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Jonathan Stull | 07.01.2016

The Fourth of July is a time to gather friends and family together for that most American of pastimes: watching things explode. It may take some time for us to work out our proclivity for things that boom, and there’s no better place to reflect on human nature with a beer and a buddy than some windswept pinnacle or an inner-city, outdoor outpost with a view of the city skyline and the spectacle that occurs every year when we celebrate our independence from tyranny. We Americans take our independence very seriously, and the West’s biggest cities are no exception. Here are some of the best places to relax and catch the show.

There are dozens of fireworks displays in and around Los Angeles, and with the many mountain ranges within reach of the urban core, there are countless options for backcountry hikers looking to see any one of the shows.

  • Some of the best views of the city are located in the Hollywood Hills. Griffith Observatory, and the Jerome Daniel Overlook and the Universal City Overlook along Mulholland Drive are all excellent options. These destinations are likely to be especially busy on the Fourth, so plan accordingly.
  • Panorama Park Summit Trail may be an option, but note that the gate closes at sunset, so plan to park outside of the park’s bounds if this is the option you prefer. 

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