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Travel News: July 4th Vacation & Day Trip Ideas

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Fourth of July FireworksWhether you’re a traditionalist who plans to mark July 4 with a patriotic parade, or prefer a holiday weekend that’s red, white and blue “lite,” we have options with every American in mind.  

Donna Owens digs up few notable events happening nationwide (this land is your land, after all) and celebrate a festive and fabulous fourth—any way you want it.


Skip holiday traffic, parking headaches and the mad dash to “claim a spot” to view fireworks.

Fireworks over the waterInstead, book a reasonably priced room and spend your Fourth of July at Gaylord National Resort in National Harbor, Maryland, just 8 miles from Washington, D.C. The Gaylord National’s Fireworks & Fun Celebration offers a weekend chock full of activity. Want music? There’s a live concert on the resort’s outdoor amphitheater overlooking the Potomac River.

If you’re bringing tots, they’ll have their own Kid’s Zone area featuring carnival rides, games and activities, while grown ups can enjoy a Wine & Cigar Garden. The grand finale: a spectacular fireworks show over the Potomac River, which can be viewed al fresco from the resort’s lawns and gardens. Afterward, you can retire comfortably to your own room! Packages begin at $199.

Check out the Best Places to View 4th of July Fireworks Nationwide.


New York City - Statue of LibertyGet into the Empire State of Mind at this year’s 34th Annual Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks in the city that never sleeps. Your options are virtually unlimited, whether you want to enjoy nature in Central Park, people watch and shop in Times Square, or sip cocktails on the rooftop of the new Trump Soho New York, which boasts rooftop views of the Hudson River.

Meanwhile, Brasserie 1605, located inside the Crowne Plaza Times Square, is inviting 95 people to participate in an All-American Picnic Buffet followed by a rooftop viewing of the famous fireworks—no crowds, no hassle for $200 per person. (Alternatively, you can see the festivities from a Hudson River-facing rooms, from $349 a night.)

Find out: Where Are the Best Free Views of Manhattan’s Skyline?


Red, White & Blue FireworksThe Annual Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular is better than any tea party. More than 200 events make up this week-long Boston Harborfest celebration, where visitors can party like it’s 1773. Hear festive musical performances and ooh and ahh from the private rooftop of the Fifteen Beacon Hotel. Later, stroll to The Esplanade, the area where shiploads of fireworks will go down.


The Big Easy will once again flaunt a fireworks show that’s guaranteed to be as fiery as the Cajun and Creole dishes served here. The banks of the Mississippi River will light up with firework displays from two separate dueling barges to give spectators the ultimate show. Book a room at the Hotel Monteleone, slip into your swim suit, and lounge poolside on the rooftop of this luxury hotel.

The latest news: Independence Day Travel Expected to Soar.


Want to rock out on the Fourth? Then head to Park City, Utah, where the city will host the St. Regis Big Stars, Bright Nights Outdoor Concert Series, featuring pop rock band, OneRepublic.

Main Street, Park City, UtahFor those who want a different type of musical vibe, join the Utah Symphony a day earlier (July 3) as the orchestra performs red, white and blue favorites, including those famed Sousa marches. Both events will be held at the Deer Valley Resort’s Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater.

That same weekend in Provo, Utah, locals kick off the American Freedom Festival, the state’s largest Independence Day celebration and one of biggest July 4 fetes in the country. The festival will feature everything from baby contests, to a clogging festival. The evening’s main event, the Stadium of Fire, will boast hundreds of fireworks in the night sky over Provo’s LaVell Edwards Stadium, plus an appearance by country star Carrie Underwood.


A bevy of free celebrations await revelers in Virginia. Enjoy Symphonicity, the Symphony Orchestra or Virginia Beach, as they perform on a stage along the beach at 20th Street.

In Newport News, relish the spectacular views of the James River and hot dogs and more from food vendors.

In Warrenton, the town will host an old-fashioned family affair, complete with a kiddie parade, and Fife & Drum march. Everyone parades down Main Street, with American flags flying, to Court House Square for music and a sweet treat.

By Donna M. Owens for Donna is an award-winning journalist based in Baltimore who reports for print, broadcast and online outlets nationwide.

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