July 4th is America’s birthday celebration from coast to coast, with festivities focused on fireworks, families and food, there’s fun for everyone! Grab a cooler full of drinks and eats, and find your favorite city to celebrate. This year, whether you’re on the east, west, or in the middle of the U.S., there’s a celebration near you worth traveling to! Here are the best U.S. cities to spend July 4th.
An extraordinary display of traditional American patriotism would not be complete without fireworks above the very emblem of the United States – the nation’s capital. Washington D.C. doubles the view by utilizing the beautiful reflecting pool beneath the Washington Monument to mirror the show in the sky!
Pick a prime spot on the National Mall long before the show and mill with the crowds, and maybe bring a few sandwiches before the night sets in and the pyrotechnics start. For about 20 amazing minutes, everyone will be looking skyward for the nation’s bright display of pride and freedom.
New York, New York
The city that never sleeps will dazzle you with their astounding fireworks display, best enjoyed near any spot by the East River all the way to the Long Island water front. Macy’s pulls out all the stops for this annual show, employing thousands of unique effects meant to mesmerize over three million patriotic patrons every year!
Though the event itself is less than half an hour from start to finish, it’s a must-see for fans of the fourth. For 2017, the show will launch from the Brooklyn Bridge itself, as well as floating platforms in the form of barges in the East River. Grab a bottle of champagne, pop the top and say cheers to the Big Apple’s big show!
For a musical and magical display, head to Philadelphia, where the very document was signed initiating the holiday itself – the Declaration of Independence. For 2017, this event will feature some of America’s best performers, including Mary J. Blige and the ever-loved Boyz II Men!
Be prepared for a non-stop extravaganza, with over 15 thousand fireworks lighting up the sky. For best viewing, set up near the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and join half a million patriots enjoying the show.
St. Louis, MO
St. Louis goes one better and hosts their annual event in style – “America’s Biggest Birthday Party” – over three whole nights in the expansive and historical Forest Park. While waiting for the nightly display, make sure to spend some time in the city, where they’ll be setting up stages featuring performers such as Akon and 3 Doors Down, among others.
Once the sun sets, head over to the northwest area of the park (just north of Lagoon Drive), and take a seat near the St. Louis Art Museum before the action starts!
Lake Tahoe (CA, NV border)
Lake Tahoe is one of the most beautiful natural wonders in the United States, and on the 4th of July they light it up for an even more breathtaking display. One of the more lengthy fireworks shows in the country, get ready for nearly half an hour of brilliance both in the sky and reflecting on the clear, still waters of the lake.
For the best views, get floating and boating on the water! If manning a boat isn’t your speed, get a ticket and take a ride on the MS Dixie II, a 500-passenger paddle-wheel cruise that’s sure to satisfy your patriotic plans.
San Francisco, CA
The west coast may be the best coast for fireworks! Another highly frequented event for July 4th is held from San Francisco Bay itself, with in-water barges hosting a 25-minute spectacle celebrating the Stars and Stripes.
The historical and classic Fisherman’s Wharf district goes red, white and blue for the evening, so pick a spot anywhere along the water and get ready for a show. Get to the area early to enjoy the live performers and maybe grab some fresh seafood before the sun sets.
One place you may not have heard of for extraordinary 4th of July festivities is Jacksonville, where you can choose from two amazing fireworks displays this year, and every year. Downtown Jacksonville hosts their annual fireworks display from the St. Johns River itself from 5 to 10pm, with the beautiful bright blue Main Street Bridge as a backdrop. Live music and drink specials for the over-21 crowd are on tap at the Jacksonville Landing, which is also one of the best places to view the show.
If the beach is more your vibe, head down to Jacksonville Beach for their 9pm show on the 4th, where you can sit back and watch as the pyrotechnics light up the famous pier. Make your way to either location early and grab a bite at the many restaurants and bars that cater to the beach lifestyle, then set up along the water with the friendly locals and enjoy America’s birthday!
Wherever you spend July 4th, make a plan to gather around friends and family with your favorite foods, drinks, and the best view to watch the fireworks! From New York to San Francisco to Jacksonville, enjoy the 4th this year!