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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 several displays taking place in the many urban and suburban cores around Seattle—Lake Union, Bellevue, Renton and Kent all have their own shows. The show at Lake Union begins around 9 p.m., launching from the lake’s north shore.

  • The show launches from Gas Works Park, and there's no better place to see fireworks than right up close.
  • Limited elevation around Lake Union limits the perspective some, but good views are likely found on the bluffs west of the lake, including North Queen Anne Greenbelt, a small park with hiking trails. There are several little parks in the area, so scout out the area before you go to find the best views. Volunteer Park to the southwest may also hold good views of the display.
  • Hamilton Viewpoint gives a wider view of the city skyline that should be beautiful during the events of the Fourth, though the skyline itself may obstruct some of the show.
  • Want to pull back for a look at the fireworks displays all over the Puget? A gambler might swing around the Puget Sound and venture into the eastern ranges of the Olympics. The viewpoints are far away, but the vistas are unbeatable and have the potential to include shows across the entire area. Mount Ellinor is but one option.

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