New England is one of the oldest regions within the United States. With that being, said of course you can find some of the best July 4th Celebrations in New England. With historic cities like Boston,MA and Bristol,RI you are able to experience the best of Independence Day in New England. Even New England has its own hidden gems of where to celebrate 4th of July. So what are the best cities in New England to celebrate 4th of July? We have teamed up with some of the best Insider Bloggers to bring you a list of the Best 4th of July Celebrations in New England.
Old Orchard Beach, ME
Old Orchard Beach, Maine located just 30 minutes south of Portland, offers endless options for family friendly 4th of July celebrations and entertainment. Families can start their day with the annual Ocean Park 4th of July Parade prior to spending a few hours on the 7 mile stretch of beach and historic pier. Prior to enjoying the amazing ocean side fireworks, you can take in a free patriotic concert held from 6 – 8 pm on the 4th at the Seaside Pavilion. The annual fireworks display is set off by the Pier and Palace Playland on the beach at approximately 9:45 pm. Parking on the 4th can be challenging and thus I highly recommend heading to the beach early for a dinner picnic on the beach and then enjoying the concert, rides, carnival games (Palace Playland), mini golf and a walk along Old Orchard Beach Pier prior to the fireworks. Don’t forget to try the namesake box of fries as Pier Fries while waiting for the fireworks to start. To make the most out of your Old Orchard Beach 4th experience, don’t forget to pack sunblock, insect repellent, a cooler, snacks, beach chairs and even blankets as the temperature in Maine can fluctuate significantly at night. Old Orchard Beach is a family beach town which draws crowds during the summer months, so come prepared for a full day of family fun, rather than attempting to move your car.
York Beach, ME
What’s better than fireworks on the beach? Not much!
Head to York Beach, Maine for a true 4th of July New England summer celebration. Fireworks take place over the ocean at Short Sands Beach so come prepared with your beach chairs and beach toys. You won’t have to worry about how to keep the kids entertained until the big fireworks show. They can play in the sand to their heart’s content! There is also a playground next to the beach. Fireworks don’t go off until 9 p.m. but you’ll want to get there early. York is a favorite summer destination and it’s sure to be packed! And, don’t forget your quarters for parking! You can grab dinner early at York54 Pizza off Route 1 or better yet, just order a few pizzas to go and enjoy at the beach. You can thank me later!
Celebrate Independence day in Portsmouth,NH with Strawberry Banke Musuem’s “An American Celebration”. This celebration is filled with re-enactments and swing dancing and so much more! Best of all all of the events are free! You can head to Four Tree Island for a barbecue or a picnic. Before heading home stop at Prescott Park for a family movie night. Of what else, but Independence day of course! After all, it is July 4th. Fireworks are actually celebrated on July 3rd here at South Mill Pond which is located across from Portsmouth City.
Head to Stowe,VT for an old fashioned Fourth of July. The Independence Day Celebration is an all day family event. Full day events include; parades, food, music, fireworks and so much more. Want the best view in town to view the fireworks? Head over early to grab your spot at the Mayo Events Field.
For a fun Independence Day celebration, head over to Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard. The free festivities start with a parade in the late afternoon. Representatives of the military, classic cars, and even ponies donning red, white, and blue, march around the town. A BBQ hosted by the MV Preservation Trust takes places after the parade at the Dr. Daniel Fisher House on Main Street. The grand finale is the gorgeous fireworks display that begins at dusk. This classic New England town knows how to celebrate! The Fourth of July celebration is very popular, and it is recommended to take the free bus from the park and ride off Dark Woods Road as parking in town is limited. Arrive early, save a seat on the sidewalk, and enjoy a cone from Mad Martha’s Ice Cream while you wait for the fun to begin! The fireworks are set off on the Edgartown Harbor. For a good view of the fireworks, climb to the top of the Memorial Wharf, or grab seat on the deck at the Shanty.
