On the water

Where to Watch 4th of July Fireworks by Boat

One of the sweetest perks of living in a city by the sea is being able to escape the noise, exhaust, and hoards of people by getting out on the water. And when 4th of July rolls around? The night skies and their reflections on the water are absolutely stunning.

We want to help make sure your 4th is squared away, so we've shared some boating safety tips from our friends at BoatUS, as well as some of the best spots to watch the fireworks by boat. Check it out!

According to BoatUS, nearly 12 million registered boats across the country will be participating in 4th of July celebrations this year. To avoid boater gridlock and keep your crew safe:

  1. Be wary of boating and drinking, particularly when compounded by sun and a long day on the water.
  2. If you need spare life jackets for your extra July 4th stowaways, borrow one from the BoatUS Foundation’s Kids’ Life Jacket Loaner site.
  3. Keep your boat afloat! A good rule of thumb for boat capacity: make sure everyone has a seat. 
  4. Stay untangled & charged: TowBoatUS reports that many July 4th assistance calls are for anchor line disentanglements and battery jumps.
  5. Paddle safe: Navigation lights apply to SUP boards. Stay visible and avoid congested boat areas. Read more tips from BoatUS.

Ready to make your plans? Check out these fireworks shows below and some of their nearby Dockwa marinas!

Kennebunk, Maine

While only home to ~3500 year-round residents, Kennebunkport is known for having some of the best displays in the state! Kennebunk and Kennebunkport team up each year to set off a spectacular show from Narragansett Point, between Gooch’s and Middle beaches. The show starts at 9PM on Monday, July 4th, and the best spot by far to watch is from on the water. For more information on Maine fireworks, click here.

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Portsmouth, New Hampshire

As a major coastal town in one of the original Thirteen Colonies, in a state whose slogan is Live Free or Die, it's safe to say Independence Day means a lot to the people of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The sparks start (officially) flying at dusk, around 9:15PM on Sunday, July 3rd from South Mill Pond by City Hall. Make your way to this beautiful seaside community for a day of activities, and enjoy a night at Prescott Docks on the Piscataqua River! 

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Massachusetts

If you're out nightsailing this weekend on the coast of Massachusetts – and in particular out of Boston or the North or South Shore – you're guaranteed to see some shows! Make a float plan based on the highlights below, and start booking so you can enjoy an overnight or weekend on the water.

  • Boston Harbor: July 2, 9PM on Long Wharf as part of Boston Harborfest
  • Hingham: July 2, 9PM from Button Island over Hingham Harbor
  • Gloucester: July 3, 9:30PM over Gloucester Harbor
  • Lynn: July 3, 9:15PM from a barge near Red Rock
  • Quincy/Weymouth: July 3, 9:15PM from a barge off Wessagusset Beach
  • Boston: July 4, 8:30PM - 10:30PM on the Charles River
  • Martha's Vineyard: July 4, 9:15PM over Edgartown Harbor
  • Nahant: July 4, 9PM from Bailey’s Hill Park
  • Plymouth: July 4, 9PM on the Plymouth Waterfront
  • New Bedford: July 4, 9PM over New Bedford Harbor

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Rhode Island

Li'l Rhody packs a punch on Independence Day! Makes sense: with so much water real estate, everyone wants to highlight their pretty harbors. Take yourself and your crew on a tour of Narragansett Bay:

  • Warwick: July 1, 9PM from the Oakland Beach seawall
  • Jamestown: July 3, 9PM over Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay
  • Bristol: July 3, 9:30PM from Independence Park. Get there early and stroll over to the concert series downtown!
  • Block Island: July 3, dusk/9PM from Town Beach Pavilion
  • Newport: July 4, 9:15PM over Newport Harbor

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Chesapeake Bay

Chesapeake Bay pulls out all the stops, with booms and sizzles ricocheting around the water for three nights in a row! From Havre de Grace to Cape Charles, you'll find a Dockwa marina ready to make you feel at home for the Fourth.

  • Rock Hall, MD: July 3, 9PM over the harbor
  • 4th of July Celebrations

    Independence Day celebrations can be found throughout the state. Enjoy food, live entertainment and the colorful firework displays.

     
    - See more at: http://www.visitmaryland.org/article/4th-of-july-celebrations#sthash.DujLdd7o.dpuf

    4th of July Celebrations

    Independence Day celebrations can be found throughout the state. Enjoy food, live entertainment and the colorful firework displays.

     
    - See more at: http://www.visitmaryland.org/article/4th-of-july-celebrations#sthash.DujLdd7o.dpuf
    Havre de Grace, MD: July 3, ~9:30PM, from the island at Tydings Park
  • Annapolis: July 4, 9:15PM from Susan Campbell Park. Get there at 8PM for the Naval Academy's Concert Band performance.
  • Baltimore: July 4, 9:30PM over the harbor. Get there at 7PM for a concert by the U.S. Navy Band at the Inner Harbor Amphitheater!
  • Georgetown/Sassafrass: July 4, dusk. Arrive early for the boat parade at 5pm.
  • Cape Charles, VA: July 4, after dark over the harbor
  • Solomons Island, MD: July 4, 9:15PM

4th of July Celebrations

Independence Day celebrations can be found throughout the state. Enjoy food, live entertainment and the colorful firework displays.

 
- See more at: http://www.visitmaryland.org/article/4th-of-july-celebrations#sthash.DujLdd7o.dpuf

4th of July Celebrations

Independence Day celebrations can be found throughout the state. Enjoy food, live entertainment and the colorful firework displays.

 
- See more at: http://www.visitmaryland.org/article/4th-of-july-celebrations#sthash.DujLdd7o.dpufBaltimore,BOOK NOW IN THE CHESAPEAKE BAY

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Charleston, South Carolina

Spend July 4th in Chucktown and catch the fireworks – their largest show to date – and live music performed by The Charlestones starting at 9:10PM. The party starts at 3PM at Riverfront Park in the city of North Charleston with musical guests, children's activities, food trucks, and craft vendors. Book your slip and join the fun!

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Savannah, Georgia

While the fireworks turn up the heat in Savannah, you can be sitting pretty with a front row seat right on the water. The show launches from the pier on Tybee Island on Thursday, July 3 at 9:15PM, and can be enjoyed anywhere along the eastern side of the island.

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Chicago, Illinois

When the city of Chicago canceled its fireworks show in 2011, Navy Pier took up the helm and has been Independence Day central ever since. A patriotic soundtrack blares as fireworks rocket overhead. Book a slip on Navy Pier or at a nearby Dockwa marina, and watch the fireworks over the water on July 4, 9:30PM.

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New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans undoubtedly knows how to throw a good party. If you're in the area, get in on what is sure to be a borderline-insane celebration of our nation's spirit of independence. Weather permitting, the fireworks display begins aboard “dueling barges” anchored at mid-river at 9PM, and can be viewed from either side of the river.

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Happy 4th of July from the team at Dockwa! 

Becky Pineo

By: Becky Pineo

Published on 6/28/16 3:57 PM