8 outstanding places to watch fireworks in the South

I blinked, and somehow 2017 is half-way through.

I know lamenting over how fast time is going makes me sound old, but (cue old lady voice) I literally do not know where the days have gone. It seems I was just choosing my New Year's resolution, and now I'm planning where to watch the 4th of July fireworks. 

So, before we start thinking about where to spend Christmas...

...let's discuss some good options for watching fireworks in the South this year. Many of the options I found include lakeside firework displays...because water makes everything better. 

I don't know what your perfect idea of 4th of July might be?

Do you like to stay home? Go big?! Hang with a bunch of friends? A perfect 4th of July for me would be floating in the water all day, trying to cancel out the junk food with tidbits of fresh fruit every now and then, while smelling my husband's charcoal grill mixing with a variety of sizzling foods. 

Hopefully, you can find your perfect 4th of July experiences at one of these locations below.

 Nashville, 4th of July

Nashville, 4th of July


By the water

Tims Ford Lake, TN: July 2, 2017

Because...water and fireworks go together so well. Rent a cabin by the water, or take your boat out on the lake. Or just head to the lake for the day. 

Lake Barkley, KY: July 1, 2017

Thunder Over Eddy Bay is an annual firework show that can be seen from land or by boat. Spend the day at Venture River Waterpark, then head to the lake for fireworks in the evening. Find great places to stay so you can relax and unwind after a long day on the water. As an example, we found this sweet little VRBO with a quick search of the area. If you end up staying additional days, there is another firework show in the area on the 4th of July.

Additional day? Check out the fireworks at nearby Lake Barkley State Resort Park, July 4, 2017

 Where to watch fireworks, 4th of July, SamanthaNelsonPhotography.com 

Where to watch fireworks, 4th of July, SamanthaNelsonPhotography.com 


Small town celebrations

Franklin, TN: July 4, 2017

Franklin has options all day for 4th of July celebrations. Festivities start at 10 am downtown and run until 8pm. Fireworks begin in a different location, Harlinsdale Farm, at 9pm.

Huntsville, AL: July 4, 2017

Visit Huntsville's Space and Rocket Center during the day until closing time (5pm), have dinner at the nearby, upscale Bridge Street Town Centre, then head back to the Space and Rocket Center for fireworks, which begins at 9pm. Parking is limited, so arrive early. If the lot is full, locals often park along the sides of the road to get a view of the firework show.

 Pin this! From ThoseCrazyNelsons.com

Pin this! From ThoseCrazyNelsons.com


4th of July getaways

Mentone, Al : June 30, 2017

Want a getaway for the 4th of July? Check out the quaint town of Mentone, AL. Its gorgeous mountain-top location near Desoto Falls, sweet antique stores, and B&Bs, makes it a true vacation. See fireworks in Ft. Payne, a town about 20 minutes away.

Pigeon Forge, TN: July 4, 2017

For fun-packed family getaway, head to Pigeon Forge next month. You can choose from mellow family activities like shopping, arcades, go-kart racing, or miniature golf to larger attractions like Dollywood and Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies (a few minutes away in Gatlinburg). This destination is not for those that are uneasy with crowds. I would consider this peak summer season, so expect long lines...everywhere.


Big city celebrations

Nashville, TN: July 4, 2017

Speaking of crowds...I've opted for downtown Nashville's fireworks show two years in a row. It is MASSIVE. When the weather cooperates, it is astounding. If you like the bustle of big crowds, this is the place to be on July 4th. There are activities all day long right on the riverfront. From big-named bands to children's zones, there is no shortage of options. 


Chattanooga, TN: July 3, 2017

Located by the river in Coolidge Park, fireworks begin at 9:45pm. But be sure to check out the event webpage, as the park closes to traffic around 4pm and shuttles are the main way to get around. 


 Where to watch fireworks, 4th of July, SamanthaNelsonPhotography.com

Where to watch fireworks, 4th of July, SamanthaNelsonPhotography.com

What recommendations do you have for the 4th of July?