The 10 Best Places for Celebrating the Fourth of July, According to Yelp (Video)
And just like that — it’s time to plan your Fourth of July getaway.
Memorial Day is behind us, and summer holidays are booking up fast. In fact, there’s a chance that that destination you were counting on is already at maximum capacity for Independence Day.
With last-minute planners in mind, Yelp has compiled a list of 10 destinations around the country where you’ll be able to join other Americans piling in for the holiday period. Yelp identified the cities around the country that showed the most activity during last year’s Fourth of July travel period (from June 29 through July 4). The company then ranked the cities by which showed the biggest jump in activity from a normal summer day to the holiday weekend.
The cities represented on the list stretch from coast to coast — with one located far away from the limits of the continental U.S. The list includes beach towns, mountain getaways, and even newly booming smaller cities in the middle of the country.
If you still don’t have plans to get out of town, here are Yelp’s recommendations for 10 of the best places around the country to bite into a watermelon, watch some fireworks, and celebrate the national holiday.
10. St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis is one of those up-and-coming American cities people can’t stop raving about. Check it out now before everyone else does. Of course, you’ll have to stop and see the famous Gateway Arch, but be sure to check out the Missouri Botanical Garden, too. There’s a surprising barbecue scene in the city and reviewers rave over Pappy’s Smokehouse.
9. Savannah, Georgia
Take things slow down in Savannah. Take a walk around Forsyth Park and admire the trees that are more than 100 years old. The Savannah Slow Ride is a 15-person bike ride you can take around a pub crawl, historical excursion or ghost tour. Then dine on a southern meal, family style at Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room, complete with collard greens, fried chicken, and mac and cheese.
8. Bend, Oregon
Head up to the mountains in Bend, Oregon. This is the Fourth of July destination for Americans who love hiking and beer. You can get to know the area’s history and nature through the High Desert Museum and its outdoor exhibits about birds of prey and settler’s cabins. Stop into Bangers & Brew, famous for its bangers and mash. It was voted Yelp’s Top Place to Eat this year. End the trip with a brewery tour at Deschutes Brewery Bend Tasting Room, reviewed highly for its very liberal samples.
7. Kihei, Hawaii
There’s no need to spend Independence Day relegated to the continental U.S. This town on the southwest shore of Maui is a relaxing getaway, high on island vibes. Make your own adventure and hit the water with Redline Rafting, where you can spot sharks, dolphins and turtles. Then have dinner to the tune of live Hawaiian music at Nalu’s South Shore Grill. When night falls, retire to your room at the Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort and fall asleep to the sound of the ocean.
6. Portland, Maine
Stay up north and celebrate the Fourth in Maine. The Portland Museum of Art boasts an impressive permanent collection of artists from the state. If you prefer to explore culture through your tastebuds, sign up for one of the offerings from Maine Foodie Tours. There will be lobster. And if that doesn’t fill you up, stop at Duckfat for a dinner featuring the eponymous ingredient.
5. Miami Beach, Florida
Miami embodies some of the best of American culture. Spend the national holiday in Miami Beach. Visit some of the country’s most iconic street art at Wynwood Walls and then make furry friends at Zoo Miami. Then grab a burger at Kush, where toppings include guava jelly, New Mexico chili and Florida avocadoes.
4. Palm Springs, California
If you prefer desert to sea, opt for Palm Springs. Get some culture at the Palm Springs Art Museum through its stellar contemporary art collection. Then take the Aerial Tramway up to some of the most scenic hiking trails in the country. Trio Restaurant is a local favorite restaurant for its offering of classic American dishes, with an emphasis on seafood.
3. Ocean City, Maryland
This seasonal town becomes the second-busiest place in Maryland every summer (after Baltimore). Book a room at the Atlantic House Bed & Breakfast for a central location from which to explore the city. The Seacrets Distilling Company is famous for its rums, so you’ll be able to pretend like you’re on a Caribbean holiday if you partake in a tasting tour. Stop by Hooked for dinner, where Yelp reviewers rave about the crab dip.
2. Atlantic City, New Jersey
There’s much, much more to Atlantic City than gambling and casinos. Climb up the staircase at the historic Absecon Lighthouse for views of the boardwalk and ocean. Grab a bite to eat at The Continental, famous for its french onion soup dumplings. Then wrap up the whole day with ice cream on the boardwalk at Richman’s Ice Cream Company.
1. Monterey, California
Perhaps it’s been spurred by the hype around “Big Little Lies,” but Monterey is one of the top places in the country to celebrate Independence Day. Commit to the seaside vibes. Book an oceanside room at Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa, stop by the Monterey Bay Aquarium to gawk at the kelp forest and then finish the day with ridiculously-fresh seafood at Monterey’s Fish House.