35 Best 4th of July Weekend Getaways You Will Never Forget
From the food to the fireworks to the all-American fun, there's nothing not to love about these 4th of July weekend destinations
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The perfect 4th of July weekend getaways
July 4th is right around the corner, and our nation’s birthday is a fantastic time to consider getting away—whether that means heading out on a road trip or taking a flight to one of America’s top spots to celebrate Independence Day. No matter what you’re in the mood for, whether its quick trips or traveling on a budget, we have ideas for the perfect 4th of July weekend getaways for you.
Searching for the best fireworks displays in the country and a little 4th of July history? Head to Philadelphia or Boston. Want to tap your feet at a concert? Nashville should be on your list. Or are you looking for some fun in the sun and on the sand? We’ve got plenty of beachy hot spots that go all-out for the 4th … and even one mountain town that doesn’t, if you want something a little quieter for your holiday-weekend escape. Of course, the best 4th of July vacation for you will depend on your idea of the ideal Independence Day celebration, your budget and your location.
Is July 4th a national holiday?
Yes, the 4th of July is a national holiday (and has been since 1870), and it’s one of 11 federal holidays recognized nationwide by the United States government. As such, all nonessential federal government offices are closed on Independence Day. There also won’t be any mail or package delivery, banks will be closed and many stores will be closed or have shortened holiday hours (but some restaurants will be open if you’re interested in dining out).
What day does July 4th fall on this year?
July 4, 2023, falls on a Tuesday. Will you have the day off? That, of course, depends on your industry and your particular company, but if you work in a traditional office job, you’ll likely have a four-day weekend. That said, even if you can’t get away for the 4th, there are plenty of Independence Day celebrations leading up to the big day that you can partake in—and some of them may actually be local for you. And, of course, you can always curl up with a good patriotic movie, don seriously cool 4th of July nails and see fireworks light up the night sky, no matter where you celebrate the 4th of July weekend.
Best for families
For a family-friendly 4th of July weekend, head to sunny Florida and the Caribbean-esque beaches just outside Destin. In addition to chilling out at some of the best beaches in the area, you can also explore a bunch of adventure and water parks in nearby Destin, visit the Emerald Coast Zoo (a little under an hour away) and go snorkeling in an artificial reef.
Don’t miss: At the annual Red, White and Baytowne celebration, you’ll find inflatables, crafts, face painting and live music. When the sun goes down, check out the fireworks display over Baytowne Wharf, which will be synced to patriotic music. Can’t make it to Sandestin for Independence Day? No worries! At 9:15 p.m. every Tuesday from mid-May to early August, you can catch fireworks over the lagoon.
Where to stay: For a sea-and-sand getaway, stay at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa, the area’s largest full-service resort located directly on the beach. For the Fourth, you’ll be treated to live music, a flyover by vintage warbirds, a fireworks show and kids activities. Chances are, you’ll be snapping a lot of pics, so these 4th of July captions will come in handy for your social media posts.
Best for a desert retreat
Less crowded than nearby Phoenix, Scottsdale is a great way to experience nature, wellness and a 4th of July celebration in the Valley. Sure, it’ll be hot in the desert, but that’s why every resort in town offers swimming pools, misters and refreshing air conditioning—not to mention, reduced off-season pricing.
Don’t miss: The tenth annual 4th of July celebration at WestWorld of Scottsdale offers a parade, live performances, games and fireworks set against the McDowell Mountains. It’s a picture-perfect place to celebrate America’s big day.
Where to stay: The sprawling Fairmont Scottsdale Princess sure knows how to party, which might be why it made our list of amazing girls weekend getaways. The hotel will be hosting Freedom Fest from July 1 to 4, complete with fireworks every night at 9 p.m. and an air show on July 4th featuring vintage military planes piloted by retired veterans.
Best for a fireworks-free trip
Looking for an environmentally friendly and dog-friendly place to celebrate 4th of July weekend? With consideration to environmental practices and wildfire conditions, the Town of Breckenridge passed an indefinite ban on fireworks in 2019, making Breckenridge the perfect destination if you’re traveling with a dog that’s scared of fireworks. But don’t worry—there are still plenty of ways to celebrate Independence Day here!
