9 places you want to be for America's Fourth of July celebrations
From small towns to the big city, the way Americans celebrate the 4th of July reflect where they live.
With an estimated 7 billion greenbacks being spent on fireworks, hot dogs, and neighborhood parties, where you party is often just as important as who you party with, and boy do we know how to party. Americans love spending the day dressed in American Flag attire with a cold beer, Coca Cola or lemonade in hand watching parades and popping bottle rockets.
And don't forget to purchase your American flags to feel a part of the celebrations.
These are our favorite beach city fireworks, big city parties, and low-key, kick-back spots for our favorite reason to call into work on July 5th this year.
San Diego, California
San Diego’s beautiful beaches and its Famous Gaslamp Quarter are just a couple reasons to visit this amazing city. Combined with the fact that its home to large Navy and Marine bases, patriotism runs through this cities streets. Check out the Julian 4th of July parade to celebrate the gold rush history of the city or the Red, White and BOOM at LegoLand in nearby Carlsbad.
THE OG of 4th of July parades goes down here at 12:01am on the 4th. Known as the Midnight Parade, this parade has been kicking off the party for the last 44 years in this small town. While your there hike the beautiful smoky mountains or take in some of these cities views from the Space Needle.
New York, New York
Whether it’s watching Joey Chestnut destroy another 70 hot dogs (um, gross) at The Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest on Coney Island or watching over 40,000 shells go off at the Macy’s 4th of July fireworks along the East River, this city has it all. Go to Roosevelt Island for family fun or stay out all night at one of the Manhattan clubs that throw Patriotic themed parties.
With its annual Willie Nelson's 4th of July Picnic, and the Austin Symphony Orchestra playing in unison with the fireworks over Lady Bird Lake, this city is a great change from larger cities celebrations while maintaining the vibe of a larger city with the slower way of a small town.
West Beach, Alabama
Known for its FREE white sand beaches and quiet ambiance, West Beach -- ranked among Travel and Leisure's 17 top Fourth of July beach destinations -- is a true destination to get away. After spending a relaxing and quiet day in West Beach for Independence Day, hop in your car and drive a few minutes down the road to the Gulf State Park Pier for a one of a kind Fourth of July celebration including an impressive fireworks display, beginning at 9 p.m. off the Gulf State Park Fishing and Education Pier.
Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada
Join 100,000 onlookers, for The Lights on the Lake Fireworks, recognized as one of the nation's top fireworks displays by NBC's Today. The show is viewable from all over, but, board one of the Firework Cruises and get a front row seat on the water. While you’re there visit the Nevada side and try your luck at one of the casinos or visit one of the ski resorts for summertime mountain biking.
Celebrate The Fourth in America’s birthplace! Beginning at noon party on the Parkway features vendors and concerts on many stages lining Benjamin Franklin Parkway. At 7 the party continues with a concert by Jennifer Hudson and Meghan Trainor, capping off with a huge fireworks display over the Phildelphia Museum of Art.
Visit Harborfest for the 38th annual celebration. Beginning on Monday, July 1, hundreds of events, including reenactments and plenty of music highlight an inspiring week. Things rev up on July 2 with the Chowderfest followed by the Parade of Lights & Firework that includes beautifully lit boats in the Boston Harbor. Don’t miss the harbor cruises or walks along the Freedom Trail. And of course the Fireworks and Pops Concert on the Fourth, which includes performances not only by the Boston Pops Orchestra with the famous cannon blasts, but also features Queen Latifah and Arlo Guthrie.
Although not linked with the American Revolution, the Fourth of July holds immense historical significance in this town as the anniversary of Pickett’s Charge, the final day of the battle that changed the tide of the Civil War. Much like the rest of the country, the town of 7,633 celebrates Independence Day with fireworks, concerts and other community activities. What sets apart Gettysburg’s celebration is how “the dusty old history books come alive” with detailed reenactments and living history of the skirmishes, conflicts and people that make up the whole of the Battle of Gettysburg. This year, the reenactments will be held from July 4-8.
Note: Think your favorite Fourth of July spot belongs on this list? Let us know.