Fireworks are fun anywhere, but watching them erupt over water is particularly breathtaking. "There's this huge expanse of sky and the gorgeous reflection on the water," says Helene McGill of Sparta, who has watched fireworks over Sparta's Lake Mohawk for years. "If you go out on your boat, you feel as though they're right over your head and you could almost touch them."
Experience the sparkles for yourself this summer with short trips to:
LAKE MOHAWK (www.spartanj.org) The 3-mile-long man-made lake itself is private, but visitors can enjoy the July 4 display from a boardwalk near quaint downtown Lake Mohawk or from prime spots in the nearby hills.
LAKE HOPATCONG (www.lhyc.com) The Lake Hopatcong Yacht Club sponsors a large display (more than 3,000 shells) from four barges in the middle of the state's largest freshwater lake. This year, the celebration is on July 2. The organizers say donations to help defray costs are gladly accepted.
MOUNTAIN LAKES (www.mtnlakes.org) Enjoy glorious Fourth of July fireworks at Island Beach over Mountain Lake, the largest of the 3-square-mile borough's six lakes.