Top Spots to Celebrate the Fourth

Celebrate Independence Day by the sea with parades, fresh fare, contests, and activities that will keep you entertained from morning to fireworks.

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Marblehead, Massachusetts
Photographer John Kane

Marblehead, Massachusetts

This quaint harborfront town is packed on the Fourth with music, art, fresh-food vendors, and family-friendly activities. Expect a crowd, lots of walking, and plenty of traffic. Best bet: Claim a parking spot the night before—or by 3 p.m. the day of—and stay there.

Showtime: At 8:45 p.m., the red flares of The Harbor Illumination signal everyone to take their seats. Fireworks are launched about 9 p.m.

Best view: Go early and stake out a bench, or bring a blanket and find a spot in Chandler Hovey Park to watch the lights over Marblehead Light Tower. Or settle in on a patch of grass at Fort Sewall or Crocker Park.

After the show: Grab a draft beer or glass of wine and people-watch outside at The Landing Restaurant on the harbor at Front Street;

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