Don’t miss: The town’s day-of celebrations kick off with an Independence Day 10K Trail Run at 7 a.m. After that, there’s a Firecracker 50 mountain bike race, and then the Main Street parade at 9:30 a.m. The annual National Repertory Orchestra: Fourth of July Spectacular concert at the Riverwalk Center will celebrate America’s birthday with patriotic music, beginning at 6 p.m.
Where to stay: Opened in 2019, Gravity Haus (right off Main Street) is a 60-room boutique hotel that caters to outdoor enthusiasts year-round. On-site amenities include fitness and sports recovery centers, expert-led backcountry experiences, a super trampoline, farm-to-cup Unravel coffee and a Japanese-inspired onsen.
Best for a road trip
Come for the holiday, stay for peach season, because Fredericksburg is where you’ll find ripe, juicy Texas Hill Country peaches just begging to be eaten. And if you’re looking for 4th of July vacations with a touch of sophistication, this is also where you’ll find many great wineries. In fact, it’s a Texas road trip you should take at least once, with cool stops on the 234-mile drive from Houston, including a wildflower farm and a turn-of-the-century farmstead.
Don’t miss: July 4th festivities include a parade along Main Street, a kiddie parade around Marktplatz for children under 12 and evening fireworks at Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park. Don’t miss the Fredericksburg Farmers Market while in town, the First Friday Art Walk and a horse race at the Gillespie County Fair Grounds.
Where to stay: Give yourself a little breathing room at Outlot 201 Guest Houses, which feature three traditional Sunday Haus–style cottages with all the comforts of home. You’ll be only a couple miles from Main Street, in the heart of the action, but you’ll feel worlds away in the best way possible.
Best for nature lovers
Hot Springs, Arkansas
About an hour southwest of the state capital Little Rock, in the Ouachita Mountains, you’ll find Hot Springs, Arkansas—and as you may have guessed, this town owes its name to its natural hot springs. You can explore them at the spas on Bathhouse Row, the perfect way to unwind over a holiday weekend.
Don’t miss: The city offers its annual free public Independence Day fireworks display on Lake Hamilton on July 2. Fireworks will be shot from the middle of Lake Hamilton from barges located on the east side of Highway 7 at the first bridge.
Where to stay: Get front-row seats to all the 4th of July pyrotechnics with a stay at the DoubleTree by Hilton. In addition to the views of Lake Hamilton on the Fourth and throughout your entire stay, you’ll enjoy a swimming pool and a signature DoubleTree chocolate chip cookie upon arrival.
Best for outdoorsy types
Klamath Falls, Oregon
If wide-open spaces are what you crave this 4th of July weekend, then head to Klamath Falls, Oregon. There’s an abundance of fresh air, breathtaking views, and rivers and lakes along protected wildlife areas. Its get-back-to-nature simplicity is just one reason it’s one of the most romantic weekend getaways in the United States.
Don’t miss: On the morning of July 4th, check out the parade, which goes along Main Street and ends at Veterans Memorial Park. At night, join the locals for fireworks at the Klamath County Fairgrounds.
Where to stay: Add a touch of luxury to your adventure in the great outdoors with a stay at Running Y Ranch Resort. Set against the Cascade Mountain Range, it offers upscale accommodations, a full-service spa and the only Arnold Palmer–designed golf course in Oregon.
Best for a mountain retreat
An Old Western town nestled along the Rocky Mountain Front, Choteau is located on one of the most scenic routes, between Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks. And this little town has such a beloved Independence Day celebration that the population triples during the festivities.
Don’t miss: The action-packed weekend kicks off with a farmers market on Sunday, July 2, followed by keg hockey and other fun events. Monday, July 3, features duck races, a brewfest and live music. And it all builds up to the spectacular 4th of July parade, steak fry, rodeo and fireworks display.
Where to stay: Guests of the Stage Stop Inn can see the 4th of July fireworks right from the hotel, which might be your best bet for beating the crowds. You’ll no doubt also enjoy the Western-inspired lobby, as well as the pool, hot tub, complimentary hot breakfast and on-site saloon.
