Here are ten of the biggest and best (as well as some smaller and more regionally or otherwise distinctive) fireworks displays to anticipate this Fourth of July across the United States. And even if you can’t be in ten places across a continent in a single day (you can’t? weird!) these spots might just provide a good reference list for your next decade of Fourth of July vacation planning.
1. South Lake Tahoe, California.
The largest synchronized fireworks display west of the Mississippi will kick off on the southern end of South Lake Tahoe, starting around 9:45 pm. Lake Tahoe provides a mesmerizing surface for reflected pyrotechnics.
2. Seward, Alaska.
Seward, south of Anchorage, is flooded with tourists on July 4. The town’s festivities get off to an early start with Seward’s waterfront fireworks, which begin at 12:01 am on the morning of July 4.
3. Washington, DC.
A display over the Washington Monument is one of the country’s most distinctive. Fireworks are set off from the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool after 9:00 pm.
4. New York City, New York.
The Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks show, set along the Hudson River, will kick off at 9 pm with Justin Bieber tasked with the job of getting the patriotism flowing. (How’s that for Canadian-American cross-border good will?) This year’s display is graced with a score titled “American Harmony,” performed by the New York Pops and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
5. Amarillo, Texas.
The largest fireworks display in the Texas panhandle gets started at 9:30 pm at John Stiff Memorial Park. 10,000 people are expected this year.
6. Salt Lake City, Utah.
Jordan Park, on the arty west side of Salt Lake City, hosts a 10 pm fireworks display.
7. Ala Moana Center, Honolulu, Hawaii.
Hawaii’s biggest fireworks display kicks off at 8:30 pm at the Ala Moana Center shopping mall in Honolulu, following several hours of musical entertainment.
8. Tacoma, Washington.
Tacoma’s fireworks will get going at 10 pm on the city’s Commencement Bay, the grand finale of Tacoma’s annual Freedom Fair. The bay provides a glorious expanse for the fireworks display.
9. St. Louis, Missouri.
At 9:15 pm, a fireworks display will close out 2010’s Fair Saint Louis at Gateway Arch. The St. Louis display is regarded to be one of the best in the country by hardcore fireworks fans.
10. New Orleans. Louisiana.
The Big Easy’s Dueling Barges Fireworks Extravaganza makes for an especially vibrant and exciting fireworks display.
Don’t see your city listed? More great destinations here!
[Image: Flickr/Clearly Ambiguous]