With weekend quick trips and fabulous getaways no longer outside the realm of possibility, it’s time to make plans for the fourth of July. Whether you head out to participate in a small-town parade, relish fresh watermelon and funnel cakes at a fair, or enjoy your fireworks from a boat deck in the middle of the bluest-blue lake–you’ll find America has a lot to offer from sea to shining sea.
Bar Harbor, Maine
Bar Harbor, Maine is famous for celebrating the fourth with all-day activities that should satisfy even the most ardent patriot. The town is also located near Acadia National Park, so you’ll have access to stellar natural beauty.
Start off with a craft fair “featuring a wonderful selection of Maine crafts, including jewelry, quilts, photographs, pottery, and porcelain dolls.” Don’t miss the Independence Day parade, the fresh seafood, and the fireworks over Frenchman’s Bay.
If you’re planning on spending the night, make sure there are accommodations available. You might have to book out of town due to the event’s popularity.
Treehouse Cabins at The River of Life Farm, Dora, Missouri
If you’re looking to get away from the fireworks and the crowds, sleep nestled in the treetops of Dora, MO.
Amanda Norcross writes, “There are nine different treehouses from which to choose. Some are not “technically” treehouses since they are ground-level, but are good for large families as they offer space for up to 8 or 10 guests. The Chalet (the largest option) has a fully equipped kitchen.
When you’re not relaxing in the secluded privacy of your treehouse, rent a canoe, kayak or river raft, or go hiking in the beautiful surrounds. ATV tours and fly fishing excursions are also available.”
Bring your linens with you and have a lovely picnic while you’re here.
Charleston, South Carolina
There’s a reason Charleston is included on lists of America’s most beautiful cities. Here you’ll find style and substance, with plenty to do and see. To quote author Pat Conroy, “There is no city on Earth quite like Charleston. From the time I first came there in 1961, it’s held me in its enchanter’s power, the wordless articulation of its singularity, its withheld and magical beauty. Wandering through its streets can be dreamlike and otherworldly, its alleyways and shortcuts both fragrant and mysterious, yet as haunted as time turned in on itself.”
Don’t miss “Mount Pleasant’s Uncle Sam Jam (featuring live music) and Fourth of July Firework Bash, North Charleston’s Fourth of July Festival in Riverfront Park (known for its food trucks and the low country’s largest fireworks display) and Sea Stars and Stripes at the South Carolina Aquarium downtown. You can even watch the fireworks over the harbor at Patriot’s Point from the deck of the historic warship USS Yorktown.”
If you’re looking for a touch of romance on your trip, take a look at the Wentworth Mansion or the French Quarter Inn.
Why not celebrate in Boston, where the famous tea party happened? According to Travel Pulse, Boston is “home to the Freedom Trail and a slew of other attractions where visitors can celebrate American independence. The festivities kick off with the annual Boston Harborfest and culminate with the reading of the Declaration of Independence and the Boston POPS fireworks display over the Charles River on July 4.”
South Padre, Texas
In Texas, they celebrate the fourth in a big way–just like everything else Texan.
According to Trip Savvy, “South Padre Island has been officially designated as the ‘Fireworks Capital of Texas ‘because of its weekly summer pyrotechnics displays. The shows go on at 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays at Clayton’s Beach Bar and Grill. On Independence Day, South Padre Island lives up to its nickname when Clayton’s puts on a huge extravaganza brightening the sky over Laguna Madre Bay. The colorful fireworks and live music taking place from 9 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on July 4, 2020, can be viewed from condos and restaurants on both South Padre Island and across the bay in Port Isabel.”
You can also try your hand at parasailing, surfing, and fishing the local waters.
San Diego, California
Home of the Big Bay Boom, San Diego is a celebrated spot for Independence Day festivities.
According to San Diego.org, “The Big Bay Boom July 4th Fireworks Show is back, promising another spectacular display over San Diego Bay. Fireworks will be discharged simultaneously from barges placed strategically around the Bay off Shelter Island, Harbor Island, Embarcadero North, Seaport Village, Embarcadero South Marina Park, and Coronado Ferry Landing. The impeccably choreographed display will last approximately 17 minutes.”
While you’re there, make sure to visit Coronado Island. Stay in the famous red-roofed hotel where “Some Like It Hot” was filmed. Stroll through the beautiful Balboa Park with its atrium and museums, lunch in the Gaslamp Quarter, take a carriage ride, shop in La Jolla, and be sure to spend plenty of time at the beach.
Happy Independence Day!