Best for history buffs
Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia
Spend your Independence Day in a city that was crucial to our nation’s birth: Colonial Williamsburg. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a grander array of activities, which include everything from live music to theater performances, or a more intriguing destination for history buffs.
Don’t miss: The Lights of Freedom fireworks display concludes with a reading of the Declaration of Independence (by Thomas Jefferson, naturally) and a music concert series featuring the Star-Spangled Symphony and the Virginia Arts Festival Big Band.
Where to stay: Many families rely on Woodlands Hotel & Suites for their Colonial Williamsburg base camp because it’s adjacent to the Historic Area. There’s a complimentary shuttle service to Merchants Square and the Art Museums, and on-site, you can enjoy miniature golf, a splash park, a heated pool and a fitness center.
Best for natural beauty
Door County, Wisconsin
One of the most magical places to spend your summer is Door County, Wisconsin, so it’s no wonder many Chicagoans vacation here, along the serene 70-mile peninsula between Green Bay and Lake Michigan. Each of the main towns on this stunning peninsula, including Fish Creek, Egg Harbor, Ephraim, Sturgeon Bay and Sister Bay, have their own unique offerings but roughly the same charming vibe.
Don’t miss: The 4th of July weekend is a busy weekend indeed, with the Sister Bay Historical Society Farmers Market, cherry season in full swing and multiple holiday festivities including the Baileys Harbor Block Party, Egg Harbor Independence Day Celebration, Sturgeon Bay Celebrates and Gills Rock Celebrates.
Where to stay: Keep things quaint and cozy at the Hillside Waterfront Hotel in Ephraim. The Hillside is one of the most iconic buildings in Door County, and it’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places; it’s also home to the longest porch in Door County. This location is prime for attending Ephraim’s Monday night summer concert series at the Harborside Park Gazebo.
Best for beach bums
Mission Bay, California
San Diego’s Mission Bay is the perfect destination for a family-friendly holiday getaway, with waterfront accommodations, kid- and pet-friendly restaurants and nearby attractions (think SeaWorld and Mission Beach’s Belmont Park). It’s located on 27 miles of sandy shoreline in San Diego, so be sure to spend some time kayaking or paddleboarding.
Don’t miss: After a nearly 10-year absence, the July holiday fireworks show on Mission Bay returned in 2022. That’s due to the overwhelming support and excitement from the local San Diego community, which collectively raised more than $45,000 in just a few weeks via a GoFundMe page to make it happen.
Where to stay: For the best views of the fireworks, book a room at the Polynesian-themed Catamaran Resort Hotel, located on the shores of Mission Bay and just a couple blocks from Pacific Beach. The fireworks won’t be the only bright thing that catches your eye on this property—resident parrots and macaws will be vying for your attention too.
Best for Midwestern charm
Mackinac Island, Michigan
Embrace Midwestern charm on Mackinac Island. Known for its world-famous fudge and historic fort, this spot on Lake Huron is known as “the Jewel of the Great Lakes.” One thing that sets apart this island from other U.S. islands you can visit without a passport is the lack of cars and chain hotels, which aren’t allowed—making this a truly one-of-a-kind 4th of July vacation.
Don’t miss: The annual Stone Skipping Competition at Windermere Point at 9 a.m. on July 4th, where professional stone skippers fight for a much-coveted trophy. The 4th of July fireworks display starts around 10 p.m.
Where to stay: The Grand Hotel, which has been welcoming guests since 1897, is a 388-room resort that offers a unique design and ambience in each guest room—no two are alike. Purchasing the Old Fashioned Mackinac Fourth of July Celebration package comes with three nights, breakfast and dinner daily, glow-stick and cotton-candy parties, an ice cream social, a picnic in the tea garden and a view of fireworks from the hotel’s porch. (Fun fact: It’s the world’s longest front porch!)
Best for city slickers
New York, New York
As you might have guessed, the July 4th fireworks shows in New York City are pretty epic, and there are plenty to choose from, depending on where you are and the vibe you’re looking for.
Don’t miss: New York’s main event is the televised Macy’s 4th of July fireworks show. More than 65,000 shells will be launched off five different barges on the East River, lasting 25 star-spangled minutes.
