Harbor Views With Fewer Hassles


Harborplace Isn't The Only Vantage Point For Prime Fireworks-watching This Fourth Of July

July 02, 2009|By sam sessa | sam sessa,sam.sessa@baltsun.com

The biggest nightlife event this weekend isn't a crazy dance party or a concert by a hot new band - it's the Fourth of July fireworks display downtown.

Since the annual holiday falls on a Saturday, bars, restaurants and clubs are going to be busy all day and night. And no part of town will be more flooded with revelers than the Inner Harbor. Restaurants there will fill up fast, traffic will be tied in a knot, and it could take as long as half an hour to hoof it across Harborplace.

Though the Light and Pratt street pavilions offer front-row seats for the annual fireworks at 9:30 p.m., they're not the only harborside spots with great views. Here are some other locales along the water with solid sightlines.

LP Steamers: : This award-winning Locust Point crab house at 1100 E. Fort Ave. has a third-story roof deck with a great view of the fireworks. How's this for an evening out: Crack open some piping-hot crabs, wash them down with cold, cheap beer (Miller Lite, etc.) and stroll upstairs to watch the fireworks. The only drawback? The roof deck comfortably accommodates 30 people, give or take. So make sure to claim your spot up there early. Call 410-576-9294 or go to lpsteamers.com.

Tide Point Waterfront Park: : One of the harbor's better-kept secrets, this secluded little spot where Hull Street meets the water has a wide waterside promenade with a stellar view of the harbor. Better still, there is a decent amount of free parking in the neighboring office complex. Just be warned - Fourth of July traffic is going to make parking within a mile or two of the Inner Harbor a little tricky.

Little Havana: : If you want to see the fireworks from the cement patio outside this post-college party zone, get there early to stake out a spot. Really early. Chances are, the closer it gets to fireworks time, the more this Cuban restaurant and bar at 1325 Key Highway is going to fill up with people in their 20s and 30s. Call 410-837-9903 or go to littlehavanas.com.

Shuckers of Fells Point: : If the weather's nice, outdoor seating will be at a premium on the Fourth. And Shuckers, at 1629 Thames St., has one of the best outdoor patios in Fells Point. The restaurant is right on the harbor, and the outside seating - which holds about 100, wraps all the way around the building. Call 410-522-5820 or go to shuckersoffellspoint.com.

Bond Street Wharf:: Strolling down the streets of Fells Point, this striking patch of green at 901 S. Bond St. next to DuClaw Brewery seems to come out of nowhere. It's a great spot to stretch out a blanket and set up camp for fireworks watching. If the park is full, you can also walk east on the harborside promenade that connects the park to the end of South Broadway.

Canton Waterfront Park: : It's easy to forget about this stretch of grassy waterside turf at 3001 Boston St., since it's so far removed from downtown. But the Canton Waterfront Park is some great real estate for the Fourth. The sizable park - home to the city's annual Irish Festival - has brick promenades, trees and open spaces.

Bo Brooks: : When it comes to outdoor dining with a water view in Canton, it's hard to top Bo Brooks. The crab house at 2701 Boston St. has an outdoor bar in front, a patio out back and a floating dock for larger parties. On Saturday, this will be one of the better places to grab a meal and camp out for the fireworks in Canton. Call 410-558-0202 or go to bobrooks.com.

Bay Cafe:: The closest you'll get to Ocean City in Charm City, the Bay Cafe has a sandy beach, complete with palm trees. The wooden pavilion bar has the feel of a rum shack, and the drinks aren't too pricey, either. The Bay Cafe, 2809 Boston St. #409, can get loud and crazy on Friday and Saturday nights, and since the Fourth falls on a Saturday this year, expect it to be even wilder. The cafe is set back from Boston Street, next to a parking lot. Call 410-522-3377 or go to baycafeusa.com.

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