Fourth of July on The Esplanade
Celebrating America’s Birthday
Boston’s thundering Fourth of July Celebration on The Esplanade is considered one of the best (if not the best) Independence Day shows in America.
The capital of Massachusetts has pretty much cornered the market on patriotic celebrations. Given the city’s rich history steeped in Revolutionary behavior, it’s quite fitting. The event includes performances by the acclaimed Boston Pops, and one of the biggest firework displays in the nation. The celebration takes place in Boston’s Back Bay area along the grassy, sun-soaked banks of the Charles River.
How to Get In
The entirety of the event takes place along the Boston and Cambridge sides of the Charles River, between the Longfellow and Massachusetts Avenue Bridges along the Esplanade. The epicenter of the evening is at the DCR Hatch Shell, where the Boston Pops perform.
Get to the Esplanade early and beat the crowds for a good spot. Seriously, go early. It gets packed. Make sure to bring comfy things to sit on so that you’ll be cozy all night, like blankets and chairs. The best seat in the house for viewing fireworks is to the right of the Oval, or “the Hatch Shell” area. The easiest way to get into that area is through Berkley Street. But this checkpoint opens extremely early for an evening show–9 a.m., to be exact. If you just cannot stand the idea of waiting for the show all day like that, at least try to secure spots along the Charles River by early to mid-afternoon. Once the evening gets going, the crowds are enormous.
It would behoove attendees to check the forecast before they depart for the event. New England weather can change by the minute, literally. So trusty information can help plan the day, in case you’ll need umbrellas, ponchos, or extra SPF. Try checking out CBS Boston for updates.
Additionally, there are no wheeled coolers, alcohol, metal, sharp objects, glass containers, pre-mixed beverages, or bags (other than small purses) allowed into the show.
For snacks, bring them all in clear bags that can easily be viewed by security. Bring lots of water in clear water bottles. It’s also worth noting that bug spray and sunscreen are a good idea.
Enjoy the red, white, and blue explosion!
Nine Zero Hotel
Nine Zero is a member of the stylish Kimpton Hotel Group–known for their chic and expert execution. This design-heavy spot prides itself on its Boston Brahmin decor, which harkens back to the city’s elite class of the late nineteenth-century. If you’re feeling upper-crust, Nine Zero’s downtown vibes and gorgeous views of the city are a solid mix of luxury and fun. The artistic and edgy accommodations are a perfect complement to the celebratory atmosphere of the 4th.
The Kendall Hotel
Situated within the tech-genius-academia hub that is Cambridge, The Kendall Hotel is a historic haunt in the midst of modernity. This Queen Anne-style firehouse has been revamped to provide luxurious hospitality, while remaining true to its nineteenth-century roots. Swing by their Black Sheep Restaurant, where you can find locally-grown classic American dishes, and explore the charm and inspiration of the surrounding famous neighborhood.
Hotel Commonwealth’s stately structure on Commonwealth Ave in Boston carries old-school architectural presence with all the modern updates. One of the hotel’s biggest draws: the food. Their iconic Eastern Standard restaurant’s gorgeous facade of indoor-outdoor eating is known for delicious eats. If seafood is your thing, swing by their Island Creek Oyster Bar for authentic, fresh New England dining. And if a perfect cocktail is your favorite fix, visit The Hawthorne, a nationally-recognized destination for mixology and craft drinks. But don’t just take my word for it–you’ll actually find countless locals at all three of these spots.
- Boston Park Plaza
This 1927 historic landmark has recently undergone a one hundred million dollar renovation of all guest rooms and public spaces. The stateliness of Park Plaza is now modern, and their dining options are numerous, both in-house and on the charming streets of the Back Bay area. This neighborhood lends itself for some of the best strolling and exploring in Boston. Other than the beautiful Esplanade for the Fourth, guests can easily reach the famed Newbury Street for some serious shopping, or venture towards Boston Commons to see gardens, the State House, and historic Beacon Hill.
- The Liberty Hotel
Housed in a renovated former jail (so cool), this luxury hotel is just minutes from the Charles River Esplanade–and offers gorgeous views of the scene. The décor is modern, stylish, yet juxtaposed by their ironclad history. They have beloved in-house eats, so be sure to save time for dinner at Scampo, and then grab drinks at their bar Alibi.