Where to stay: Located on 38th Street and Madison Avenue, the NH Collection New York Madison Avenue Hotel is centrally located and an easy walk to the 34th Street fireworks viewing location. Bonus: This property was voted the most Instagrammable hotel in North America and has amazing views of the Empire State Building.
Best for concert lovers
St. Louis, Missouri
Tell your friends to meet you in St. Louis for fireworks against the backdrop of the Mississippi River and the city’s iconic Gateway Arch. Before the festivities get underway, take a stroll to visit the city garden, zoo, science center and assorted museums. There are plenty of family-friendly attractions, but St. Louis is also perfect for a more grown-up trip. In addition to the city’s eclectic nightlife, Eater.com named St. Louis one of the top 15 restaurant destinations in America.
Don’t miss: The four-day Fourth of July weekend fireworks spectacular at Fair St. Louis features live entertainment, food and kid-friendly activities. This year’s headliners include Chris Lane and 38 Special.
Where to stay: Everyone loves a Four Seasons property, and the terrace at the Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis comes with unforgettable views of the River and the Gateway Arch, making it the perfect viewing spot for Fair Saint Louis. Of course, the views from your floor-to-ceiling windows are nothing to sneeze at either.
Best for a unique fireworks display
If you haven’t spent a 4th of July weekend in a city with 19 straight hours of summer sunlight, you’re missing out. Now, you might think that would ruin fireworks, but it’s actually pretty cool to forgo the traditional dark-sky experience in exchange for a midnight sun.
Don’t miss: The annual Anchorage Delaney Park Strip Fourth of July festival begins with a pancake breakfast at 9 a.m., followed by a parade and festivities continuing throughout the day. Make your way to the Mulcahy Stadium that evening for the annual Glacier Pilots and Anchorage Bucs doubleheader baseball games—fans are treated to fireworks in the ninth inning.
Where to stay: After a day of fun, lay your head at the historic Hotel Captain Cook, a 10-minute walk from the Park Strip. The hotel is an Anchorage landmark, boasting 12 boutique shops, an athletic club and a spa. Even better, it’s within walking distance of many downtown Anchorage attractions.
Best for a luxe getaway
Jekyll Island, Georgia
Spend the 4th on an island right here in the Unites States—Jekyll Island, Georgia. When the festivities are over, there’s still plenty to do, including spending time on the beach, checking out the gorgeous Gilded Age vacation homes in the National Historic Landmark District (once dubbed “the richest, most inaccessible club in the world”) and enjoying more than 20 miles of bike paths and trails.
Don’t miss: The signature Independence Day fireworks will light up the night sky at 9:30 p.m. and are best viewed from the beach side of the island at Great Dunes Beach Park or Oceanview Beach Park.
Where to stay: Complete your beachy 4th on the island with a stay at the modern Jekyll Ocean Club, a 40-suite oceanfront boutique hotel that features spacious suites perfect for a luxurious family getaway. The AAA Four Diamond property offers an oceanfront pool, a fire pit with s’mores kits, and plenty of gathering spaces and prime spots for fireworks viewing.
Best for partiers
South Padre Island, Texas
In case you hadn’t gotten the memo, South Padre—the island on the southern tip of Texas that’s surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico and sparkling Laguna Madre Bay—is known as “The Firework Capital of Texas,” not to mention a party spot that hosts a wild spring break every year. Aside from year-round mild temperatures, white-sand beaches, emerald waters, great fishing and plenty of water-based activities, visitors can end every Friday and Saturday night through October watching a fireworks display at the island’s 15-acre Beach Park Water Park.
Don’t miss: Fourth of July kicks off with the SPI beach parade at 9 a.m. After a day of fun in the sun, don’t miss the fireworks show over the bay, starting at 9:15 p.m.!
Where to stay: The Hilton Garden Inn & Suites is right on the beach and just minutes from all the action. That also includes educational excursions, such as the South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center and Sea Turtle Inc., which are right across the street.
Best for a quick city escape
Montclair, New Jersey
Montclair is one of New Jersey’s most coveted towns, just 12 miles west of Manhattan (about 30 minutes by car or train). Visitors are drawn to the thriving arts, shopping and food scene, as well as seemingly endless green spaces, including 20 public parks, two protected nature reserves and loads of mountain views.
