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O, say can you see? Hotels are ideal spots for watching Fourth of July fireworks

Spectacular bursts of red, white, and blue appear above Atlanta's W hotel during the annual Fourth of July celebration.
Spectacular bursts of red, white, and blue appear above Atlanta's W hotel during the annual Fourth of July celebration.
W Atlanta-Buckhead: Joshua Geiger

Do you have a prime viewing spot picked out yet for when the dahlias, crossettes, kamuros, and other aerial pyrotechnics light up the night sky this Fourth of July? If not, you might want to consider a hotel. Many of them, especially the high-rise hotels, have a patio, bar, or other ideal spot for watching the fireworks display—and you don’t even necessarily have to check in. Here are some prime examples.

W Atlanta–Buckhead, Atlanta, GA

Grab a seat on the outdoor patio at Whiskey Bar, this hip hotel’s rooftop lounge, and sip signature cocktails as you take in the Southeast’s largest fireworks display. They’ll be gourmet bites to nosh on and hot beats from DJs Rimby and Verse.

The James, New York City, NY

One of NYC’s favorite rooftops is Jimmy at the chic James hotel. Offering 360-degree views of the Manhattan skyline, it affords grand views of the fireworks display that takes place on the East River. In addition to hopping tunes played throughout the night and a snack menu featuring the likes of mini grilled cheese and Kobe franks in a blanket, Jimmy's will be serving a special Fourth of July-inspired drink called the M-80 Swizzle.

Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa, Montauk, VT

For those who summer in the Hamptons, Gurney’s private beach along one of the most desired stretches of Long Island coastline makes a fitting spot to watch Montauk’s eye- and ear-popping fireworks extravaganza. Gurney’s guests can enjoy live music and on-beach dining, including sampling s’mores out by the bonfire.

The MODERN, Honolulu, HI

As if the scenery on the island of Oahu isn’t spectacular enough, add a lively fireworks show and you’ve got double the pleasure. To take it all in, head to the pool deck of this urban resort overlooking the Pacific. It’s not just a great spot for taking in the fireworks celebration on the Fourth of July, but the weekly fireworks show that takes place in Waikiki every Friday evening.

La Fonda on the Plaza, Santa Fe, NM

People have flocked to the rooftop bar of this historic Santa Fe hotel to watch the annual Fourth of July festivities for ages, but the space was expanded during a recent renovation, giving more folks the opportunity to take in the show. Called the Bell Tower Bar, it’s regularly packed with locals and visitors alike, who want to see the fabulous sunsets or just grab a bite and sip a signature Bell Ringer margarita out under the stars.

Manchester Grand Hyatt, San Diego, CA

Being that it’s the tallest hotel in downtown San Diego, the 40-story Manchester Grand Hyatt offers spectators unrivaled views of the Independence Day fireworks. The aerial festivities can be seen from a number of locations throughout the hotel: the water-facing rooms, the Top of the Hyatt bar, and the two pools—and it’s not just of the show, called the Big Bay Boom, that is shot off from four barges parked on the San Diego Bay; you can also see some of the other fireworks displays taking place along the San Diego coast, like the one at SeaWorld or out in Coronado.

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