Tired old neighborhood fireworks got you down? Get out of town this Fourth of July and venture to some of America’s most-talked-about celebrations. These are the best spots to celebrate our nation’s independence from coast to coast.
1. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
There’s certainly no shortage of things to do in Myrtle Beach during the Fourth of July festivities. This popular tourist destination, a 60-mile stretch of sandy brown sand, becomes a hotspot for the family during the summer months. Particularly desirable for those with kids (or grandkids) in tow, Myrtle Beach boasts a slew of amusement parks, race tracks, and outdoor water parks.
On the Fourth of July in particular, be sure to get a glimpse of the many parades going on throughout the town, including the Pawley’s Island Golf Cart Parade, where participants create "floats" out of golf carts and flatbed trucks. Fitness enthusiasts can take their mark on the Independence Day 5 or 8k run in The Market Common. As night falls, claim a spot along the Boardwalk and turn your head upwards for an inspiring view as the lights of America’s independence reflect off the magnificent Atlantic Ocean.
2. New Orleans, Louisiana
The Big Easy is no stranger to a good celebration, and the Fourth of July is certainly no exception. Located in southeastern Louisiana and straddling both sides of the Mississippi River, this city isn’t short on photo-worthy scenery. And on Independence Day, New Orleans goes all out, hosting not one, but two fireworks shows. At the same time. The display — a duel of brightly colored flames exploding against the black, starry sky — can be viewed from along the New Orleans riverfront or aboard a riverboat. For the latter, hop onto the Creole Queen or Steamboat Natchez and tilt your head directly up into the sky.
During the day, there’s no lack of barbequed meat to sample. For those wanting to snag a great Fourth of July deal, take a stroll along the river walk and into the French Quarter for some bargain shopping as well!
3. Minneapolis, Minnesota
Topping the list of America’s 50 ‘fittest cities’ in 2017, according to the annual American Fitness Index, Minnesotans don’t shy away from being outdoors. And the summer is no exception, especially in July when the weather is arguably at its fairest. Fitness enthusiasts band together on the Fourth of July in Minneapolis during the “Red, White, and Boom” TC half marathon, relay, and 5k at sunrise. And for those that only run when being chased, you can always enjoy the natural wonders that the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” has to offer — or simply pop on over to The Mall of America, the nation’s largest indoor mall, for some shopping and great food. As the weather begins to cool down around sunset, Father Hennepin Bluff Park sets the scene for a fascinating display of fireworks against the backdrop of the Minneapolis skyline. Did we mention there’s a bridge that lights up as well?
4. Mount Rushmore, South Dakota
Displaying the faces of some of America’s most influential presidents, Mount Rushmore National Memorial is one of the hottest places to be to watch the fireworks show on the Fourth of July. The small towns of the Black Hills band together during this two-day celebration, displaying their patriotism with Old West shootouts, reenactments, cookouts, and ice cream socials. At night, stand with thousands of other patriots as the 60-foot faces of Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, and Thomas Jefferson shine above the crowd in the midst of some of America’s most striking geological wonders.
5. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Celebrate America’s birthday at the birthplace of America itself — Philadelphia! For those looking for a true party, the “City of Brotherly Love” makes America’s birthday a weeklong affair. From June 29 to July 4, “Wawa Welcome America!” hosts visitors from all across the nation as they gather ’round and retrace the steps where our Founding Fathers made history. From free museum days to free performances, Philadelphia pulls out all the stops to celebrate one of the most prominent days in American history. On the evening of the Fourth of July, assemble for what is said to be the largest free concert in the country as an awe-inspiring 15 minute light show plays brightly against the backdrop of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
6. Nashville, Tenessee
Otherwise known as “Music City,” Nashville is arguably one of the best places in the nation to get your groove on during the Independence Day festivities. In 2017 they hosted what they claimed was the most significant fireworks show in the country. And with more than 180 music venues around town, what better place to listen to live music than in the city that practically invented music? Let Freedom Sing! Music City July 4th, presented by Dr. Pepper Cherry, is a fun-filled day of music, parades, food trucks, and of course fireworks. Set to the music of the Grammy-award-winning Nashville symphony, this marvellous fireworks display is sure to please!
Wherever you choose to spend your Independence Day, we hope you have a great one. Why not take the opportunity to explore even more of this great country.