the city over the connection bridge at South Street.

A post shared by Richard (@fedexrich) on

South Street Pedestrian Bridge (June 30, July 1, July 4)

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Come to the end of South Street to enjoy the fireworks display. It's near all the bars and restaurants and offers a great elevated view.

via Flickr

Washington Avenue Green/Pier 53 (July 1 and 2)

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Washington Avenue Green is also an underrated spot to catch the fireworks. It's close to Queen Village and Pennsport, so you can catch them before or after dinner and drinks.

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Drexel Park

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If you're sticking around West Philly for the 4th, Drexel Park is the place to be for the Parkway show. The small park on a hill offers big views of the city skyline, so you can be sure to catch a great (and less crowded) show.

A post shared by honeygrow (@honeygrow) on

One Liberty Observation Deck

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Located on the 57th floor of One Liberty, this viewing deck may offer some of the craziest views of the Penn's Landing fireworks on June 30 and July 4. You'll have to buy a ticket and space is limited, so you might want to call ahead.

Front and Center at The Parkway

The big July 4 fireworks show starts at 9:30 p.m. You can stake out a spot anywhere along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway from Logan Circle to Eakins Oval. The entire street is shut down in honor of the celebration.

Penn's Landing (June 30, July 4)

Photo by K. Ciappa for Visit Philadelphia

There are two fireworks shows over the Delaware this year, starting with a display at 9:30 p.m.on Saturday, June 29 and another (same time) on Monday, July 1. Both are held after free concerts by the The United States Army Band. The grand finale will be on July 4 on the Camden side of the river, but they’ll be visible from Penn’s Landing, also at 9:30 p.m.

Photo by K. Ciappa for Visit Philadelphia

Paine's Park

R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

Paine's Park on the Schuylkill River Trail is set slightly beneath the festivities on the Parkway, so it offers a unique vantage point for the Parkway fireworks. Add to the skaters and bikers flipping tricks during the show (Photo: Bittenbender)

R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

Sister Cities Park/Ben Franklin Parkway

M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

Any point along the Ben Franklin Parkway will offer amazing vantage points of the Parkway’s concert and fireworks. But if you'd like to get out of the crowds, Sister Cities Park offers an great venue for the fireworks. The water features also might help keep the kids cool and occupied so you can sneak a few more sips from your thermos before the inevitable bedtime melt-down.

M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

MLK Drive

R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

MLK Drive offers spectacular views of the city, regardless of the time of year, but the Fourth of July is amazing with reflections off of the Schuylkill and outside of the crowds of the concert. It's a winner if you’re planning on checking out the Parkway show.

R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

Schuylkill Banks

Yes, it will be packed with people wanting to see the fireworks, but the Schuylkill River Trail should be your go-to spot. Get there early with your chair(s) and blanket(s) and simply enjoy the show and the scenery.

A post shared by Aries McFadden (@baccarati) on

Boathouse Row/Kelly Drive

Boathouse Row/Kelly Drive is one of the best spots for Parkway fireworks—if you get there early enough to grab a spot on the grass. Views of the Schuylkill River and the majestic boat houses are almost unbeatable.

A post shared by Joe (@tate_62) on

Belmont Plateau

Stunning, peaceful views of the skyline are a regular attraction of The 'Plat—the Fourth of July makes it even better. This is probably one of the best places to go to beat the crowds and toss around a frisbee with the family on the 4th itself.

A post shared by @pahayes on

Spruce Street Harbor Park (June 30 and July 4)

Imagine catching a glimpse of a firework or two while snuggling with your S.O. in a hammock down at Spruce Street Harbor Park. Get there early to snag a seat/sling for the nights of fireworks on the Delaware River Waterfront (see No. 2).

Summerfest (June 30, July 1, July 4)

M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

You probably need to be roller skating while the Delaware River fireworks explode in the sky behind you. That may be a life experience you need to have.

M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

Penn Treaty Park (June 30, July 4)

Check out the fireworks show over the Delaware from this grassy space. Parking might be an issue but you won't get better sight lines of the Delaware River, Ben Franklin Bridge, and those boomers.

A post shared by Wendy Lambour (@wenders_wanders) on

Race Street Pier (June 30, July 4)

The views of the Delaware fireworks at the Race Street Pier will be stunning. Bring your blanket and hang out of the lawn, but get there early, this place will fill up. We recommend walking from Old City or parking elsewhere and taking the EL out there.

A post shared by M A T T (@matthew_s_d) on

Yards Brewing Company (June 30, July 1, July 4)

DRWC

The triangle in and around the Yards Brew Co. makes a great spot to stop and watch the fireworks. It's walkable to NoLibs and Fishtown and is close enough to the action (plus, you can really get into the spirit of Philly with a local brew).

DRWC

Camden Waterfront (July 4)

James Jennings

If you're in New Jersey or want to take a trip, the Camden Waterfront is where it's at for the Delaware fireworks. Take the ferry. There's unrivaled vantage points, skyline views and plenty of room up and down the riverside. Bring your camera. On the actual fourth, the city will host its own fireworks extravaganza at 9:30 p.m. (see No. 2).

James Jennings

The Residences at Dockside (June 30, July 1, July 4)

No, we don't want you to go inside the Dockside. The landing on Columbus Boulevard near Chart House, while noisy due to traffic and crowds, offers a great vantage point. Hop back into the city over the connection bridge at South Street.

A post shared by Richard (@fedexrich) on

South Street Pedestrian Bridge (June 30, July 1, July 4)

via Flickr

Come to the end of South Street to enjoy the fireworks display. It's near all the bars and restaurants and offers a great elevated view.

via Flickr

Washington Avenue Green/Pier 53 (July 1 and 2)

Washington Avenue Green is also an underrated spot to catch the fireworks. It's close to Queen Village and Pennsport, so you can catch them before or after dinner and drinks.

A post shared by John Cruice (@john_cruice) on

Drexel Park

If you're sticking around West Philly for the 4th, Drexel Park is the place to be for the Parkway show. The small park on a hill offers big views of the city skyline, so you can be sure to catch a great (and less crowded) show.

A post shared by honeygrow (@honeygrow) on

One Liberty Observation Deck

Located on the 57th floor of One Liberty, this viewing deck may offer some of the craziest views of the Penn's Landing fireworks on June 30 and July 4. You'll have to buy a ticket and space is limited, so you might want to call ahead.