Boston’s fireworks by the Charles River is one of the greatest display of pyrotechnics bringing locals together to celebrate Independence Day. But spectators have to deal with crowds, limited space for watching, extra security, and long lines back home.
We consulted with locals and checked out websites that discussed alternative spots.
You may not be front and center at the Esplanade to watch the Boston Pops at the Hatch Shell, but all you really need is a boom box and a good perch.
Here’s a list of places with some great views of the fireworks that you probably did not know about or wish we had not revealed.
Note: This year’s Boston Pops fireworks event will take place on July 3 due to weather. Next
On the river
Grab a canoe or a raft, as well as your flippy floppies, and get the best seat in the area for fireworks. (Another water vessel option: An old couch, some inner tubes, and a lot of duct tape.)
There are many local places, like Charles River Canoe and Kayak, that will rent to visitors on Independence Day. But you might want to reserve in advance. The river will be filled with other ships, so be careful of the rough wake left behind by speeding boats after the fireworks performance.
Keep in mind: Rules and lack of bathrooms.
Pictured: A group of students set sail on the Charles River to view Fourth of July fireworks from inflatable rafts. Next
Charter a boat
If you’re not interested using a paddle to propel yourself across the river, you can try chartering a boat.
The barges where workers will launch fireworks on July Fourth are usually located in the middle of the Charles River between Exeter and Fairfield streets.
If you want to watch the fireworks up close, find a spot within view of the fireworks barges.
Pictured: Employees of Pyro Spectacular, prepared fireworks on barges anchored in the Charles River near the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge in 2006.
On the Red Line
MBTA conductors are not immune to the wonders a rocket’s red glare and will probably slow down their trains on the Longfellow Bridge to watch.
Board the Red Line train at either the Kendall Square or Charles/MGH stations at just the right moment and experience the fireworks up close in an air-conditioned environment.
If the train reaches the next stop before the fireworks end, just board it in the opposite direction. Another plus: Don’t worry about wading through packed train stations after the fireworks show because you’ll already be boarded.
Land a good spot here and get a good view of three different fireworks shows from nearby towns. Next
This site with historic ties is a great place to visit and watch fireworks.
Perhaps consider climbing the Bunker Hill monument. But if you make it up the 294 steps of the tower, you’ll find a cramped viewing room and small windows. Next
There are many wonderful hills to watch the fireworks from, like Prospect Hill in Somerville and Wright Tower in Medford.
Each is a secluded spot with a commanding view of the Boston skyline.
While the park is open, please, don’t climb the actual tower as it is locked for public safety reasons. Officials will arrest anyone who trespasses. Next
Museum of Science
The museum holds a Fourth of July event for members every year.
It ends with a live broadcast of the Boston Pop’s performance and one of the best views of the Charles River during the fireworks on the garage rooftop.
Pictured: Hannah Finn, 5, of Andover holds her flag before the start of a fireworks display on the roof of the garage of the Museum of Science during the 2008 Fourth of July celebration. Next
The Prudential Tower Skywalk is open for the fireworks.
Tickets go on sale at 4 p.m. but visitors might to get in line much earlier because only the first 500 people are allowed in. Next
Stand by MIT, where speakers are set up, and get a great view of fireworks as they burst over the Boston skyline.
Pictured: Fireworks viewed from the Sloan Building at M.I.T. over the Charles River. Next
Robbins Farm Park
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