With Independence Day right around the corner, we wondered where some of the top places to celebrate might be. No matter how you like to celebrate, these cities are sure to hit the mark. In no particular order, here are 10 cities you should visit for an amazing 4th of July celebration!
New York City
New Yorkers know how to celebrate. There’s the massive tree for Christmas, the renowned Thanksgiving Day Parade, the ball drop for New Year’s Eve. So it’s no wonder that they have one of the most impressive celebrations for Independence Day as well. By day, visit Coney Island for Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest or check out the oldest continuous 4th of July parade in Travis on Staten Island. As the sun goes down, find a spot to watch the Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks display, a 30-minute spectacle over the East River.
What better place to celebrate the birth of our country than the nation’s capital? Can’t miss experiences include watching the National Independence Day Parade along Constitution Ave, enjoying America’s favorite pastime with the Nationals at National Park, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the National Mall, and experiencing the amazing fireworks on the National Mall once the sun goes down. #Merica
Start your 4th of July celebration in Boston with the City of Boston’s official Independence Day Commemoration, where the flag is raised on City Hall Plaza. The parade then marches to Granary Burial Ground to commemorate the patriots laid to rest there, and ends at the Old State House with a reading of the Declaration of Independence, just as it was read to citizens in 1776. Hang out with Leslie Odom Jr, of Hamilton fame, at the Boston POPS concert once the sun goes down, and end the night by watching the fireworks display over the Charles River.
No matter where in Seattle you are, there’s something going on for the Fourth. Check out barbecue and mussels on Whidbey Island, music and a pie eating contest at the 4th of July Capitol Hill Picnic at Cal Anderson Park, a parade and classic car show on Bainbridge Island, more music and the Dog Jog & Walk in Bellevue Downtown Park, and more. After the sun sets, Lake Union boasts the biggest fireworks display which can be seen from the banks or on one of the 21+ cruise boats on the lake.
San Diego, CA
Celebrate Independence Day the way our forefathers did with the 1800s-style celebration in Historic Olde Town, or take the kids to celebrate with family fun games and free music at the Red, White and Boom! Legoland® celebration. Get in touch with your patriotic side on the USS Midway, where guests can watch the fireworks display from the flight deck. Known as the “Big Bay Boom,” fireworks are launched simultaneously from four barges across San Diego’s North Bay. Be sure to get your seat early so you can get the perfect view!
Kick off the celebration of our nation with a half marathon or 5K around the Twin City, then head to the baseball stadium to watch the Twins take on the Angels. After you’ve gotten your fill of hot dogs and baseball, check out the family fun, live music and free movies at Father Hennepin Bandshell and Mill Ruins Park before finding the perfect spot to watch the Red, White and Boom fireworks show at the Riverfront District.
Portland’s got a celebration for every style. Get your live music fix at the 30th Anniversary Safeway Waterfront Blues Fest or head over to nearby St. Paul to check out the Rodeo for the day. If craft beer is more your style, consider the BeerQuest Haunted Pub Tour or Brewery Tour the weekend before the Fourth. For a more family friendly outing, head to Walker Stadium to see the Portland Pickles take on the Perth Heat for an exhibition game. Once you’ve at your fill of fun in the sun, grab a spot at Oaks Park for a family-friendly night of fireworks, games and more.
St. Louis, MO
By far the biggest 4th of July attraction in St. Louis is the Fair St. Louis, known as America’s Biggest Birthday Party. Located at the site of the 1904 World Fair - Forest Park - Fair St. Louis boasts a lineup of some of America’s biggest stars, including Akon, Jake Owen, and 3 Doors Down. The 4-day event kicks off on July 1 with the 150th VP Parade at Broadway and Market Street. When the doors to the Fair open on July 2, spend the day on the zip line or human slingshot and stay for music and fireworks. The fun continues Monday and Tuesday, with the Jake Owen taking the stage on Tuesday night before the fireworks. An event that calls itself America’s Biggest Birthday Party has big shoes to fill, but seems to live up to the name!
If you thought all Milwaukee had to offer was great beer, think again. The celebration in Milwaukee kicks off on what they’re calling “Fourth of July Eve” with the annual Milwaukee 3rd of July Fireworks and Kite Festival in Juneau Park. Their goal is to fill the sky with kites, and then once the sun sets, light the night on fire. The party doesn’t stop there, though. Head to any park in the city of Milwaukee on July 4th for parades, talent contests, picnics and more, put on by the Milwaukee County Parks Department. Leslie Knope would be so proud.
New Orleans, LA
The Big Easy is known for it’s lavish celebrations, so it’s no wonder that they go all out for the nation’s birthday. Get your groove on at the ESSENCE Fest, headlined by John Legend, Diana Ross and Mary J. Blige, experience local culture in Mid-City with the Krewe of Kolossos’ 6th Annual July 4th Flotilla on Bayou St. John, then settle in to watch the dueling barges fireworks display known as Go 4th on the River. Take a seat at Jax Brewery, in Woldenburg Park, or down the French Quarter, or get a closer view on one of the steamboat cruises on the river.
What celebrations did we forget? Let us know in the comments!