Don’t miss: This year, Montclair will host its 69th annual July 4th parade. The parade will be followed by a huge Family Picnic in Edgemont Park.
Where to stay: You can catch fireworks displays in Montclair and New York City on the Alto Rooftop at the MC Hotel (you can see the Manhattan skyline from here). The 159-room hotel, part of Marriott International’s Autograph Collection Hotels and managed by Aparium Hotel Group, is in the heart of Montclair’s thriving artistic community.
Best for an under-the-radar gem
Navarre Beach, Florida
Located in Santa Rosa County, between Pensacola and Destin/Fort Walton Beach, Navarre Beach is one of Florida’s most undiscovered destinations and one of the best beaches in the country. Think: soft, pearl-white sand, emerald waves and the ultimate in relaxation.
Don’t miss: The city’s Hometown 4th of July Parade & Celebration is a free event that will feature family-friendly fun, food, music and a fireworks display launched from the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier. Highlights include barbecue and burgers from the food trucks during the “Picnic in the Park,” a parade and a classic-rock cover band.
Where to stay: The SpringHill Suites by Marriott, which is directly on the Gulf of Mexico and just steps away from the beautiful water of the Emerald Coast, makes the perfect 4th of July weekend base camp. Visitors can enjoy unobstructed views of spectacular sunrises and sunsets at the all-suite hotel, as well as a lazy river overlooking the ocean.
Best for music lovers
Celebrate Independence Day 2023 in Music City with the free “Let Freedom Sing!” July 4th event in downtown Nashville, one of the best cities in America for live music. This celebration will not only offer a large outdoor concert and Family Fun Zone—Nashville also promises one of the largest fireworks shows in the country.
Don’t miss: The pyrotechnics will be synchronized to a live performance by the Grammy-winning Nashville Symphony.
Where to stay: With a great beach-resort atmosphere in downtown Nashville, there is no better place to feel like you’re enjoying an island paradise in the midst of it all than at the Margaritaville Hotel. Soak up the sun, and take in fantastic views of the Music City skyline, including the fireworks, from the fourth-floor pool deck.
Best for honoring our country’s origins
No one does the 4th of July quite like Philly, one of the country’s most patriotic destinations. And where better to celebrate America’s birthday than in its birthplace? When you’re not watching fireworks light up the sky (or downing a cheesesteak), you can check out the Liberty Bell, as well as Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed. Art lovers should also check out the museums and 4,000-plus outdoor murals.
Don’t miss: The annual Wawa Welcome America offers 16 days of free fun from June 19 to July 4. The event series will culminate in a free concert featuring Ludacris and Demi Lovato and a stunning fireworks display over the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Where to stay: You’ll be treated to the best views in Philadelphia from the top of the city’s tallest tower—the Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia. Book a room with views toward the museum and you can watch the fireworks while enjoying a gourmet, room-service picnic right from your bed.
Best for small-town vibes
If you want to spend time in a charming small town over the long weekend, Cody is the place for you. July 4th is the biggest holiday of the year in this small northwestern Wyoming town in Yellowstone County. It’s so big, in fact, that it takes five days to pack in all the fun.
Don’t miss: The highlight here is the Cody Stampede Rodeo, now in its 104th year. It features parades, rodeos, fireworks and more.
Where to stay: The Comfort Inn at Buffalo Bill Village Resort is an easy walk to restaurants, galleries and museums on Sheridan Avenue, the town’s main street. You’ll get to watch the parades and participate in the other festivities without having to drive and find parking.
Best for New England charm
Bristol, Rhode Island
Take a visit to where it all began, in Bristol, Rhode Island. This city is the home of America’s oldest continuous Fourth of July celebration, which began in 1785. On a vacation here, you’ll also be treated to boating and beaching along pristine coastlines and all the charm (and delicious seafood) of a quintessential New England waterfront town.
Don’t miss: There’s a 2.5-mile Military, Civic and Firemen’s parade, and of course, nighttime fireworks. And the 4th of July festivities stretch way past the weekend—and actually start in June, so anytime’s a good time to visit!
