Thousands of the patriotically minded will be flocking to Baltimore this July Fourth for the city’s annual fireworks display. No surprise there — after all, people in these parts have been admiring bombs bursting in air for more than 200 years.
But where to watch? Just about anywhere in the Inner Harbor area should work fine, but picking the best spot might require a little coaching. Also, plenty of area parks, restaurants, hotels and other places offer prime viewing opportunities, often with food and drink attached.
Here’s a sampling of where you might want to head as darkness descends on Independence Day 2018 and the revelry really kicks into high gear. (The fireworks are set to start at 9:30 p.m.) The list isn’t exhaustive, and we can’t guarantee you a space at the best viewing spots, but we can suggest that it’s never too early to start planning or to make that reservation.
Baltimore Museum of Industry
The BMI takes advantage of its harborfront location, 1415 Key Highway, with an Independence Day celebration that includes admission for one car (and as many people as you can fit in) and entry to the museum. 6 p.m.-10 p.m. $45-$55, advance registration required. thebmi.org.
Picnic at the Top
See the fireworks at eye level from the 27th-floor observation level at the World Trade Center, 401 E. Pratt St. Includes catered food & beverage (no alcohol), children’s activities, a photo booth and a DJ. 7:30 p.m.-10 p,m. $35-$75. viewbaltimore.org.
Check out the fireworks from the harbor from which they are being launched with a cruise on the Spirit of Baltimore. Boards at 7 p.m. from the Inner Harbor, 561 Light St.; $114.90 gets you food, entertainment, an open bar and — the better to see the fireworks in all their splendor — access to the boat’s rooftop deck. spiritcruises.com.
Cruises on the Bay by Watermark will be offering two Independence Day cruises of the celebration in Maryland’s largest city: a dinner cruise aboard the Catherine Marie from 7:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m. ($49-$79) and a fireworks cruise (light snacks available) aboard the Annapolitan II ($39-$59). Both tours depart from Fingers Pier, 555 Light St. cruisesonthebay.com.
Independence Day Deck Party
All-you-can-eat backyard barbecue favorites, plus beer, wine and sodas to wash it down, all from the deck of the historic Constellation (which has certainly seen a few July Fourths in its day). 7 p.m.-10 p.m. Pier 1, off Pratt Street. $25-$75, free for kids under 6. historicships.org.
Fireworks Kayak Trip
Paddle your way onto the Patapsco from Middle Branch Park, 3301 Waterview Ave., for what organizers pledge is an experience “more romantic than a candlelit dinner.” $50; $30 if you provide your own kayak. Adults only. firstname.lastname@example.org or 443-984-4058.
Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore
The hotel’s Explorers Restaurant will be offering a special drink, the Liberty for All, combining vodka, run, tequila and grenadine, plus cranberry, pineapple and orange juices. 550 Light St., Inner Harbor. sonesta.com.
Sagamore Pendry Baltimore
Situated on Fells Point’s Recreation Pier, in the building that once doubled as police headquarters on NBC’s “Homicide: Life on the Street,” the luxury hotel is offering a “Star Spangled Memories” package, including access to the pool deck (hovering over the waterfront), a $100 food and beverage credit at Rec Pier Chop House, The Cannon Room or the poolside bar and grill, and water taxi tickets. Two-night minimum stay; use promo code STARSANDSTRIPES. $449-$8,303 per night. 1715 Thames St. pendryhotels.com/baltimore.
Little Havana will be roasting a pig and will have drink specials, plus $3 off regular tacos until 10 p.m. 1325 Key Highway. littlehavanas.com.
The harborside restaurant takes advantage of its prime location to offer fireworks aficionados an all-you-can-eat buffet (including jumbo male crabs), DJ entertainment, drink specials and giveaways, with seating either inside or outside on the third floor. 6:30 p.m.-10 p.m. $59-$115. 402 Key Highway. rusty-scupper.com.
With its beach games, beach food and beach atmosphere (complete with sand!), Sandlot will offer “July 4th at Sandlot” from 4 p.m.-11 p.m., with music from Speakers of the House and DJ Neil Paul. $5-$10 cover, all ages. 1000 Wills St. sandlotbaltimore.com.
Wit & Wisdom
On the first floor of the Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore, Wit & Wisdom will be offering a family-centric celebration with unlimited food and non-alcoholic drinks, live entertainment and, for the kids, a snowball machine, face painting and other activities. And then, of course, there are the fireworks. 6 p.m.-9:30 p.m. $45-$125. 200 International Drive, witandwisdombaltimore.com.
Prime gathering spots
The Inner Harbor, Pratt and Light streets and environs. Well, duh, they’re known as the Inner Harbor fireworks for a reason. You’ll be competing for a prime viewing spot with thousands of other spirited patriots, but the fireworks should make it all worthwhile.
Federal Hill Park, 300 Warren Ave. Among the most popular spots to watch the fireworks, this South Baltimore hilltop has been a gathering place for celebratory Baltimoreans since before there was a Fourth of July. Get there early for the best seats and parking, and maybe take advantage of one of the many area restaurants and eateries for a before-fireworks dinner.
Middle Branch Park, 3301 Waterview Ave. Just south of the Hanover Street Bridge is the largest expanse of natural shoreline on Baltimore Harbor. Offers a clear view of the city skyline, and the fireworks bursting in air above it.
Tide Point Waterfront Park, 1020 N. Haubert St., near Under Armour headquarters. This waterfront promenade attracts smaller crowds than the Inner Harbor or Federal Hill, and the views are equally impressive.
Canton Waterfront Park, 3001 Boston St., offers a lush lawn on which to spread your picnic blanket and gaze at the stars. Remember, you’re not all that far away from where Francis Scott Key, too, once watched bombs bursting in air.
Hotels that offer prime viewing, plus overnight accommodations:
Baltimore Marriott Waterfront, 700 Aliceanna St., Harbor East. marriott.com.
Brookshire Suites Inner Harbor, 120 E. Lombard St. brookshiresuites.com.
Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore, 200 International Drive, Harbor East. fourseasons.com/baltimore.
Hilton Baltimore, 401 W. Pratt St., adjacent to Camden Yards. hilton.com.
Hyatt Regency Baltimore Inner Harbor, 300 Light St. hyatt.com.
Pier 5 Hotel Baltimore, 711 Eastern Ave., next to Pier 6 Pavilion. curiocollection3.hilton.com.
Restaurants with notably impressive harbor views; book early to be guaranteed a seat for the fireworks:
Ampersea, 1417 Thames St. in Fells Point, will be offering couch areas for small or large groups on its promenade area. ampersea.com.
Barcocina, 1629 Thames St. in Fells Point. barcocina.com.
Bo Brooks, 2780 Lighthouse Point E. in Canton, where you get to watch the fireworks under the watchful eye of the restaurant’s lighthouse. With an outdoor bar in front, a patio out back and a floating dock for larger parties. bobrooks.com.
Boathouse Canton, 2809 Boston St. at Tindeco Wharf. boathousecanton.com.
Bond Street Social, 901 S. Bond St. in Fells Point. bondstreetsocial.com.
Bygone, 400 International Drive, atop Harbor East's 29-story Four Seasons Hotel. thebygonerestaurant.com.
Locust Point Steamers, 1100 E. Fort Ave., with a rooftop deck overlooking the Inner Harbor. locustpointsteamers.com.
Rye Street Tavern, 225 E. Cromwell St. in Port Covington. ryestreettavern.com.