Where to View Boston Harbor Fireworks on New Year's Eve

by John B
(Rhode Island)

First Night Boston Fireworks Photo

First Night Boston Fireworks Photo

What is a good place to watch the New Year's fireworks on the Boston Harbor? Preferably a short walking distance from restaurants. - Thanks, John

Boston Discovery Guide's reply:Boston's huge New Year's Eve fireworks show, put on by Zambelli Fireworks at midnight as the grand finish to the First Night celebration, takes place high in the air over Boston Harbor so the spectacular display can be seen for quite a distance - as long as there are no tall buildings blocking your view. Fortunately, Boston's waterfront stretches on for miles, giving lots of viewing spots right at the water's edge if you want to be that close.

The two best city-side areas will be along the downtown waterfront, stretching from Christopher Columbus Park at the border of the North End all the way south to Fort Point Channel, and along the South Boston Waterfront on the other side of the Channel. Across the Harbor, the East Boston shoreline near Boston Logan Airport also offers great views.

The largest crowds around the Downtown and South Boston waterfronts will be along HarborWalk, a wide path that basically winds along the waterfront. Several particularly popular spots along HarborWalk include Christopher Columbus Park, which has a nice slope down to the water, the plaza area around and behind New England Aquarium, the area behind the Boston Harbor Hotel, the Moakley Footbridge to the South Boston Waterfront, the plazas surrounding the Institute of Contemporary Art, and then finally, the broad expanse of HarborWalk adjacent to the new South Boston WaterFront restaurants such as Legal Harborside.

The wild card, of course, is the weather. If there's a howling wind coming from the east over the water, you will turn into a human icicle if you're right at the edge of the waterfront. Under those conditions, you'll be a little more comfortable inland - for example, on the Rose Kennedy Greenway. The issue here is that there are several tall buildings, especially at the southern end toward Chinatown, partially blocking the view so you may have to experiment to find the best position. However, the Greenway is over a mile long, so there is plenty of space to move around.

Both the Downtown and South Boston waterfront areas have plenty of restaurants. Best views FROM at restaurant may be in the new waterfront restaurants along the South Boston Waterfront, but be sure to call as soon as possible for reservations because they will book up early.

Have a great time!

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