Where to stay: As long as you’re taking in the history, why not stay at a charming inn that’s actually a historical house built in 1808? The adorably quaint William’s Grant Inn, a former sea captain’s home, is located along the parade day route, which you’ll enjoy after your gourmet breakfast.
Best for old-school boardwalk fun
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Looking for some good, old-fashioned beach fun on a boardwalk? You’ll find it here. Myrtle Beach’s boardwalk is lined with all the vintage favorites of vacation and 4th of July fun, including fudge shops and arcades, a family amusement park and several Ripley’s attractions. You’ll definitely want to check out the nearly 200-foot-high SkyWheel, one of the tallest Ferris wheels in the country—perfect to catch the flashes in the sky if you get your timing right.
Don’t miss: Speaking of those fireworks, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to see them, with five official shows occurring in various spots on July 4th. You’ll also want to catch the 56th annual Pawleys Island parade, the Murrells Inlet boat parade and the Salute from the Shore, a “parade” of military aircraft flying overhead.
Where to stay: Set across 27 acres on the south end of Ocean Boulevard and next to Myrtle Beach State Park, the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Hotel provides a scenic coastal escape. Multiple fireworks shows will be visible from the resort.
Best for a trip back in time
Celebrate Independence Day in the immersive, historic landscape of Dallas Heritage Village, the unique city park on the southern edge of the downtown area that’s filled with 19th-century pioneer and Victorian homes and commercial buildings. Its Old Fashioned Fourth is an event for the entire family and includes a festive parade, musical performances, crafts for children, carnival activities and old-school games like horseshoes, graces and checkers.
Don’t miss: All the village’s historic buildings will be open for touring during the celebration, and costumed characters will be around to show attendees what life was like in North Texas from 1840 to 1910.
Where to stay: Instead of staying in urban downtown, consider the spacious Westin Dallas Stonebriar Golf Resort & Spa in nearby Frisco. It sprawls over 400 acres of shaded greenery, offers a refreshing outdoor pool and provides access to an adjacent Tom Fazio–designed golf course.
Best for a Hawaiian holiday
Surfing, sunsets and nightlife in Hawaii? Yes, please! Plus, thanks to Waikiki’s large military population, it’s the perfect place to celebrate Independence Day. While you’re there, make sure to visit the USS Arizona Memorial and pay tribute at the Remembrance Circle.
Don’t miss: There will be a variety of events happening in and around Waikiki, including hula performances at the Ala Moana Center and an Independence Day Celebration held at Weyand Field featuring performances from the Plain White T’s and Elle King.
Where to stay: On the widest stretch of beach on Waikiki, you’ll find Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort. Known for its spectacular weekly fireworks on the beach at 7:45 p.m., the resort will kick off the holiday weekend with fireworks on Friday, June 30, followed by a multitude of family activities leading up to a Hawaiian July 4th barbecue with all-day music.
Best for Southern charm
Charleston, South Carolina
A quick flight from most major U.S. hubs and an exciting road trip for regional travelers, this historic American city is an ideal 4th of July weekend escape. It’s full of rich history, quaint cobblestone streets and a highly regarded culinary scene, so you’ll be in good hands over the holiday weekend.
Don’t miss: Each year, the city hosts a sparkling fireworks show over the Charleston Harbor. And you can either check out the 4th of July festival at Riverfront Park, a free event featuring live musical performances, or head to the Patriots Point Fireworks Blast, where you can watch the fireworks from the deck of a World War II aircraft carrier. (Seriously, how cool is that?!)
Where to stay: Avoid the crowds and get a bird’s-eye view of the celebrations from the HarbourView Inn. You’ll get incredible 360-degree views of the fireworks over the church-steeple skyline from the private rooftop terrace.
Best for hikers
Colorado Springs, Colorado
In Colorado Springs, fireworks erupt across the skies in the Pikes Peak Region on 4th of July each year. For the rest of your weekend getaway, you can hike your way around the area, perusing breathtaking natural sights like the Garden of the Gods, Red Rock Canyon and Broadmoor Seven Falls.