If you want a 4th of July fireworks display on the water but don’t want the claustrophobia of Boston crowds, then head to a small town on the North Shore: Wakefield, MA. 4th of July celebrations are an all day thing here with a hometown Main Street parade and evening concert and fireworks. The fireworks take place at Lake Quannapowitt at 9:30pm and the cost is completely FREE! Just bring your blankets and chairs. Get there early to guarantee your spot. Best views are off the Lower Common off Church Street. Pack a picnic and sprawl out on the lawn. There’s also an awesome playground next to the lake to wear out little people before the fireworks show. Enjoy!
Mystic is a small seaport town located in the most eastern part of Connecticut. It’s close proximity to cities like Hartford, Providence, Boston, and even New York City, and it’s easy accessibility off major highways and wide variety of both indoor and outdoor child friendly activities make it an ideal family destination anytime of year. The Mystic Seaport (the oldest maritime museum in the country) and Denison Homestead make history come alive with authentic artifacts, tons of buildings to explore, and engaging interpreters. Mystic Aquarium, Coogan Farm, and Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center have countless ways to explore nature and get up close and personal with a wide variety of animals and sea creatures (beluga whales! Steller sea lions!) Budding farmers will want to stop at Clyde’s Cider Mill (the only steam powered cider mill left in America) and Stone Acres Farm for workshops, classes, and real farm to table food and drink. Picnic in Mystic River Park which has a great playground and is walking distance to Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream. Leave time for a visit to nearby Groton Submarine Museum and the HS Nautilus for plenty of maritime history (and a real submarine you can tour!) and attend Sailfest in mid July for fireworks!
The city of Bristol, RI holds the oldest fourth of July Celebrations in America. It was established in 1785 and is truly one of a kind. The celebration actually kicks off on June 14th and spans out over the weeks following with activities for all ages. One of the most iconic moments of the celebration is the Bristol Fourth of July Parade which happens to go down the Hope Street with its all year round painted red,white, and blue lane dividers. One of the reasons why Bristol is nicknamed one of America’s most patriotic town.
One of the most busiest cities to be in on fourth of July in New England it still should not be missed. Tourists and locals alike travel to this destination to get in on the Independence Day extravaganza. One of the best places to stop for a picnic is at Colt State Park. Here you can have a picnic and even a barbecue. One of my best tips for tackling Colt State Park on the busiest Day of the year is to get here really and I mean really early. Get your spot early and reserve your picnic table. You will be surprised how fast and packed this place can get.
In all honesty, it is an amazing park filled with bike trails, hiking trails, swing sets, a beach, skating ramps, and trails that take you into Warren, RI. It’s understandable why people flock here year after year. Entrance into the park is free and so is parking. Best part is you also have the best spot to watch the firework celebration in Bristol.
Brenton Point State Park is the go to for any Outdoor celebration in Newport,RI. So of course on July 4th you can expect it to be very busy. This park is not as big as Bristol Colt State Park but it does not dampen on less things to do making this a prime place to stay. Insider tip is to get here very early 9:00 AM for prime choosing 10:00 AM if your okay with just getting a picnic table. Here you can barbecue and have a picnic. Brenton Point State Park is known for their kite festivals during the Summer. You may have even seen some on Instagram or Facebook. This also happens during the Independence Day at Newport,RI. Did you forget to bring your kite while packing up your barbecue supplies? That’s okay since you are able to buy some there at vendor tables. The prices may surprise you but it’s a celebration. This park is free to enter and so is parking. However, parking gets filled up very quickly. While you are waiting for the grill master to cook the food you can take part of the parks other activities. Visit the beach and get your feet wet or collect seashells. Take a hike through the park and visit the look out point. You can even bring your fishing pole and see if you can catch some lunch. You can stay here to view the firework celebration.
One of the best places to watch the firework celebrations is in Fort Adams State Park. Well why here you may ask? The viewing point is the absolute best in Rhode Island. Here you can catch both Bristol and Newport Firework display as Bristol firework celebration is scheduled first. Although further out it is still visible. This is a great Insider Tip. Although many locals know about it so it gets easily packed. There are also limited picnic areas here so you can also just have your picnic here and spend some time near the marina.
One thought on “Best 4th of July Celebrations in New England”
What a great list of places to celebrate the 4th! We so often end up at home celebrating with friends at a BBQ but now I think we need to do a road trip!!