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Boston’s 4th of July fireworks: Where to watch

These nine spots for the sparks from the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular are all free or close to it

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Beginning at 10:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 4, the annual Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular will send actual fireworks soaring and popping over the Charles River.

Getting a good view is not always easy. Even peak points such as the Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown fail to offer decent vantages. And seemingly unobstructed spots such as Castle Island in Boston Harbor don’t really reveal anything but the topmost explosions.

Plus, Somerville’s Prospect Hill Park and its tower—always popular vantages for seeing the fireworks—are closed this July 4 for ongoing construction.

These nine points do provide a solid viewing chance—and then some in most cases. Better yet, they're all free (or close to it). Best to get to some of them early as the Boston fireworks are never a sparsely attended affair.

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Robbins Farm Park

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This Arlington park—spruced up during a months-long initiative two years ago—offers a particularly choice vantage for the Boston fireworks.

Boston Globe via Getty Images

Larz Anderson Park

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The Brookline park is a (relatively) hidden gem for watching the fireworks, perfectly situated for the long view.

A photo Brookline’s Larz Anderson Park Boston Globe via Getty Images

Wright's Tower

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Get near this Medford vantage in the Middlesex Fells Reservation and see down all the way to the Boston skyline and to the fireworks over it. Do not attempt to scale the tower itself or enter it: It's closed for the night.

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Charles River Esplanade

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Can't go wrong with this riverside expanse, though it will likely be crowded even before the sun goes anywhere near down.

We would also suggest perhaps the Cambridge side for a little more elbow room.

Basically, any vantage along the river between the Mass. Ave. and the Longfellow bridges will offer a more than decent chance of seeing the fireworks (though spectators should not congregate on the bridges themselves).

People ride bicycles along a river esplanade. The bike path has grass on both sides. There are trees on one side of the path. Shutterstock

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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The campus' open spaces are perfectly situated for catching the fireworks.

The university has been known to set up speakers to enhance the nighttime festivities.

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North Point Park

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The 8.5-acre greensward is right on the Charles with clear views of the waterway as it turns farther inland from the harbor.

A photo of the view from North Point Park in Cambridge Shutterstock

Red Line over the Longfellow Bridge

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If you can time it just so, you can be on a train crossing the Longfellow Bridge between Cambridge and Boston as the fireworks are popping off.

Bonus: The Red Line and the rest of the T will be free on July 4 after 9:30 p.m.

A Red Line train going over the Longfellow Bridge Shutterstock

Rose Kennedy Greenway

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The famed 17-acre linear park won’t have the best direct views of the fireworks, but it will offer a simulcast of the whiz-bangery and the Boston Pops performance on a giant screen.

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Wollaston Beach

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Look northward from this stretch of shore in Quincy—one of the best beaches in the region—and behold a decent view of the sky-high kablooms a few miles away.

A sandy beach and a body of water. There is a pier in the distance. Shutterstock

Robbins Farm Park

Boston Globe via Getty Images

This Arlington park—spruced up during a months-long initiative two years ago—offers a particularly choice vantage for the Boston fireworks.

Boston Globe via Getty Images

Larz Anderson Park

A photo Brookline’s Larz Anderson Park Boston Globe via Getty Images

The Brookline park is a (relatively) hidden gem for watching the fireworks, perfectly situated for the long view.

A photo Brookline’s Larz Anderson Park Boston Globe via Getty Images

Wright's Tower

Shutterstock

Get near this Medford vantage in the Middlesex Fells Reservation and see down all the way to the Boston skyline and to the fireworks over it. Do not attempt to scale the tower itself or enter it: It's closed for the night.

Shutterstock

Charles River Esplanade

People ride bicycles along a river esplanade. The bike path has grass on both sides. There are trees on one side of the path. Shutterstock

Can't go wrong with this riverside expanse, though it will likely be crowded even before the sun goes anywhere near down.

We would also suggest perhaps the Cambridge side for a little more elbow room.

Basically, any vantage along the river between the Mass. Ave. and the Longfellow bridges will offer a more than decent chance of seeing the fireworks (though spectators should not congregate on the bridges themselves).

People ride bicycles along a river esplanade. The bike path has grass on both sides. There are trees on one side of the path. Shutterstock

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Shutterstock

The campus' open spaces are perfectly situated for catching the fireworks.

The university has been known to set up speakers to enhance the nighttime festivities.

Shutterstock

North Point Park

A photo of the view from North Point Park in Cambridge Shutterstock

The 8.5-acre greensward is right on the Charles with clear views of the waterway as it turns farther inland from the harbor.

A photo of the view from North Point Park in Cambridge Shutterstock

Red Line over the Longfellow Bridge

A Red Line train going over the Longfellow Bridge Shutterstock

If you can time it just so, you can be on a train crossing the Longfellow Bridge between Cambridge and Boston as the fireworks are popping off.

Bonus: The Red Line and the rest of the T will be free on July 4 after 9:30 p.m.

A Red Line train going over the Longfellow Bridge Shutterstock

Rose Kennedy Greenway

Shutterstock

The famed 17-acre linear park won’t have the best direct views of the fireworks, but it will offer a simulcast of the whiz-bangery and the Boston Pops performance on a giant screen.

Shutterstock

Wollaston Beach

A sandy beach and a body of water. There is a pier in the distance. Shutterstock

Look northward from this stretch of shore in Quincy—one of the best beaches in the region—and behold a decent view of the sky-high kablooms a few miles away.

A sandy beach and a body of water. There is a pier in the distance. Shutterstock