Escape 4th of July Masses at a Boutique Hotel

With more cities and communities regulating the sale of fireworks, large shows are fast becoming the only way to see red, white and blue pyrotechnics come July 4th. But instead of huddling with the masses along some random pier or embankment along Lake Michigan or the Hudson River, where someone inevitably in a large hat or with a big head blocks your view, head to a few select hotels with July 4th experiences that don't just end with the Grand Finale.

Historic Sagamore Resort celebrates July 4th with lakefront fireworks display..

Fireworks over the Bay, San Francisco.

Where to stay: Hotel Vitale.

Price: $223 per night based on a two-night stay.

One of the more romantic fireworks experiences you'll find is in San Francisco, where the annual show over the Bay dazzles from Sausalito to Emeryville. You'll check in at the Hotel Adagio, located across from the Ferry Building, with its Redwood and glassy architectural facade by Heller Manus that frame each of the buildings' six floors and rooftop. Before the 9:30 p.m. fireworks show, you'll enjoy an early-evening cocktail and antipasto along the terrace of Americano Restaurant and Bar before hitting the show afoot. Back in your room, you'll enjoy water views as well as a great view of the farmer's market along the Embarcadero that's even open on July 4th weekend.

Macy's 4th of July fireworks, New York City.

Where to stay: Ritz Carlton Battery Park.

Price: $265 per night based on a three-night stay.

The biggest fireworks display in America, Macy's presents its 33rd celebration over the Hudson River this year, commemorating the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's self-named discovery. Instead of following the masses along one of the organized viewing areas or barges, check in to Lower Manhattan's Ritz-Carlton Battery Park. While viewing from the actual park is non-existent, upper-level guest rooms with a water view offer 180-degree panoramas of the Statue of Liberty as well as New York Harbor.

If you're a sucker for free food and endless bottles of wine, check in to one of the hotel's Club Level guest rooms that offer complimentary access to a 24-hour lounge and concierge that can assist in post-fireworks reservations in nearby Tribeca or SoHo. Ideally, you'll want to book into a harbor-facing guest room with sweeping, uninterrupted views of the 9 p.m. show from the comfort of plush living areas of striped upholstery and wood paneling.

Fourth of July fireworks extravaganza, Los Angeles.

Where to stay: Hotel Erwin.

Price: $199.

It's a scaled-back Independence Day in California, given the budget cuts and wildfire fears. While some will make their annual fireworks pilgrimage to the Hollywood Bowl, others will make their way to Marina del Rey for one of the city's largest public fireworks celebrations. While luxury-seekers will want to lay their head at the harbor-front outpost of the Ritz Carlton, boutique lovers have a new address with the Hotel Erwin located just down the road in the bohemian stronghold of Venice.

Known for its street artists and endless collection of urban grit, Venice is one of L.A.'s up-and-coming loft districts with spate of new eateries and galleries. Owned by SF-based Joie de Vivre, the hotel is located just off the waterfront promenade with cheery collection of design-minded guest rooms outfitted in printed curtains, colorful throw rugs and quirky art elements. Fireworks can be seen from the hotel's High Roof Lounge or via a short walk down the beach in time for the 9 p.m. show.

July 4th at the lake, Bolton Landing, N.Y.

Where to stay: The Sagamore.

Price: $279.

There's something quintessentially American about a July 4th lake holiday, but we're not talking about the camping kind. The Sagamore on Lake George offers one of America's most fabled waterfront resorts, home to an Independence Day fireworks show that dazzles its stylish families and adventurous couples year after year. Visitors arrive to the pristine all-white hotel, which has a dramatic lobby enclosed in lake-facing glass windows and endless terraces overlooking the 3,500-square-foot pool. Those looking for exclusivity for the holiday should book into one of the bi-level Hermitage Suites with loft-style bedrooms outfitted in cozy Adirondack furnishings. After a day of golfing the local greens, rowing on the lake or simply baking in the sun, everyone comes together for the family-style July 4th.

Navy Pier fireworks, Chicago.

Where to stay: W Chicago Lakeshore.

Price: $269.

Located steps from Chicago's Navy Pier, W Hotel Lakeshore offers a playful summertime address for enjoying the activities of Lake Michigan as well as the pier-based firework displays. Not just limited to 9 p.m. on July 4, Navy Pier also features a biweekly show every Wednesday and Saturday night from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The W Lakeshore offers one of the only high-end luxury hotels on the lake. The hotel is a party hideaway to the hip Wave eatery, Living Room Lounge and outpost of Rande Gerber's Whiskey Sky. You'll want to check in to the hotel's Spectacular Rooms, which offer full visibility to fireworks and old school W design of burgundy velvet furnishings and peek-a-boo bathrooms.

Michael Martin is the managing editor of -- a luxury travel and lifestyle guide based in Los Angeles and London. His work has appeared in In Style, Blackbook, Elle, U.K.'s Red magazine, ITV and BBC.

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