One of the largest and most exciting American holidays is just around the corner, and it’s time to solidify your plans. The 4th of July is a national celebration filled with pride and jubilation. Not only do people enjoy the warm weather and barbecues, they also enjoy the patriotism.
Some locales are particularly enjoyable for celebrating our country’s independence. We’ve put together a list of the top spots around the country featuring dazzling fireworks displays and magnificent performances. Celebrating America’s 240th birthday in any of these seven 4th of July destinations is sure to be a grand time.
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Start making your plans now—you don’t want to miss these exciting Independence Day events happening around the country!
Where better to celebrate the country’s birthday than the birthplace of America? Philadelphia takes great pride in its annual Wawa Welcome America! event. The event provides more than a week of citywide celebrations, closing with the grand finale fireworks that burst high over the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
First-time Philly visitors will want to get their Rocky climb photo-op at the Museum of Art steps before claiming a spot on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, where this year’s entertainment lineup includes stars from television’s Empire and the Broadway play Hamilton, in what claims to be the largest free concert in America.
Celebrate Independence Day in New Orleans style—the party never stops in this exciting city. Enjoy the delicious Creole- and Cajun-inspired eats (be sure to try the beignets at Café Du Monde) and the relaxed atmosphere of the Big Easy. On the 4th, make your way down to the historic downtown riverfront, where fireworks light up the Mississippi River at the annual Go 4th On the River fireworks show.
Take a steam boat cruise for even closer views of the show. You can make reservations at one of two still-operating riverboat paddle wheelers, the Natchez and Creole Queen. Both offer cruises that evening, along with dinner and live entertainment. This is a real New Orleans experience you’ll remember forever!
Travel back in time to Revolutionary America and relive the excitement of the 4th of July through the eyes of the colonists in Colonial Williamsburg. This Revolutionary City offers fun for the whole family. Experience a reenactment with a fife and drums performance including firing muskets and cannons, as well as a thrilling fireworks show for the grand finale.
If you have a few extra days, consider driving an hour or two to the beaches in Virginia or North Carolina as a cherry on top of your holiday vacation!
San Francisco’s bustling Pier 39 celebrates the holiday this year with live music, food and the city’s 4th of July Celebration at the Pier. Watch the bay light up from Pier 39, Aquatic Park or the Fisherman’s Wharf. Or consider viewing the spectacle from a ferry ride on the bay, a waterfront promenade, one of the city’s renowned restaurants or from a high-rise hotel (book your stay on Travelocity, and earn 2% cash back).
Other popular activities throughout the day include biking around the city, wine tasting tours, free concerts and more. San Fran is one of the most enchanting American cities to explore and never ceases to entertain.
The Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular has been a Boston fourth of July tradition for more than 40 years with performances and a spectacular fireworks display. Every year fans look forward to the rousing grand finale, when the Boston pops orchestra perform Tchaikovsky’s outstanding “1812 Overture,” complete with real cannon fire and church bells that ring out across the city.
Fireworks are launched off of barges in the Charles River, so any spot along the river or on the Harvard Bridge provides incredible views. This year performances will include Nick Jonas and Demi Lovato.
It doesn’t get much more patriotic than celebrating the 4th in our nation’s Capital. Spend July 4th on the National Mall to witness one of the country’s largest fireworks displays. Hundreds of thousands of people descend on the capital each year—and for good reason. Washington offers some magnificent landscapes against which to see a first-class 4th of July fireworks display and musical performances. The visibility is incredible, whether you’re taking it all in from the lawn of the U.S. Capitol or the steps of the Lincoln Memorial as fireworks blast above the Reflecting Pool.
New York City
The 40th Annual Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks show is the biggest display in the country. There are many locations to see the sky light up from Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. You can expect a dazzling display of 40,000 fireworks choreographed to a patriotic score in the evening, followed by a celebration and concert boasting past performers such as Kelly Clarkson, Brad Paisley and Meghan Trainor.
When visiting this city, one can enjoy a baseball game in the afternoon and a dazzling fireworks display in the evening. This is truly a perfect locale to celebrate such an important holiday.
Ready to plant your flag in one of these festive July 4th towns? All of these 4th of July destinations are filled with fireworks and rich history. A visit to any of these cities is guaranteed to provide an amazing time on America’s birthday.
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