Still figuring out where to spend your Fourth? You’ve got plenty of options, and you should weigh them carefully. Do you want to stay close to home, or are you willing to drive a little (and/or sit in beach traffic)? Are you ready to drop some dead presidents, or would you rather let freedom ring (aka free or not)? Want to chug Firefly ‘til you see red, white, and blue, or are you keeping it a family-friendly affair? And exactly how important are fireworks to your enjoyment of this holiday? 

Here are our top picks, separated by region. Events are free unless otherwise noted. Our full calendar is right over here.

Downtown | Hang out on the patio at California Dreaming to get a great vantage point of the fireworks surrounding the peninsula. You’ll also enjoy live music, a DJ, and drink specials. The Low Country Patriots are hosting at event at Cannon Park from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. hosted by radio personality Richard Todd. There will be live music, speakers, food vendors, and kid’s activities.

East Cooper | The biggest event east of the Cooper River is definitely Patriots Point’s party, featuring live music on two stages, a kid’s area with an 80-foot replica of the U.S.S. Yorktown, a ferris wheel, and food and beverage vendors, plus discounted admission to the Yorktown (just $5) and a great fireworks display. It’s from 4 p.m.-midnight. I’On is hosting an all-day family-friendly event with music and games, or head out to the beaches for low-key celebrations at both Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island, with fireworks over the sea, of course.

N. Chuck & Summerville | North Charleston is hosting a big event at Riverfront Park with performances from Capoeira Charleston, Crowfield, The Blue Dogs, Mary Wilson of the Supremes, and fireworks over the Cooper River by Zambelli Fireworks International. Bring your lawn chairs and cash for food. Head to old-town Summerville for music, food, and a non-motorized parade that’s open to anyone. Fireworks are at the Gahagan Sports Complex from 7-9:30 p.m. At the Ponds, the Summerville Community Orchestra will be giving a concert, and there will be a picnic judging contest, so bring your best spread.

Worth the Drive | Really get in touch with history at Middleton Place’s bash ($25) going on all weekend. Lots of demonstrations and educational stuff going on. Over on Kiawah Island, there will be beach music, island drinks, food, and fireworks at 9:30 p.m. In Goose Creek, the Fabulous Kays will be performing, and there will be food vendors and a jump castle. Explosions start at 9 p.m.

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