When it comes to celebrating this upcoming Fourth of July, don’t be half-hearted about it. America’s biggest national holiday demands excitement, wherever you find yourself. Whether you’re stashed away in a hotel or in the midst of a multi-generational family reunion, July 4th is the ultimate excuse for a party. Travel + Leisure shows you how other parts of the country celebrate—and, as a result, inspire you to make your next Independence Day simply great.
Travel + Leisure is dedicated to bringing you the very best Independence Day events, from New York’s iconic Macy’s display to Nashville’s symphony-accompanied extravaganza, one of the country’s largest July 4th fireworks shows. There are other, less conventional ways to celebrate July 4th, too: a hot dog eating contest on Coney Island, for starters. And in small towns across the country, there are enough gunnysack races, dog parades, and outdoor potlucks to keep the festivities going all weekend long.
On lawns across America, July 4th represents a day of unfiltered celebration. With hot dog-loaded grills, frosty beer bottles in the cooler, and American flags raised high, the holiday is an invitation to simply relax and enjoy. But what happens if you find yourself on the road? Travel + Leisure compiles the best holiday celebration opportunities across the entire country, from braving the crowds at Chicago’s Navy Pier to catching the fireworks display light up San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, so you don’t miss out on the fun. For low-maintenance travelers who prefer patriotism minus the city crowds, we’ve got you covered, too. July 4th celebrations run the gamut, from classic county fairs to outdoor concerts to full-marathon races. And in Hawaii, July 4th honors the independence of not just humans, but sea turtles, too.
From coast to coast, the variety of July 4th celebrations simply astounds. By actively honoring our country as a whole, the individual character of each city and town begins to emerge, revealing the true meaning of independence.