We get it, it’s Tampa Bay, if you’re outside and capable of looking up this Wednesday, you’re bound to see at least some fireworks. But you want the best. At the same time, you also want to make rent this month, so we’ve got a nice list (in no particular order) of the best spots to see the best displays, with zero entrance fees. Most of these are parks and beaches, so bring your own chairs, towels, and food.
Curtis Hixon Park, Tampa
This is probably your best spot in downtown Tampa for seeing sparks, especially from the city’s main event firing out of the Tampa Convention Center at 9 p.m.
Coachman Park, Clearwater
Not only is this the launchpad for the city’s fireworks display, it’ll also have food and live music starting at 4 p.m., so even if you’re just coming for the rockets’ red glare at 9, you’ll want to get there a bit early to secure some parking.
Vinoy Park, St. Petersburg
Downtown St. Pete is bound to have a great show along the waterfront, which, depending on weather, will start anytime between 8:30 and 10 p.m., and the Vinoy is probably as up close as you can get to the fireworks as they shoot out over the bay. But if that’s too close…
Demens Landing, St. Petersburg
This smaller outcropping offers a nice view of everything you’d want to see as you walk up and down Bayshore Drive, without the huge crowds that’ll probably be found at Vinoy.
Lassing Park, St. Petersburg
This nice strip of grass along the bay south of St. Pete proper should be fairly calm compared to the downtown partying, but should still have a nice view of all the lights from not just that show, but anything else happening along the bay.
Veteran’s Park, Gulfport
While the main activities of the day are taking place near the beach and rec center just west of here, when it comes time for fireworks at 9 p.m. you can hang here to get away from the throngs of screaming kids and drunk parents to just enjoy the light show.
Ben T. Davis Beach, Tampa
This long coastal strip just off the Courtney Campbell Causeway is a great vantage point to see all sorts of fireworks being fired out over the bay, without having to deal with the hustle and bustle of being at a city’s main event.
Fred Howard Park, Tarpon Springs
Come early to this one if you plan on enjoying nature this Fourth — free parking opens up at 6 p.m. and fireworks can start as early as 7:30. Alcohol is not permitted.
Roc Park, Madeira Beach
Madeira Beach will be launching their own show from here starting around 9 p.m., emphasis on “their own,” as you’re not allowed to bring rockets or even sparklers of your own, but feel free to come along and enjoy this nice vantage point for not only the local show, but everything lighting up Boca Ciega.
Gandy Beach, St. Petersburg
This beach should serve as a nice halfway point between two major fireworks shows, St. Pete's and Tampa’s, in addition to anything that might be happening in-between. Despite the distance, it’s still a beach on 4th of July, so you’ll want to get there a little early to get a nice spot.
Got a favorite spot for fireworks watching? Let us know in the comments!