If you’re like most Americans, you picture certain time-honored traditions when you think of the 4th of July. Family gatherings, smiling faces, backyard barbecues, fireworks, and maybe even a local parade – all of these things have been 4th of July staples for decades, and with good reason. They’re all about celebrating our nation in the company of those who matter most to us.
However, it’s important to realize that you don’t have to stay home to have a fantastic July 4th to remember. The following locations are some of the best places in America to experience Independence Day away from home.
1. Philadelphia, PA
Since Philadelphia is the place America was born, a July pilgrimage only makes sense. The festivities start early and run well into the night. They include but are not limited to a concert at the Parkway and a jaw-dropping parade through the city’s historic center. You can also enhance your visit with patriotic activities like a tour of Independence Hall.
2. San Diego, CA
Not only is the city itself an incredibly patriotic one thanks to the many military bases in the area, but the picture perfect California weather is just right for the 4th of July. Fill up on barbecue, and then head for a quiet spot on the beach to enjoy the fireworks. Plus, there’s so much to do in San Diego that it’s perfect for an extended vacation.
3. New York City, NY
You already can’t imagine Thanksgiving without the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. That said, it’s time you spent the 4th of July marveling at New York City’s spectacular Macy’s-sponsored Independence Day celebration. Spend the day touring one of the most amazing cities on Earth. Then enjoy an incredible fireworks show unlike any other over the East River.
4. Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas isn’t just a great place to spend New Year’s Eve. It’s most popular during the holidays, so the 4th of July is a great time to score a good deal on a room with all the amenities. Plus, the 24/7 schedule that comes along with Vegas is the perfect fit for those who want to eat, drink, and have a blast any time of the day.
5. Honolulu, HI
If you’re looking to experience a location that is American, but which feels exotic at the same time, you can’t beat Hawaii. Spend your day snorkeling and surfing. Then partake in the fireworks festivities that night. For a really special July 4th experience, consider booking a luxury dinner cruise for your friends and family. It comes complete with music, dancing, and – of course – plenty to eat.
6. Mount Rushmore, SD
Are you dreaming of a July 4th that’s a little less “party” and a lot more “history”? Are you ready to trade fireworks for a culturally significant experience? Mount Rushmore is a perfect fit. The founding fathers form a perfect backdrop for local festivities that start on July 3rd and continue through Independence Day itself. Enjoy performances from presidential reenactors, events that celebrate American heritage, and ceremonies honoring POWs. You won’t even miss the fireworks!
7. San Francisco, CA
Beautiful Fisherman’s Wharf is the place to be if you’re planning on spending your 4th in San Francisco. The festivities start with a free concert late in the afternoon, followed by spectacular fireworks near Pier 39. Best of all, you can celebrate with a belly full of delicious San Francisco seafood!
8. Bristol, RI
Bristol’s world famous 4th of July parade was held in 1785, and this beautiful historic city hasn’t missed a follow-up yet. The festivities have grown a bit in scale, though! Bristol’s celebration of America starts on Flag Day in June and features a series of fantastic things to do that last through July 4th. Examples include concerts, cultural fairs, and other public events.
9. Washington D.C.
Music lovers won’t want to miss a Washington D.C. 4th of July. It starts with a wonderful parade and continues with the renowned Capitol Fourth spectacular. Not only does the National Symphony Orchestra perform, but so do a variety of famous guests. The concert, on the whole, provides the ideal backdrop for a gorgeous fireworks display over the city’s most famous monuments.
10. Boston, MA
If there’s one city that’s famous across the country for throwing an amazing 4th of July celebration, it’s Boston. Festivities include a spectacular fireworks display over the Charles River, as well as live accompaniment from the Boston Pops. It’s a perfectly traditional fit for the entire family.
Every American city celebrates the fabulous 4th a little differently. Start by exploring these winners today!