Looking for a view of Fourth of July fireworks? Here’s some advice: Pick a spot with some elevation and show up early.

If you’re hoping for a vantage point that isn’t right at the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival or Oaks Amusement Park — the two places in Portland with official firework shows around 10 p.m. — there are plenty of options.

One commenter on Reddit, in a conversation last year about the best place to see fireworks, offered a fairly comprehensive answer. We’ve found other lists on PDX Pipeline and Yelp.

With that in mind, here’s our list of the top spots to watch July 4th fireworks in Portland.

West side

Council Crest

At this city park — Portland’s highest point at 1,073 feet — you can see mountains during the day and fireworks at night. The park closes to vehicles at 9 p.m., so walking via the Marquam Trail from Washington Park might be the best option.

West Hills

The South Waterfront campus of Oregon Health & Science University has the potential for great views. You could also try some spots around Marquam Nature Park and the trails near Terwilliger Boulevard.

Portland City Grill

According to the restaurant — on the 30th floor of the U.S. Bancorp Tower in downtown Portland — the best view of the fireworks will be in the bar, which is of course 21 and over.

In the middle     

Willamette River bridges

Pick your favorite bridge and stake out a spot. Personally, I’ve had a nice view of the fireworks from the Burnside Bridge, but it does get crowded fast. The Hawthorne Bridge — very close to where the waterfront fireworks are set off — the Ross Island Bridge and the Broadway Bridge are also good bets.

East side

Eastbank Esplanade

The part of the multi-use path near the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and the Hawthorne Bridge will be the best, albeit crowded, spots to see the waterfront show.

Mount Tabor

The popular summer spot in Southeast Portland will fill up quickly. Come early, park down below and walk up to the top. The park officially closes at midnight, and it closes to cars around 10 p.m.

Rocky Butte

With excellent views of Washington, as well, we bet you could even see the Fort Vancouver fireworks display from this east Portland landmark. The park at the top closes at midnight.

Near Oaks Park

Sellwood Park

This expansive Southeast Portland park, with picnic areas and sports facilities for daytime entertainment, is open until midnight. Though the parking lot does close at 10 p.m.

Sellwood Boulevard

Find a spot along the Southeast Portland street on the bluff above Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge, which is open until midnight, and Oaks Amusement Park.

If you do pick a park, make an afternoon/evening of it. Pack a picnic. And bring plenty of water. The forecast calls for a high near 90 degrees on Saturday.

Also keep in mind that parking will be limited in most of these areas, so public transportation, walking or biking might be the best option.

If you’re not planning an evening in Portland, there are lots of other fireworks displays around the metro area, including a notable one in the Washington County neighborhood of Oak Hills, as well as the cities of Hillsboro, Happy Valley and Forest Grove.

And if fireworks aren’t your thing, The Oregonian/OregonLive’s Jamie Hale lists plenty of other Independence Day events

Do you have a favorite spot to watch the fireworks? Let us know in the comments.

–Nora Simon
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@noramsimon  

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