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July 4, 2011

Baltimore's best places to watch the fireworks

At 9:30 p.m. today, fireworks will explode over the Inner Harbor in the annual Independence Day show.

The Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts, which produces the show, says the best place to see them is at the Inner Harbor Amphitheater or the West Shore Park. 

Below, are some of the suggestions Midnight Sun has culled over the years.

Beyond the fireworks show, today the city has also scheduled several children’s shows, starting at noon at Inner Harbor West Shore Park with a magician and comic, and followed by the Grammy-nominated Baltimore children’s band Milkshake at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

The Pennsylvania Air National Guard Band and the Electric Brigade, the U.S. Naval Academy band, will perform at the Inner Harbor Amphitheater starting at 4 p.m. All events are free and open to the public.

The music that accompanies the fireworks show can be heard best at the Inner Harbor Amphitheater and on the harbor’s west shore, according to BOPA.

Sam Sessa compiled this list of Baltimore's best places to watch the fireworks last year, updated here to note some bar closings.

Tiki Barge: It's one of the best spots to see the fireworks. It's right on the water, at the end of the main pier at Harbor View Marina. 

LP Steamers: This award-winning Locust Point crab house at 1100 E. Fort Ave. has a third-story roof deck with a great view of the fireworks. How's this for an evening out: Crack open some piping-hot crabs, wash them down with cold, cheap beer (Miller Lite, etc.) and stroll upstairs to watch the fireworks. The only drawback? The roof deck comfortably accommodates 30 people, give or take. So make sure to claim your spot up there early.

Tide Point Waterfront Park: One of the harbor's better-kept secrets, this secluded little spot where Hull Street meets the water has a wide waterside promenade with a stellar view of the harbor. Better still, there is a decent amount of free parking in the neighboring office complex. Just be warned - Fourth of July traffic is going to make parking within a mile or two of the Inner Harbor a little tricky.

Little Havana: If you want to see the fireworks from the cement patio outside this post-college party zone, get there early to stake out a spot. Really early. Chances are, the closer it gets to fireworks time, the more this Cuban restaurant and bar at 1325 Key Highway is going to fill up with people in their 20s and 30s.

Shuckers of Fells Point: If the weather's nice, outdoor seating will be at a premium on the Fourth. And Shuckers, at 1629 Thames St., has one of the best outdoor patios in Fells Point. The restaurant is right on the harbor, and the outside seating - which holds about 100, wraps all the way around the building.

Canton Waterfront Park: It's easy to forget about this stretch of grassy waterside turf at 3001 Boston St., since it's so far removed from downtown. But the Canton Waterfront Park is some great real estate for the Fourth. The sizable park - home to the city's annual Irish Festival - has brick promenades, trees and open spaces.

Bo Brooks: When it comes to outdoor dining with a water view in Canton, it's hard to top Bo Brooks. The crab house at 2701 Boston St. has an outdoor bar in front, a patio out back and a floating dock for larger parties. On Saturday, this will be one of the better places to grab a meal and camp out for the fireworks in Canton.

Bay Cafe: The closest you'll get to Ocean City in Charm City, the Bay Cafe has a sandy beach, complete with palm trees. The wooden pavilion bar has the feel of a rum shack, and the drinks aren't too pricey, either. The Bay Cafe, 2809 Boston St. #409, can get loud and crazy on Friday and Saturday nights, and since the Fourth falls on a Saturday this year, expect it to be even wilder. The cafe is set back from Boston Street, next to a parking lot.

Got some suggestions of your own? Add them to the comments. 

Photos: Fireworks over the harbor (Baltimore Sun archives)


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Posted by Erik Maza at 8:00 AM | | Comments (0)
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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at erik.maza@baltsun.com. Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.
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