The simple answer to the question, "Where to watch the fireworks in New Orleans?", is the river. Big extravagent firework displays over the Mississippi River in downtown New Orleans highlight both the 4th of July and New Year's Eve in New Orleans.
"Go 4th on the River" is the dazzling patriotic celebration in downtown New Orleans on the fourth of July. After the sun goes down, people gather on both banks of the Mississippi River to watch the fireworks duel between two barges that starts at 9 pm. The fireworks display is choreographed to patriotic music, which is simulcast on the radio and on-line. The New Orleans fireworks show is ranked fifth must-see U.S. firework displays by American Pyrotechnic Association
The big fireworks show on New Year's Eve begins right after the countdown to midnight and the falling of the New Year's Baby figure on the Jax Brewery building. The thousands of people at the party in Jackson Square and along the river make lots of New Year noise to accompany the exploding lights in the sky.
Because it is over the river, you can see everything from spots on both river banks. And because New Orleans is such a flatland, you can see much of the show from all around town, especially if you go up a little in altitude. I’d advise against it, but there is at least one less-traveled overpass where people even park to watch the show.
Here’s are my picks for the best places to see the fireworks in New Orleans during the "Go 4th on the River" event and at midnight on New Year's Eve.
Woldenberg Park and the Moonwalk behind the French Market
Right on the river behind the French Quarter and French Market. You might even find a bench, but it's best to bring a blanket or chair.
The Aquarium of the Americas Plaza
Wide paved plaza right on the river in front of the Aquarium of the America's. It's right next to the ferry landing.
The Levee at Algiers Point
There's always a crowd on the levee on the Algiers side of the Mississippi River right in front of the show. It's probably the very best viewing spot for the fireworks since it's away from the city lights and much darker than the equivilent east bank views. It's always a party, and sometimes there's an organized festival at the location.
The Levee in General
All along the levee, on both side of the Mississippi River, provide a nice spot to watch the fireworks exploding in the sky.
For instance, on July 4, 2011, the Natchez cruise included a picnic style buffet with BBQ ribs, chili lime grilled chicken, corn on the cob, baked beans, cole slaw, potato salad, pasta salad, as well as hotdogs and hamburgers for the kids, in addition to the great view. There's also a full cash bar open during the cruise.
The Deck of the Ferry
On July 4, just cross the Mississippi River on the Ferry while the fireworks are exploding for a great view. It's free for pedestrians and just $1 per car. If you are a pedestrian, you can just stay on board and ride it back and forth. The ferry leaves from the end of Canal Street on the East Bank and travels to Algiers Point on the West Bank.On New Year's Eve, be sure to check out the hours of service and last ferry times before getting on board, just to be safe.
The Westin Hotel in Canal Place has just about the best river view in the city. Make reservations for the 127 Restaurant which serves Continental cuisine and while the fireworks in style with a birds eye view from the eleventh floor.
A Office, Condo, or Hotel Room with a River View
If you have access to a river view from a CBD office, riverfront condo, apartment or hotel room, take advantage of it for the fireworks extravangaza.