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Where to Watch Fireworks on the Gulf Coast This Fourth of July

One of our favorite ways to spend the Fourth of July is on our boat, away from the hustle and bustle of the crowds on the mainland. Pack a picnic, enjoy the sea breeze, and then sit back and enjoy a sunset and the show from the bow of your Grady-White.

Here are a few of our favorite spots to watch the fireworks and celebrate the holiday in Sarasota and Manatee. And if you need a recommendation for a great place to drop anchor, check out our guide to Sarasota sandbars!

Longboat Key

After last year’s festivities got canceled due to Covid-19, the annual Freedom Festival and parade are back from 7 a.m.-noon. Longboat Key Fire Chief Paul Dezzi will serve as one of three Freedom Fest grand marshals in a celebration honoring local heroes, and we’ll be giving away a $500 gift card to the best float in the parade, which begins on Bay Isles Road at 9 a.m.!

Downtown Sarasota

This year, if you feel like venturing on to the mainland, there’s a parade and festival—featuring local American Idol contestant Alana Sherman—prior to the fireworks, which begin around 9 p.m. For more info, click here.

Siesta Key

This popular fireworks show, now in its 30th year, begins at dusk.

Venice

The fireworks light up in South County at the jetty around 9 p.m.; you can view them at most area beaches.

Bradenton

Enjoy fireworks over the Manatee River beginning at dusk.

Englewood

Fireworks will light up from Blind Pass Beach over Lemon Bay on Manasota Key.

Punta Gorda

On Saturday, July 3, you can watch fireworks from the west side of Fisherman’s Village.

Sanibel/Captiva/Fort Myers

Watch the Fort Myers Beach fireworks light up the sky from any of these picturesque places.

Naples

The City of Naples’ annual fireworks display will be set off north of the Naples Pier. They’ll be viewable from numerous spots on the beach.