America, isn’t she beautiful?
Every day is a great day to celebrate America’s freedom from oppressive tyranny, but the Fourth of July is a cut above the rest.
Whether you’re looking to have a quiet getaway and celebrate America’s glory with a bursting firework display on the beach, or live it up eating hot and spicy BBQ chased down with a cold brew at a festival, we’ve got you covered.
From sea to shining sea, nothing beats ringing in the Fourth of July other than doing it the good ol’ fashioned American way.
If you’ve decided to lay low this year and simply grill some burgers outside and launch your own backyard fireworks, that’s cool too, rock on!
However, if you’re looking to take it up a notch and take part in some of the most patriotic festivities in the nation, you’re guaranteed to have a Fourth of July experience you’ll never forget. But you gotta know where to go.
More than half a million people flock to Boston on the Fourth to watch the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular show blazing bright in the sky above the Charles River.
But not only does Boston light up the sky with a massive fireworks display, they are known for hosting Boston Harborfest, the largest Independence Day festival in the country.
If you’re a history buff, or simply want to learn more about just how great America really is, Harborfest is an incredible 7-day celebration highlighting the best of American history and the harbor.
Millions of people each year from all around the world flock to Boston to partake in the hundreds of Harborfest activities, including historical boat tours and Freedom Trail walks.
If you make it to Harborfest don’t forget to check out Chowderfest, where you can sample clam chowder from Boston’s best local restaurants while listening to live music.
It really doesn’t get any better than this.
If you’re looking for a more intense and lively Fourth of July experience, Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July Picnic is a “must attend” event on your travel bucket list.
This legendary picnic has taken place every year since 1973 and boasts an impressive following of faithful repeat attendees.
Not only will freedom loving Willie Nelson be there himself, but he’s bringing all his friends for an all-day concert starting at noon.
Pro-tip – if you have the endurance to make it to the end and hear Willie himself close out the show, you’ve got to prepare for the heat.
Drink water. A lot of it. And then drink some more.
July is sweltering, especially in Austin, and when you’re rocking it out for 8 hours in the blazing sun, you’ll be glad you listened to our advice.
Bringing it back to the nation’s capital, there’s no shortage of Fourth of July activities to do in D.C.
One of the best ways to get in the patriotic spirit is to celebrate Independence Day on the National Mall surrounded by hundreds of thousands of people in red, white, and blue gear, encircled by the nation’s monuments.
And of course each year D.C. hosts the Capitol Fourth lineup, a free concert on the National Mall.
The 2018 lineup includes everyone from Jimmy Buffett to The Beach Boys!
Pro-tip, if you happen to be in D.C. a day early, check out the concert rehearsal which takes place on July 3rd.
It’s the same songs and lineup as you’ll see on the big day, but without the massive crowd and tourists.
When it comes to fireworks on the Fourth, there are countless options to watch the colorful patriotic display.
From a blanket on the National Mall, to a boat cruise down the Potomac River, you really can watch the fireworks anywhere you want.
But if you’re looking to skip the National Mall crowd, head over to the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial, and watch the fireworks in Northern Virginia.
Seeing the fireworks light up the sky with such a meaningful memorial in the background is a humbling reminder of the sacrifice those who have gone before us have made to give us the freedom we know and cherish today.
San Diego, California
Sometimes, you need to just get away from it all and go to the beach.
But that doesn’t mean you need to forgo a patriotic celebration of America’s greatness!
San Diego is known for hosting one of the best firework shows in the nation.
The Annual Big Bay Boom July 4th Fireworks Show is SoCal’s largest fireworks production, and boasts an 18-minute choreographed display with music.
And since the fireworks are launched from four separate barrages, you can see them anywhere down the coast.
What could be better than watching the sky light up over the San Diego Bay?
Celebrate the Fourth this year by bringing it back to where it all began in 1776 with the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
Philly takes the significant role they’ve placed in American history quite seriously, and celebrates America’s birthplace in style.
The Wawa Welcome Festival kicks off June 28th and is an epic 7-day festival with more than 50+ free events, with everything from Red, White, and Blue Happy Hours, to free movies and local museum tours.
And on July Fourth, get ready for a marathon day of patriotic festivities, starting off on Benjamin Franklin Parkway, which has everything from food trucks to live music.
They even have hand-carved sand sculptures and an Independence Day Parade!
If you make it all the way into the evening, close it out with a live concert with this year’s musical guest Pitbull, and be sure to stay for the grand finale of a firework display over the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
America is already great, and you can pick any of these top destinations to celebrate the star-spangled glory of everything red, white, and blue.
Whether you choose to watch the bursting display of fireworks over the San Diego Bay, or celebrate America’s history in the heart of the nation’s capital, you can truly rock it out this Fourth of July with the best America has to offer.
(h/t Proud American Traveler)