The 13 Most Patriotic Places to Spend Fourth of July
Whether you’re looking for cool fireworks displays, a taste of small-town Americana, or you want to indulge in some of our country’s most beloved pastimes, these are the perfect spots to spend Fourth of July.
The largest city in America’s heartland, Chicago is home to a spectacular red, white, and blue-only fireworks display at Navy Pier that syncs up with patriotic tunes. Just across town, the Independence Day Salute at Millennium Park’s Grant Park Music Festival features rousing marches and patriotic anthems. Music, dancing, and incredible views can be found on the Navy Pier rooftop for its annual Freedom Fest, a ticketed event that’s become a Chicago tradition and is the best place in the state to celebrate Independence Day. If you prefer to catch the fireworks—and the skyline— from Lake Michigan, there are a number of cruise companies with special sailings on the Fourth of July that include food, drinks, and live music. While in Chicago, partake in quintessentially American activities, like watching the Cubs play at Wrigley Field and indulging in the city’s famous deep-dish pizza.
The birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr., Atlanta is the hub of American Civil Rights. Visit the National Center for Civil and Human Rights for important lessons about America’s turbulent past. Explore the treasures in the Margaret Mitchell House, home of the iconic American author of the classic Gone With The Wind, and see how the nation’s most popular soda, Coca-Cola, is made at World of Coca-Cola. Spend the Fourth at the Red, White, and Brew festival at the Georgia Aquarium, considered one of the country’s best aquariums, then stick around for the fireworks over Centennial Olympic Park.
New York City
A city at the intersection of culture and commerce, New York is the perfect place to spend the Fourth of July. For a taste of Americana, ride the 90+-year-old Cyclone roller coaster and more old-school carnival rides in Coney Island. While there cheer on the winners at Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest. Back in Manhattan, take in incredible views from the Empire State Building and explore America’s history at the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. For small-town America charm, take the ferry to Staten Island, where the village of Travis traces its roots to colonial times. The town’s annual Fourth of July parade is one of the U.S.’s oldest—since 1911! When night falls, Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Show illuminates the New York City skyline (this year it will take place from the Brooklyn Bridge for the first time). Catch the show from one of the city’s many rooftop bars, anywhere along either side of the East River, or opt for a cruise and watch the fireworks from the water. Feeling pumped? Check out 15 Fourth of July images that will get you excited for the holiday.