The Florida Illustrated guide to 4th of July fireworks

Florida is never short on variety when it comes to, well, anything. Fourth of July fireworks are no exception. This year, I’ve assembled a list of fireworks displays in some of my favorite parts of Florida. We’ve got urban fireworks, suburban fireworks, small-town fireworks, historical town fireworks, and fireworks on the beach here. So if you’re looking for something different this year, you’ve come to right place.

Coachman Park fireworks

Tampa Bay

There are buku fireworks viewing options in the Tampa Bay area, but I think Clearwater Celebrates America in Coachman Park will always be my favorite. Billed as the Tampa Bay area’s largest fireworks display, the Clearwater fireworks also come with live patriotic music and a waterfront setting in Coachman Park. The only problem is that everyone congregates here on the 4th, making traffic and parking difficult. Still, we did this for most of my childhood years, until my  parents’ car got repeatedly rear-ended by a drunk driver on the way home one year (public service announcement: don’t drink and drive).

If you’re planning to go to Clearwater this year for the 4th, it might interest you to know that you can see the Coachman Park fireworks from both the Sandpearl Resort and Opal Sands Resort.

If you’re looking for something a little less chaotic or closer to home, you can see a much longer list of fireworks displays in the Tampa Bay area at the Visit St. Pete Clearwater website:


I know…they have fireworks every night at the Orlando theme parks, so it might not be so exciting for the locals anymore, but let’s not ruin it for our out-of-town visitors.

But really, it never gets old, right?

Your best source for Orlando fireworks listings is  Visit Orlando.

Fireworks over downtown Miami, by Averette at English Wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


If I was looking to travel outside the Tampa Bay area to see some fireworks, without leaving Florida, Miami would be on the top of my list. My reason is simply this: Miami knows how to party. Even without the fireworks, Miami is one of Florida’s top tourist destinations. But let’s talk about the fireworks. Try Fire on the Fourth in Miami Beach if you’re looking for a beachfront celebration. If you want to hang out in the art deco district while you’re in Miami,  then the Ocean Drive fireworks are your best bet. Or, if you’d prefer something a little more small-town in the Miami area, Key Biscayne has a 4th of July parade and fireworks.

And you can view even more options at MiamiScapes or Miami and Beaches.

North Florida and the Panhandle

Destin’s HarborWalk Village doesn’t just have fireworks on the 4th of July. They have fireworks every Thursday night throughout the summer. This summer-long patriotic extravaganza also includes a concert and an air show. When you’re not waving flags and watching fireworks, there are plenty of other fun things to do in HarborWalk Village, like dolphin cruises, fishing, shopping, and dining out.  If you’ve never been to the Emerald Coast and seen that beautiful green water, summer’s not a bad time to go.

Panama City Beach’s Star Spangled Spectacular is billed as the largest fireworks display on the Gulf Coast. Bring your beach chairs, and tune in to Kickin 103.5 (the fireworks are choreographed to the music).

Over on the east coast, St. Augustine is a great place to visit any time of the year. On the 4th of July they set off fireworks over the Matanzas bay, which means you can see them all around the bay, like at the Castillo, the historic bayfront, and even from the  top of the St. Augustine lighthouse. Visit St. Augustine calls the display “truly unforgettable.”

This is far from being a comprehensive list of all the 4th of July fireworks in Florida, but I hope it’s given you some fun ideas for celebrating the 4th in  Florida.

If you could catch a fireworks display anywhere in the state of Florida, where would you go?

Categories: Holidays & SeasonalTags: , , , , , , , ,

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