We may be biased, but Boston has to be the best place in the country to cel­e­brate the Fourth of July. Where else can you get world-​​renowned musical per­for­mances, first-​​rate fire­works, and crowds of rev­elers that seem to go on for miles? On Monday, many of us will once again cel­e­brate our nation’s inde­pen­dence with the famous Boston Pops Fire­works Spec­tac­ular. And there are plenty of viewing options to choose from. Whether you’re willing to brave the crowds, or want to find a quiet spot to watch the rocket’s red glare, we’ve got you covered.

The Esplanade
The Boston Pops’ con­cert begins at 8:30 pm at the Hatch Memo­rial Shell, where you’ll likely find the largest crowds any­where in the city. Hoping for a good spot from which to watch one of this year’s spe­cial guests, Mar­tina McBride? Don’t worry — the area opens up at 9 am that morning — and yes, people do start gath­ering that early. If you want to catch the music live but don’t want to deal with the enor­mous crowd, con­sider catching the Pops’ dress rehearsal a day early, on Sunday.  For more info, visit www​.july4th​.org.

From the water
Ever won­dered what it would be like to be out there on that big barge that launches vol­leys of fire­works high above the Charles? Well, we have too. Just because they don’t take pas­sen­gers doesn’t mean you can’t join ‘em on the water. Every year, scores of boaters flock to the river for what is per­haps the best pos­sible view of the patri­otic dis­play. Get in on the action by renting a canoe, kayak or row­boat from Charles River Canoe & Kayak (reser­va­tions are required!). Most people paddle up close, to the stretch between the Mass. Ave. and Longfellow bridges, but as long as you’re on the water, there are no bad seats.

From the Charles River bridges
Looking for an excel­lent view of both the fire­works and the city sky­line? Get on a bridge! The Longfellow Bridge closes to cars at 4:30 pm and the Mass. Ave. Bridge fol­lows suit at 6 pm, so there should be plenty of time to secure your spot.

West Vil­lage H
The glass-​​encased common rooms on the north­east end of this 16-​​story building offer one of the best views of Boston from campus — wouldn’t you agree? Unless you’re lucky enough to call this res­i­dence hall home this summer, we sug­gest you make friends with a res­i­dent and get your­self an invite, fast.

From your couch!
If you’re plan­ning a back­yard bar­becue with friends and family and don’t plan on breaking to brave the crowds along the river, you can still catch all the action on tele­vi­sion. WBZ-​​TV begins its local broad­cast of the Esplanade fes­tiv­i­ties at 8 pm, and the Boston fire­works spec­tac­ular is beamed out to a national audi­ence at 10 pm on CBS.