America’s birthday is coming up, and the Charleston area is celebrating with its very own pyrotechnic sky candles. Fireworks are a major part of the Fourth of July experience, so here’s where you can get your fix on the Fourth.
To start, the Patriots Point fireworks offer a lot of versatility. They’re the closest to downtown and since they launch over the harbor you are spoiled with locations to watch.
Option 1: Watch the Patriots Point fireworks at Patriots Point. The party starts at 4 p.m. with activities for kids, live music, and food and drinks for sale before the fireworks launch around 9 p.m. Unfortunately, flight deck tickets are already sold out, so you’ll have to be content with the land-side bash. It’s free with the cost of parking – $10 all day.
Option 2: Gaze across the harbor from the SC Aquarium at Sea Stars and Stripes. Starting at 7 p.m., a ticket will get you access to the aquarium’s exhibits, food, drinks, and a view of the fireworks. It’s $60 for adults and $30 for children. Aquarium members get $5 off, and children under 2 are free.
Option 3: Combine fireworks with the Ravenel Bridge and live music from Recollections at the Mt. Pleasant Pier during the Uncle Sam Jam. Tickets are $8 in advance or $10 the day of, if available.
Option 4: Drink before the show at downtown rooftop bars. Both The Watch ($75/adult, $25/ages six-20, Free/under six) at the Restoration Hotel and The Rooftop at Vendue ($250/VIP table, $25/access to bridge bar, $15/access to main level) are offering special Fourth of July packages, with some that include food and drinks.
Option 5: A boat. Just motor out into the harbor, or find your friend with a boat and ask to motor out into the harbor. Failing that, Charleston Harbor Tours is offering a Fourth of July dinner cruise.
Other good, free spots to watch include the top few floors of the SC Aquarium parking garage, Waterfront Park, and Demetre Park on James Island. Don’t bother with the Ravenel Bridge, as the pedestrian path is closed during the fireworks.
If you prefer free festivities further up the river, check out North Charleston’s Riverfront Park. The city’s annual Fourth of July Festival runs from 3-9:45 p.m. and features food trucks, live music, activities for kids, craft vendors, and a massive fireworks display.
Interested in a side of beach with your fireworks? Both Folly and IOP are launching their annual free Fourth of July displays at sundown. Make sure you get there early if you want to secure a good spot, and be prepared for traffic after the show is over.