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10 Fourth of July Vacations Everyone Needs to Take at Least Once

From the food to fireworks, there's nothing not to love about these splurge-worthy Independence Day celebrations.

Fourth of July, New England-style

The Castle Hill Inn in Newport, Rhode Island, celebrates the day with bonfires and lobster rolls. Plus, you can stretch out on the lawn for unobstructed views of the city’s annual fireworks display. Best of all, the bonfires on the property’s private beach have s’mores under the stars—and nothing brings back childhood memories of summer more than melting chocolate over an open flame. Don’t miss ten of the most spectacular Fourth of July fireworks displays in America.


Fourth of July among the glitterati

An elegant bed and breakfast, the Baker House 1650 in the tony Hamptons, is right by Main Beach where, just a mile down the road, you can watch the town fireworks. During the day, relax on the wisteria-lined lawn with a book—there are comfy teak lounge chairs, vine-covered walls, and a gorgeous infinity pool to dip in when you get hot. Many rooms have wood-burning fireplaces, beamed ceilings, and whirlpool tubs, and you can take your breakfast in the garden if you like. The inn is walled off from the rest of the world by hedges for extra privacy–just like the celebrities and other bold-face names who have homes here like it. Check out 15 of the best vacation spots for summer travel in the U.S.


Fourth of July, Brooklyn-style

This hot new hotel, 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge located at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge on the edge of Brooklyn Heights and Dumbo in New York City, is also situated right in front of the barges that send the fireworks up over the East River in the annual Macy’s-sponsored display. Hate crowds? Book a room that overlooks the fireworks from your very own balcony and toast to the nation in total privacy, knowing you’ll never have to stand on your tippy toes to see the show. If you’re a fan of waterside views, these overwater bungalows could be the perfect place for your next vacation. 


Fourth of July, city-style

On the other side of the river, there are also plenty of towering buildings from which to view the display. Mr. Purple, on the rooftop of the Hotel Indigo Lower East Side, is a hotel in the trendy Lower East Side neighborhood and has two terraces. From there, you get 360-degree views of the famed Macy’s fireworks as well as a chic, fun crowd and holiday-themed cocktails—the cotton candy of the over-25 set. If you’re traveling with family, check out some of the best family travel destinations in every state.


Patriotic Fourth of July

Sure, the Mall in Washington, D.C. is an iconic location for watching the national fireworks display, but it’s also a cast of thousands and usually steamy and hot. The celebration at the elegant Hay-Adams Hotel takes place in the Top of the Hay, which overlooks The White House and the Mall, with a great view of the show as well as passed hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, and a candy bar. The capital’s fireworks display is pretty special, too; it has, in the past, included stars and stripes as well as smiley faces and hearts.


Beach with the fam

You could drive around this holiday, looking at sites, or you can just relax in the sun. The family-friendly Boca Raton Resort and Club in Boca Raton, Florida is celebrating singer-songwriters this July 4th weekend, with a variety of performances by American entertainers. When you’re not gathering around a stage listening to a live performance of, say, banjos, there are plenty of other things to do, including golf, bocce, boating, tennis, a private beach, and a FlowRider surfing simulator that teaches you how to ride the waves. Plus, the holiday celebrations include a barbecue and carnival games. Check out ten of the best beach vacation destinations in America.


Florida-bound Fourth of July

The oceanfront Atlantic Hotel and Spa in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is offering an all-American barbecue (think barbecue, corn on the cob, and apple pie) and a fabulous vantage point on the palm-lined beach for the fireworks. Spend the day by the pool, making sand castles, or running along the surf … just be sure to be back for the holiday happy hour. Don’t forget the best small-town weekend getaways around the U.S.


Vegas-style Fourth of July

Drai’s Beach Club, on the roof of The Cromwell, a new boutique hotel on the strip in Las Vegas, is hosting a July 4th party that’s as Vegas as can be. Picture bikinis, palm trees, and multiple pools, and VIP tables with bottle service, all pulsing to the rhythm of a DJ and lit with an elaborate LED system.


Fourth of July in the desert

This sprawling Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Scottsdale, Arizona, sure knows how to party. Independence Day here includes a vintage air show made up of 30 military aircraft, several bands (including a Michael Jackson tribute band, a parachute show, a watermelon eating party, red-white-and-blue frozen drinks, and—if that weren’t enough—a whopping five nights of fireworks. Plus, the resort is already celebrating summer, with 200-foot-long waterslides, cabanas, and a man-made beach topped with (get this) chilled white sand.


Fourth of July, Hawaiian-style

This beautiful beach resort on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii, the Turtle Bay Resort is opening its lawns up for everyone to watch the fireworks and enjoy a truly Hawaiian celebration of Independence Day. They’ll be 30 food trucks serving up everything from poke to shaved ice, and a Hawaiian slack key guitar festival will feature Hawaiian entertainers. You can also book a VIP package and watch the sky light up from one of the resort’s terraces or bars. Next, check out the best place to celebrate the Fourth of July in every state.

Sherri Eisenberg
Sherri Eisenberg is an award-winning glossy print veteran for top travel, bridal. food, and lifestyle magazines who is equally deft with digital, social, mobile, and branded content. She has written for Condé Nast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, and Bon Appétit, and has served as cruise editor for Travel and Leisure and Travel Holiday as well as and She has also been a columnist for The Los Angeles Times and, as senior travel editor of Condé Nast's Brides, she won the Lowell Thomas Gold Award for best travel coverage in a non-travel magazine. Sherri is the author of "The Food Lovers Guide to Brooklyn," which was published by Globe Pequot Press in 2010 and covered by everyone from The New York Times to Time magazine. She keeps a bag packed at all times and has no plants or pets so she can hop on a plane — or a ship — at a moment's notice.