20 Great Fourth of July Destinations
Whether you're looking for a big city or small town experience, Travel Channel shares our recommendations for the best places to get patriotic this Fourth of July.
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There may be no better place in the South to catch this year’s fireworks than Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park (pictured). Atlanta’s Fourth of July celebration features live entertainment, followed by an impressive display of fireworks. There are plenty of foodie options in this vibrant Southern city, children’s book illustrator Maira Kalman has a show at the High Museum and the National Center for Civil and Human Rights is a must-visit.
St. Augustine, FL
Head down to the Sunshine State for "Fireworks Over the Matanzas" and affordable hotels and family fun in St. Augustine. The annual celebration includes an amazing firework display, plus a free concert after. Not to mention delicious fresh seafood and options like a historic pub tour to get in a proper dose of education as you wind your way through the city.
Pictured: The Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States, is one of several historic landmarks in the coastal city of St. Augustine.
Fernandina Beach, FL
One of the most historic cities in the country, for the best fireworks in Philadelphia, lay out a blanket along Boathouse Row or in Schuylkill River Park. Children and adults will both love the wide array of museums and historic sites from the Barnes Foundation (don't miss video artist Bill Viola's exhibition through Sept. 15) to the Eastern State Penitentiary, Shofuso Japanese Garden and the Museum of the American Revolution.
From its charming neighborhoods to its exploding food scene, Charleston's refined coastal city is a sophisticated getaway with great beaches to boot.
Voted the most patriotic city by USA Today, Knoxville has all the necessities for a perfect 4th of July celebration. With world-renowned barbeque, a host of local breweries and top-notch fireworks display along with all-day festivities including live music in World's Fair Park this little Tennessee jewel has all the ingredients you would need for an all-American celebration.
Low-key, walkable and artsy, this funky Southern city is as casual or as chic as you want it to be and close to the beautiful beaches of Tybee Island.
Big Little Lies has helped put this pretty, moneyed coastal town on the cultural map as of late. It’s also one of most popular 4th of July getaways this year according to Yelp with a fantastic aquarium and stunning coastal vistas.
New York City
You can’t go wrong by celebrating the 4th of July in the city that embodies so much of what makes America wonderful. A cultural melting pot that has welcomed so many immigrants to our shores, NYC rolls out the red carpet for the 4th whether you are hitting the traditional Macy’s fireworks show or checking out the waterfront of Long Island City which hosts a Flea and Food Fourth of July celebration.
From bikeshares to street art, nature parks to a children’s museum and a great zoo this smaller-scale city is easy to navigate for families with small children in tow.
Pictured: Indy’s Cultural Trail turns five this year, welcoming visitors with its world-class bike and pedestrian path that connects cultural districts and vibrant neighborhoods.
Amazing BBQ and a revitalized riverfront, Civil Rights history and Elvis make Memphis a great family destination.
See More Photos: 10 Memphis Barbecue Joints You Have to Visit
Get ready to celebrate the nation’s independence, Midwest style, at Minneapolis’ annual Red, White and Boom festival. Located at the city’s downtown riverfront, the two-day celebration from July 3rd and 4th features live music and family fun, as well as one of the largest fireworks displays in the country.
St. Louis, Missouri
Celebrate July 4th at America’s biggest birthday party under the Gateway Arch in St. Louis. The day kicks off with a 4-mile run, followed by a parade, concerts and, of course, fireworks.
Music city has become a major tourist destination and has been called out for one of the nation’s best free fireworks displays which this year also features Brett Eldredge headlining the city’s Let Freedom Sing! Celebration.
Kansas City, MO
Another city called out for its patriotism, Kansas City also offers one of the prettiest road trips around. Spend some time in the big city and take in the fireworks at KC Riverfest before you head out on an old-fashioned road trip past lush, green rolling hills dotted with colorful wildflowers as you drive the Flint Hills National Scenic Byway all the way from Council Grove to the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve.
Green Lake, Wisconsin
Take your pick: come to Green Lake to kick back and relax, or jump into fun activities like golfing, jet skiing and sailing. Pack a picnic dinner and take off for a casual sunset cruise, or wet a hook to catch perch, white bass and panfish in the deep, chilly water. Summer weekends in Green Lake bring concerts in the park and a series of classical, jazz, and other musical performances at the Thrasher Opera House, while restaurants and bars routinely offer live music. Bring the family and try tubing, tent-camping or snorkeling, and roast some marshmallows before you head home.
A short drive from the busy college town and University of Florida home of Gainesville, the old school 4th of July parade in Micanopy is small town Americana at its best with real Florida "crackers" (Florida cowboys on horseback thrillingly cracking their long whips for the crowd) and lots of locavore charm in the oldest inland town in the state.
Enjoy the world’s largest music festival, Summerfest, over 4th of July weekend or check out the kid-friendly Fireworks Kite Festival among a host of dedicated holiday events.