Across the States, Americans are counting down the minutes to July 4th, as if they were watching a long, blue touchpaper fuse.

Independence Day is one of the most important events in the American calendar.
The national holiday is a highlight of the nation's summer and, depending who you ask; it either marks the founding of a nation, or a general celebration for all things big, loud and spectacularly explosive.

At the end of a day of barbecues and summer baseball games, the best known and most eagerly anticipated event is the July 4th fireworks display.

Fireworks have become synonymous with the date.

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Each state, city and backyard party seems to have their own display organised for the evening.

Naturally everyone has a certain bias as to which display is the one to watch, but with so much pyrotechnics primed to go off, where should you go?

We've gone across America from sea to shining sea, to bring you the top 10 firework displays this 4th of July.

1. Washington, DC

The Mall: The Washington Monument illuminated during the fireworks display in Washington, D.C. Photo / Ricky Carioti,The Washington Post, Via Getty
The Mall: The Washington Monument illuminated during the fireworks display in Washington, D.C. Photo / Ricky Carioti,The Washington Post, Via Getty

The National Mall

This must be the most patriotically American of displays.

The Mall provides a clear line of vision, from the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument all the way to Capitol Hill. 700,000 travel to the Capital to see this event each year.

Watch the live stream from 12pm NZST, July 5

2. San Francisco

Golden Gate: Fireworks in San Francisco bay. Photo / Getty
Golden Gate: Fireworks in San Francisco bay. Photo / Getty

The Bay

With dramatic backdrops of the Golden Gate Bridge, the San Francisco bay becomes a natural amphitheatre for the city's firework display. You can't get a bad view, but one of the best spots to watch is from the water.

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The main display is launched from the end of Pier 39 and Municipal Pier.

Watch the fireworks from 3pm NZSThere.

3. Austin, TX

Artsy Austin has some of the best displays in Texas. Photo / Jin Gao, Getty
Artsy Austin has some of the best displays in Texas. Photo / Jin Gao, Getty

Austin 360

Gun powder is a cultural currency in Texas and in this town they take fireworks seriously. Artsy Austin puts on a backdrop of music and all-day events — take a look at what's happening in the Austin360 Amphitheatre for an open-air accompaniment to the fireworks.

4. Phoenix, AZ

Downtown Phoenix: Arizona's hottest Firework display. Photo / Getty
Downtown Phoenix: Arizona's hottest Firework display. Photo / Getty

Camelback Mountain

Out in the desert near Camelback Mountain, there is absolutely no danger of the fireworks being rained off. The landscape gives a spectacular backdrop to Independence Day celebrations, though it's more 90s action hero Will Smith than founding father James Smith.

5. New York City, NY

New York City: For the best views head to Brooklyn and turn up Gershwin, loud. Photo / Getty
New York City: For the best views head to Brooklyn and turn up Gershwin, loud. Photo / Getty

Brooklyn

Much like the Big Apple's new year display, apart from it's actually warm enough to be enjoyable. Manhattan and the city of skyscrapers loves setting records, and it's annually home to the largest display in the States. Macy's department store holds the biggest firework show, launched from barges around Manhattan Island. For the best views head to Brooklyn and turn up Gershwin, loud.

6. Boston MA

Boston Pops: In historic Boston, the smell of cordite and revolution intermingle. Photo / Getty
Boston Pops: In historic Boston, the smell of cordite and revolution intermingle. Photo / Getty

The Charles Esplanade

Head to the cobbled streets of Boston for the authentic Fourth of July fervour. With the smell of cordite and revolution fresh in the air, it could easily be 1776. This is after all where the War of Independence kicked off.

At the harbourfront, week-long Harbour Fest celebrations take place — be sure to take in the historical re-enactments with a backdrop of Bunker Hill and the USS Constitution. While you're there, drop a crate of tea into the harbour for good measure.

Watch the live stream from 12pm NZST, July 5

7. The Hamptons

The Hamptons: The tip of long island is synonymous with the summer holiday. Photo/ Getty
The Hamptons: The tip of long island is synonymous with the summer holiday. Photo/ Getty

Montauck and East Hampton

The Hamptons is the traditional summer escape for America's east coast urbanites. It's a family-friendly coastal setting which has become synonymous with the summer vacation. Between Montauck and East Hampton there is a rich array of family-centred activities.
Parades, craft beer and community fireworks displays, there's something here for everyone.

8. Philadelphia, PA

Fireworks at Independence Hall: The declaration of independence was signed in this city, back in 1776. Photo / Getty
Fireworks at Independence Hall: The declaration of independence was signed in this city, back in 1776. Photo / Getty

Liberty Hall

The sunny city is often overlooked by its more famous neighbours on the road from Boston to Washington, but this is where the Fourth of July happened. The Declaration of Independence was signed in this city, back in 1776. The day is marked with a scavenger hunt, open air concerts and of course fireworks. Without Philly there would be no fireworks!

9. Memphis, TN

Beale Street, Memphis: This southern city shrugs off the pomp and circumstance of the Historic northern states for music and honkeytonks. Photo / Getty
Beale Street, Memphis: This southern city shrugs off the pomp and circumstance of the Historic northern states for music and honkeytonks. Photo / Getty

Beale Street

This southern city shrugs off the pomp and circumstance of the historic northern states — the Rock 'n' Soul city is far too cool. It marks the Fourth in a heartfelt manner, with honkeytonk, drinks and dependably perfect barbecue weather.

10. New Orleans, LA

The French Quarter: New Orleans is perhaps best known for Mardi Gras, but come July the city is ready for another party.
The French Quarter: New Orleans is perhaps best known for Mardi Gras, but come July the city is ready for another party.

French Quarter

New Orleans is best known for Mardi Gras, but come July the city is ready for another party. As the celebrations heat up, the Jazz City lets off fireworks from steamers and barges in the middle of the river. While Mississippi rolls on by far from the frontlines of Independence, New Orleans has plenty of history of its own.

11. Disney World, FL

The Disney World theme park in Florida knows how to put on a parade.

With the cost of the Magic Kingdom's nightly fireworks estimated at around US$50,000 per night, Disney World in Orlando is reportedly the largest consumer of fireworks in the world.

On July 4th the Happiest Place on Earth pulls out all the stops.

The Disney World fireworks are possibly the most professional and highly choreographed piece of pyrotechnics on the planet. We couldn't leave out this display from our list, so here's a bonus addition.

Tune in here from 1pm NZST July 5