Tired of celebrating the 4th of July in your hometown? Aching to take a summer road trip? Every town celebrates differently, with fun parades, barbecues, and stunning fireworks displays. All you really need to do is pick a direction, and you’re bound to find one of the best 4th of July destinations for your budget.
The home of the signing of the Declaration of Independence is perhaps one of the most historic places you could visit to celebrate the 4th of July. Holiday festivities begin on June 29th and extend straight through July 4th. The city celebrates with free museum entry, several fireworks shows, movie events, and a myriad of concerts. The event wraps up on the 4th, on the parkway, with one last free concert and the biggest fireworks event of them all.
Take in a bit of Revolutionary history as you explore the streets of Boston. Boston’s Harborfest starts on the 1st of the month. The festival itself is free, but you’ll need tickets for museums, tours, and harbor cruises. This year’s fireworks are scheduled for July 2nd. Be at the Inner Harbor by 8:30 pm.
Step back in time with a trip to colonial Williamsburg, where you’ll witness the “first” official celebration of Independence Day. Catch a live reading of the Declaration of Independence, watch a drum corps salute to the original states, and – of course – hit the Palace Green for fireworks later in the evening. Many of the area’s finest eateries will have great deals on family-friendly dinners, including Shields Tavern, the King’s Arms Tavern, and Chowning’s Tavern.
South Padre Island, Texas
South Padre Island, at the southernmost tip of Texas, is a haven for adventurists. The stunning beach spans an incredible 34-miles, offering tons of opportunity for surfing, kayaking, and simply enjoying nature. While you can catch fireworks every Friday evening, they’re particularly breathtaking on the 4th of July.
Long Beach Peninsula, Washington
Almost as big as South Padre Island, the Long Beach Peninsula beach spans 28 miles. The area is a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts, featuring hiking trails, fishing boats, and a myriad of other outdoor activities. Make sure you are at the beach at Bolstad Avenue by 10 pm on the 4th to see the fireworks.
The Jersey Shore
Any shore point along the coast of New Jersey would make a great 4th of July destination, with tons of parades, boardwalks, games, rides, and fireworks. The shore can be a budget-friendly destination for groups, too. While the weekly rental rate averages around $1,300 for a week, split among four people (or more), you can drop that rate down to around $45 per person, per night or less. Camp out in one spot and drive a few miles in either direction to check out the fireworks displays in different downs throughout the week.
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
This is another great destination for those who love spending time outdoors. Nestled along the Wisconsin River, you’ll find not only an incredible landscape but plenty of amazing family-friendly activities. You could easily spend a day hiking, followed by another day at a water or theme park. The city, of course, goes all-out to celebrate the 4th, too.
Bar Harbor, Maine
The summer weather in Maine is absolutely gorgeous at the beginning of July, making it the perfect warm-weather destination for the holiday. The holiday starts with a huge parade. You can then spend the rest of the day at local concerts and exploring the seafood festival. Wrap up a perfect day with a trip to the beach for the fireworks. The only drawback is that the area books up pretty far in advance, so you may have to get creative about finding a place to stay if you wait too long to book.
It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to take a day-trip or find a week-long vacation destination for the family. Cities around the country are skillfully combining Independence Day festivities with summer fun, history, and traditional seasonal tourist attractions. All you have to do is choose a place you’ve never been for a fun and exciting holiday week.