Don’t miss: This year, the Colorado Springs Philharmonic and Colorado Springs Sports Corporation present the Star-Spangled Symphony and July 4th Block Party, a free concert and a block party at the Pikes Peak Center downtown. There will be a beer garden, food vendors and a 90-minute free concert.
Where to stay: The Colorado Springs Marriott makes a perfect home base for summer outdoor enthusiasts interested in climbing or hiking excursions at area highlights like Pikes Peak, Cave of the Winds and Garden of the Gods. After a day of exploration, continue the outdoor appreciation on the hotel restaurant’s stylish patio, which will feature fantastic views of the 4th of July fireworks.
Best for a dog-friendly vacation
Huntington Beach, California
Surf City U.S.A. has one of the longest-running 4th of July parade traditions in the country, with a neighborhood celebration that’s been taking place since 1904 and is the largest 4th of July celebration west of the Mississippi. There are several days of activities planned for the 2023 holiday weekend, including the Surf City 5K Run and the Pier Plaza Festival, complete with vendors, food and live performances.
Don’t miss: At night, you can watch a massive fireworks display over the ocean from the pier or around a bonfire pit on the shore.
Where to stay: Southern California’s most pet-friendly hotel, the Paséa Hotel & Spa, is conveniently located less than two miles from the famed Huntington Dog Beach, where your pup can run leash-free through the waves. There’s also a 1,100-square-foot outdoor play area outfitted with a lifeguard-station doghouse and decorated with a local artist-commissioned wall mural.
Best for a less-crowded Disney experience
Downtown Orlando is typically known for its cool, under-the-radar rhythm, but “The City Beautiful” comes alive and bursts with an undeniable energy every 4th of July. And yes, it’s right near Disney, but more affordable and less crowded than it would be if you spent the night at one of the parks.
Don’t miss: One of the city’s most notable events, Fireworks at the Fountain, takes place at the iconic Lake Eola Park in the heart of downtown Orlando. Guests can set up picnic blankets and lawn chairs to enjoy this free alfresco event that starts at 9:15 p.m.
Where to stay: For the best views, pyrotechnic lovers might want to make their way to SkyBar at the AC Hotel Orlando Downtown. With its central location and 18th-floor vantage point, it will let attendees ring in the 4th in style. The bar offers sweeping views of the area, so guests can take in the Disney and Universal fireworks shows without the massive crowds.
Best for traditionalists
Is it cliché to say that Washington, D.C., is the most patriotic spot in the country to celebrate our nation? Eh, maybe, but we still love it! While you’re in the area, you can also go back in time to George Washington’s days at Mount Vernon, get tickets to a baseball game at Nationals Park and visit museums galore, from the Smithsonian to the National Portrait Gallery.
Don’t miss: Watch fireworks explode over the National Mall, light up the Lincoln Memorial and the Capitol Building, and add a glow to the Washington Monument. There is truly nothing like it.
Where to stay: You can’t go wrong at the elegant, contemporary Conrad Hotel, which is right next to the city center and just steps from the metro lines. The big 4th of July event at the Conrad will take place at its newly reopened Summit, a rooftop restaurant and bar that has been dubbed “America’s Backyard Patio” for its stunning views overlooking the White House and the Mall. In addition to a garden-to-glass menu of summer cocktails, you’ll love the regional “elevated” picnic fare cooked in the rooftop’s solar oven.
Best for a Long Island getaway
Hamptons, New York
Save the city for another time, and instead head east to Long Island for the ultimate New York retreat. The beach communities that line the Long Island Sound, known collectively as the Hamptons, all have their own takes on celebrating for the holiday weekend. You might be able to take in several parades and events in a single day—in between laying on the beach and diving into the Atlantic Ocean, of course.
Don’t miss: A few favorites include parades in Southampton Village, New Suffolk and Southold Village; the North Sea Fire Department’s annual carnival; and fireworks in Westhampton, Sag Harbor and Stars Over Montauk at Umbrella Beach.
Where to stay: Ruschmeyers in Montauk is the perfect spot, with 19 cabin-style rooms and a plethora of outdoor space on the hotel’s property. Located less than a mile from the town of Montauk and the Long Island Railroad station, Ruschmeyers is easily accessible for a weekend getaway. It’s also close to Montauk’s most popular attractions, including the world-renowned surf destination Ditch Plains Beach and the fireworks at Umbrella Beach.
