Celebrate & Save on Travel in These Popular 4th of July Cities
Choose the perfect Fourth of July getaway city
I have recruited destination experts on the best ways to celebrate in their favorite Fourth of July city:
For Angelenos, one of the most enjoyable parts of July 4th is how the city tends to empty– making it the perfect time to visit. The Hollywood Bowl has 3 nights of spectacular fireworks and musical performances (this year it’s the Go-Go’s). Grab your girlfriends for another night if celebrations, as the Hollywood Forever Cemetery will play films before a fireworks display.
With so many cities all over Los Angeles having their own celebrations, one of my favorite things to do is head up to the lookouts on Mulholland Drive and watch multiple firework displays take place simultaneously all over the valley!
We all know that no one does firework displays or celebrations quite as well as Disney. If you are in Orlando for the Fourth of July, there is really no place like Walt Disney World for fireworks lovers. Epcot, Magic Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios all have their own themed firework celebrations to music (of course)!
If Disney isn’t your thing, or you are unable to celebrate mid-week, the Daytona 400 will have a firework display on July 7th.
The main firework show in Austin happens off the river downtown. If you want to be a part of the crowd, head to Auditorium Shores. Come early, bringing a blanket, chairs and some snacks to enjoy during the celebration. At 9:30 the fireworks start with a backdrop of downtown accompanied by a live orchestra. If you want to see the fireworks, but avoid the crowd you can head to Barton Springs Mall and see them from the parking lot.
–Dan Bagby honeymoonalways.com
If you’re in Austin for the Fourth, the best thing you can do is go to Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July Picnic. Willie has been hosting the event since 1973, though not always in Austin. Even so, Willie is a local legend, so if you have the chance to see the event while it’s in town, you can’t miss it. It’s an all day affair that always brings in a star-studded lineup, and don’t worry, it finishes with a fireworks display!
The 4th of July in Chicago means getting high -- on a rooftop that is. If you're downtown the best fireworks displays happen over the lake with Navy Pier putting on one of the biggest and brightest spectacles you can see from miles away. The lakefront suburbs also vie to outdo each other with Evanston, Wilmette, and Highland Park offering some of best beachfront celebrations.
–Lauren Monitz thedownlo.com/chicago
San Francisco sets off fireworks from two locations - the end of the Municipal Pier and from barges north of Pier 39 in Fisherman's Wharf. The shows usually starts at about 9:30 p.m. and goes on for about 30 minutes. The best places to watch from land are Aquatic Park at Jefferson and Hyde streets, the Cannery, Ghirardelli Square, Fisherman’s Wharf and Coit Tower. Or you can catch one of the fireworks cruises and watch the show from the water. As with other fireworks the event draws thousands of people, if you want to avoid crowds - head to Bernal Heights Park with a blanket and see the light show from far but against the beautiful lights of downtown San Francisco.
–Priya Vin outsidesuburbia.com
One thing everyone can agree that Miami knows how to do is party. So when it comes to celebrating the birth of our nation, Miami is definitely one of the cities you should consider visiting! There are so many options for celebrating 4th of July in Miami that you might even have a hard time choosing. Spend the day at Miami Beaches Fire on the 4th Festival which is an all day event at the North Shore Park Bandshell. If you want to plan to watch the fireworks show, plan to get there early to get your spot secured. However you decide to spend July 4th in Miami, you won’t be disappointed!
–Jackie Shields getlostwithjackie.com
Celebrating the 4th of July in Washington, D.C. is the best place to celebrate America's Independence! Each year Washington, D.C. throws a massive concert on the National Mall with multiple artists and finishes the evening with spectacular array of fireworks that can be seen through the city and in Virginia and Maryland. Just take the Metro into the city, bring cash for food truck vendors and drinks, enjoy the music, and end the evening with fireworks.
–Nicki Sunderland eatlivetraveldrink.com
New York City
The best way to spend 4th of July in New York City is to book a trip on one of the many ships and vessels that sail the Hudson River to watch the fireworks up close. Many of these 4th of July cruises serve snacks and drinks. Imagine sailing down the Hudson and the music is blaring New York City-themed songs. Suddenly the fireworks begin to explode above you and you crane your neck to catch every flash of light. While you were looking up, the statue of liberty floated next to you surrounded by water tugboats spraying fountains of water in a synchronized performance. What better way to experience 4th of July in NYC.
–Talek Nantes travelswithtalek.com
What’s your favorite way to celebrate the Fourth of July, and in what destination?
This post was written in partnership with Hotwire. As always, all thoughts and opinions expressed are entirely my own.