It’s the 4th of July! Independence Day in the United States of America and a day off to enjoy the American summer. If you’re not stateside right now, perhaps you should be: fireworks, good times and celebrations of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness!
The US is a big place, and trying to plan a trip that take it all in is an area where you’ll probably want to bring in the experts. So our friends at Topdeck Travel have shared nine locations that they reckon are the best places to be this July 4. Here’s what they suggest:
1. Las Vegas, Nevada
You’ll want to tell everyone what happened in Vegas after celebrating 4th of July there this year – the city of glitz and glam has something for everyone. Attend an all-day pool party at one of the hundreds of pool clubs along Vegas’ famous strip, or dance the night away in an exclusive nightclub like TAO. Find your next Romeo or right-now-romance and toast to the USA as the fireworks sparkle above.
2. New York City, New York
Bite into The Big Apple this 4th of July and relish in the atmosphere of the city that never sleeps. By day, head to Coney Island for Nathan’s annual Hot Dog Eating Contest. Traditionally, 40,000 hungry spectators will flock to the corner of Surf and Sitwell Avenues to see the impressive appetites of participants. Take NYC by night and get yourself a spot with a view of the east river in Manhattan to see the Macy’s 4th of July fireworks display.
3. Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles, home to hipsters and celebrities, has a wide range of celebrations for America’s 241st birthday this year. Head to Santa Monica for a relaxing view of the fireworks from the beach, or hit America’s annual birthday pool party “Cake” set with waterslides, hot tubs, fire pits and cabanas. Try your luck at celebrity spotting by dining and drinking at Laurel Hardware. The inconspicuous converted hardware store is a restaurant and bar, and is frequented by the trendiest 20-something celebrities.
4. New Orleans, Louisiana
All aboard! Jump on board a steamboat on the Mississippi River this 4th of July for a night you will certainly remember. A spot on The Creole Queen will give you a fantastic view of “Go 4th on the River”, the annual duelling barges fireworks display. If floating along a river isn’t for you, take a seat instead at the Jax Brewery and other venues in the French Quarter, all offering a great view of the fireworks battle. ESSENCE Fest will also be jamming this 4th of July, with headliners such as John Legend, Shaggy, Chance the Rapper and Mary J. Blige. The festival is a premier showcase of African-American music, and will have you grooving all night long.
Topdeck suggests: The south will be calling your name if you’re heading on The Big Easy trip.
5. San Francisco, California
Head down to the Bay and Pier 39 for a breathtaking view of San Francisco’s 4th of July fireworks, or jump aboard one of the many tourist-boats to take you out into the bay to anchor during the show. To beat the crowds, pack a picnic and head to local favourite Bernal Heights Park for views of the fireworks and glittering lights of Downtown. If you feel like trying something a little out of the ordinary this 4th of July, head to “The Stinking Rose” restaurant on Columbus Ave. The deliciously (and hilariously) garlic-fuelled menu will leave you gasping for the breath mints.
Topdeck suggests: Lucky you! You’re heading to San Fran this 4th of July if you’re on the Presidents & Parks Trip.
6. Miami, Florida
Home to heat, alligators, and CSI – Miami has you covered this independence day. Miami’s Bayfront Park has South Florida’s best fireworks display, food, drinks and entertainment. If fireworks aren’t for you, get into the hot Miami nightlife and head to an event at one of the many clubs along Miami’s Ocean Drive Strip.
7. Lake Tahoe
This independence day, experience the real great outdoors at Lake Tahoe. Take a bike ride through the town, picnic alongside the lake or spend the day jet skiing, wakeboarding or kayaking. The annual Red, White and Tahoe Blue event will have you feeling patriotic with a good old fashioned American barbeque and carnival. Take to the lake at night to see the spectacular fireworks display reflected in the pristine water.
8. Greenville, South Carolina
You won’t need to be green with envy this year, when you get to attend the annual AT&T Red, White and Blue Festival in Greenville, South Carolina. The festival has been held annually on the 4th of July for the past 20 years, and hosts around 50,000 people. Located near the centre of Downtown Greenville, the festival features live music, fireworks, food and drinks. If you get a chance, head to Soby’s New South Cuisine for a dinner fused with contemporary and traditional southern food.
Topdeck suggests: Greenville will be where you find yourself this 4th of July if you’re on the School of Rock trip.
9. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
This bustling city is home to some of America’s greatest jazz musicians. Spend your 4th of July jamming to Jazz or head to the “Taste of Independence” Food Truck Festival. The patriotism will be good enough to eat, with delicacies like artisanal cheese, slow roasted beef on brioche rolls, crab cake sandwiches, fish tacos and stuffed pretzels. If you’re got a sweet tooth, bite into some American favourites like kettle corn, fried Oreos and cotton candy.
Topdeck suggests: You’ll be stuffed with independence if you’re on the Maples & Monuments Trip.