Best for a lakeside retreat
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
One of the most stunning lake destinations in the country, Lake Geneva is just 80 miles from Chicago and 40 miles from Milwaukee, but it feels like it’s a million miles from the traffic, parking and noise of those big urban destinations. The area’s natural beauty and small-town charm make it a perfect option for the 4th of July weekend.
Don’t miss: Check out the Independence Day Weekend event at Old World Wisconsin, a historical site that spans nearly 100 years of Wisconsin rural life. You’ll find costumed staff doling out history lessons about life way back when, as well as quaint stores that will make you feel like you’re shopping in the late 1800s. The site will offer patriotic decorations, live music and food.
Where to stay: Situated on 1,300 acres in the woodlands of Lake Geneva, Grand Geneva Resort & Spa is a destination in and of itself, with lake access, a water park, fire pits and pools. And its annual 4th of July fireworks display is a regional highlight. Guests who stay in a Lake View room can enjoy the show from their private balcony or patio, while all guests can see it from the resort’s hillside.
Best for experiencing local flavor
For a classic spin on the holiday, head to Springfield’s Old-Fashioned 4th of July Parade and Celebration at Washington Park. Not only can you watch the parade pass by, you can even participate—there are prizes for everything from “best children’s float” to “best adult marching unit.” Other 4th of July weekend highlights can include everything from a trip to Fantastic Caverns, various gardens and the zoo, to seeing the world’s second-largest fork (yes, you read that right), one of the strangest roadside attractions in the country.
Don’t miss: The 4th of July parade will be led by the Firefighters Honor Guard with a fire truck, and entries include antique cars and trucks and the Victorian Ladies Marching Drill Team. Kids can march or ride their bicycles in the parade at no charge.
Where to stay: If you love the idea of staying at a locally themed hotel, try the Best Western Route 66 Rail Haven. It has eight sandstone units dating back to the 1930s and the heyday of Route 66, and you can go full kitsch with an overnight in the Elvis Room, the Marilyn Monroe Room or the Wild Bill Hickok Room. Combine it with a Route 66 road trip for a big slice of Americana.
Best for full-on patriotic vibes
The city that played an integral role in the American Revolution is also the site of a plethora of 4th of July–themed events. (Naturally.) The big one is the famed Boston Harborfest, a multiday festival that includes live entertainment, special Freedom Trail walks and a Changing of the Guard that will transport you back to 1775 so you can watch “colonists” interact with “British soldiers.”
Don’t miss: You’ll definitely want to check out the full-scale parade with marching bands and floats that culminates at the Old State House with a reading of the Declaration of Independence. There’s also an annual concert by the world-famous Boston Pops and a fantastic fireworks display.
Where to stay: Situated along the Charles River, the Royal Sonesta is in an ideal location for experiencing both Cambridge and Boston, not to mention a prime spot for watching fireworks explode over the Boston skyline from the banks of the river. Plus, the hotel is pet-friendly, so you can bring Rover with you to celebrate!
Best for outdoor adventurers
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Jackson Hole is the perfect summer destination for travelers looking to get outside and explore, with long daylight hours, unbeatable weather and countless opportunities for outdoor adventures in the majestic mountain town, including fly-fishing, hiking, whitewater rafting and more. The town of Jackson sits at the crossroads between urban and wild, with easy access to Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks.
Don’t miss: In addition to access to pristine natural areas, Jackson Hole offers a full agenda of ways to celebrate the 4th of July weekend, including Concerts on the Common, the Patriotic Pops and fireworks.
Where to stay: With a fun modern take on authentic Western design, Hotel Jackson redefines the art of Western hospitality with exquisite accommodations in a pristine setting, just steps from the Jackson town square. Each of the unique 55 rooms and suites are authentic to Jackson Hole’s history and landscape, with natural stone, reclaimed barn wood, leather and rawhide. Plus, they all have natural gas fireplaces and spa-like bathrooms for a relaxing finish to the holiday.
Additional reporting by Melissa Klurman.