Boston: The Best Place to Be on The 4th of July (Especially if You Live in One of These Buildings!)

The July 4th Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular, what better celebration of our Nation’s independence is there than one with beautiful orchestral music and a mind-blowing pyrotechnical display, all taking place in Massachusetts, the birthplace of the revolution? If you said, “nope, there is no better Independence Day celebration in all 50 states,” then you’re correct.

For those of you who live in the area and have never partook in the festivities, make this the year, because- well- why not?

Here’s a little background on the world-renowned celebration:

“The Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular started – like many things do – as just a simple idea. In September 1973, David Mugar suggested to Boston Pops Conductor Arthur Fiedler that in order to revive the diminishing Esplanade concert series it might be a good idea to play Tchaikovsky’s ‘1812 Overture’ with a few added extras.

For the next Fourth of July, howitzer cannons, fireworks and church bells were all added to the concert so that, as Fiedler said, ‘All hell could break loose.’ And for the first time, a July 4th fireworks display took place over the Charles River.

Now 37 years later, the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular is known as the premier Independence Day celebration in the nation. Each year, since its inception, hundreds of thousands of people come from all over the country to the banks of the Charles River to celebrate America’s birthday while another seven million tune in nationally on the CBS Television Network to view the event during a live one-hour primetime special. Locally, the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular is an institution seen on WBZ-TV Channel 4 from 8:00pm 11:00pm.”


The event takes place on The Esplanade, an area along the Charles River in between the Longfellow and Massachusetts Avenue bridges, and The Boston Pops will be playing in the Hatch Shell while spectators will gather on The Oval, the grassy area in front of the Hatch Shell. The event starts at 8:30pm on the 4th (there is also a show on the 3rd minus the fireworks,) and if you plan on watching the Pops, get there early, because wristbands will be given to every person entering The Oval starting at 9am and once it’s full (this is usually around 2pm) there will be no more wristbands given out. The fireworks display, which can be seen from many places in Boston, including the Cambridge side of the Charles River, goes from 10:30-11:00pm, just as the Pops wrap-up their performance.

For those who don’t plan on joining the masses on The Esplanade, there’s always TV’s and bars, but there are also plenty of buildings and public spaces that will have great views too (especially if the building has a roof deck!) I’ve selected a few luxury condo buildings that are in prime location for fireworks viewing (and in a prime location for Boston as a whole.) These buildings are mostly in the Back Bay, but Beacon Hill ought to have some tremendous views as well!

Note: Please do not show up at these buildings and ask for roof access. They are private residencies!

Only 6 blocks off the River and directly in line with where the fireworks barges will be placed, The Clarendon in the Back Bay, is a tall modern-meets-classic looking building, perfect for fireworks viewing. Plus, the Clarendon Clubroom offers a landscaped terrace amongst other things, which would make for an optimum outdoor vantage point.

This Beacon Hill beauty is only two blocks away from the river, so close that you could probably listen to the Pops if you opened your window. I’m talking about The Lincolnshire, an older building restored to retain its historical feel, where there is 24-hour roofdeck access, which means an all-night 4th of July party on the roof for residents!

Zero Marlborough is an elegant, super-luxurious building in a prime location. Sitting on the corner of Arlington and Marlborough St in the Back Bay but oh-so-close to Downtown, Beacon Hill, and the Theater District, Zero Marlborough overlooks the Public Garden, and also gives its residents an excellent place to observe the explosions in the sky from its outdoor terrace.

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