There’s a Party in the USA: The Cities with the Best Annual Fourth of July Celebrations

Sophie Kenfield | Sun Jul 02 2023

Who’s ready for some good old fashioned American pride? You guessed it, the Fourth of July is just around the corner, and that means one thing…time for a celebration! The biggest federal holiday in the entire United States is now less than a week away, so if you haven’t already, you better start planning your celebrations.

Fancy something new this year? Popular Everything has got you covered. We’ve done the digging to find some of the best places to enjoy this day of red, white and blue nostalgia. Have a look below to discover our favorite summer ideas we’ve got in store for you, your family and all your friends!

New York City, New York

If there’s ever been a day to let your hair down and party day and night, American Independence is the perfect event. Keen to get in on all the family fun this year? We’ve surely found the place for you in the city that never sleeps! That’s right; we’re headed over to the Big Apple.

Where to first? Kick off the summer festivities at the Coney Island boardwalk. Get your mouth watering at Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Contest, before hitting the Cyclone roller coaster and Brooklyn Flyer at the amusement park. Come evening, and you can find a spot by the East River to watch some truly incredible fireworks. Not a bad day out, right?

Key West, Florida

If you consider yourself a bit of a foodie, this one is definitely for you. Head over to the Florida Keys if you want to stuff your face all day long – we know we would! This string of tropical islands has truly got it all, from cooking classes and tastings to scavenger hunts. To top it off, they put on a spectacular firework display at White Street Pier in the evening.

What’s not to love? Endless food in celebration of the annual Key Lime Festival, followed by a good old party. It sounds like the perfect day if you ask us! For those of you early risers, we recommend heading over to the 10 am Key Lime Eating contest – you won’t be disappointed, just maybe a little stuffed!

San Francisco, California

If you’re looking for a whole day’s worth of jam-packed activities this Fourth of July, the Golden Gates of San Francisco will welcome you with open arms! This stunning city has it all, starting with live rock music and spectacular street parades to an impressive firework show. After all, what better way to celebrate Independence Day than lighting up the sky?

Those of you searching for a way to spice up the usual festivities this year, we strongly recommend this Californian city. We can’t think of anything more exciting than watching the sky illuminate all from inside a cruise ship, could you?

Charleston, South Carolina

Nothing beats a little southern hospitality, so why not head down to Dixieland this Independence Day? The people of the South party it up just as much as they do in the North, so let’s have a look as to what’s in store here, in just a couple of day’s time.

The real question is, what’s not in store here? Get your flags a-waving at the Fourth of July Festival in Riverfront Park, or see how the underwater community lives it up on this patriotic day at the downtown Aquarium. To top the day off there is, of course, a firework display. Head over to the deck at Patriot’s Point, for some full-fledged illuminations.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

If you’re looking for some stars and striped themed entertainment, why not give America’s birthplace a try? Philadelphia has everything you’re looking for this summer and more. If you’re a little tight on cash this year, never fear! The Philadelphians have pulled through.

So, what’s so great about this city? In true Fourth of July spirit, a free concert and firework display are held at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, just so that everyone can get in on the fun. If you’re all about a booming atmosphere, this is certainly the place to be. Go, America!

Las Vegas, Nevada

A little party never killed nobody, so let’s all go to Sin City! We’re sure Independence Day at Las Vegas is on a lot of people’s bucket lists, and for a very good reason. We bet there’s no better feeling than celebrating the anniversary of your nation’s liberty in the most extravagant city in the States.

It may be pricy, but so worth it. Dance the night away at prestigious nightclubs with the best DJs, or get the best spot in the country watching a miraculous firework display atop luxury resorts, such as Caesars Palace. For a more low-key celebration, Fremont Street hosts it’s share of community events, parades and concerts. It’s a win-win situation!

New Orleans, Louisiana

We’re headed back down to the South! This time, in the heart of Louisiana, to celebrate the Independence of our nation state. For those of you who like to party from light till dark, better make sure you get yourselves to the Sneauxball Festival. You won’t regret it!

So, what’s going on here? There’s live music, food and drink, a car show, and so much more. What’s more, the festival is totally free! So you get all the fun that comes with this all-American holiday, without having to even make a dent in your pocket. Sounds like our kind of activity!

Denver, Colorado

American Independence Day is pretty much just an excuse to party all day with your family, so Denver might be one of the most appropriate places to celebrate this Fourth of July. After all, it’s such a family-friendly location! The weather is just perfect around this time too, it’s not too hot, which means no moaning kids!

It’s time to pay Colorado a visit! Kick off the festivities at Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park. Here the whole family can get involved, riding down the rollercoasters and water slides all day. Come evening, and you can stay exactly where you are, as a brilliant firework display lights up the downtown amusement park from dusk.

Memphis, Tennessee

If there was ever a city that truly defined the all-American spirit of Independence Day, Memphis would probably be that city. All of you sun-worshippers better head down to southwest Tennessee this Fourth of July because they’ve got a party to throw!

Let’s get the barbecue going! Whether you’re into rooftop parties at The Peabody Hotel or a high-spirited baseball game at the AutoZone Park, there’s something for everyone here. For a more traditional celebration, head to Mud Island River Park for live music and activities, before the fireworks get started over the Mississippi River.

Washington D.C.

This wouldn’t be a true roundup of the best places to celebrate the Fourth of July without a mention from the capital city! That’s right, we’re headed over to see how Washington D.C. jumps on this all-American party wagon. Kicking off this day in the most Fourth of July way possible is a tremendous parade.

The National Independence Day Parade spreads through Constitution Avenue from 7th to 17th Streets and picks up quite the crowd. For a patriotic atmosphere, this is the place to start your day! Continuing the national pride, you can tour some famous monuments before bringing the day to a close with an epic firework display at the National Mall.

Seattle, Washington

If you’re around the Pacific Northwest this Fourth of July and fancy some all-American fun that won’t break the bank, the city of Seattle may be your best bet. Start your Independence Day the right way, at the Seafair Summer celebration – it’s completely free!

Just because you don’t pay entry, doesn’t mean this event won’t be worth your while. It has all the traditional Fourth of July festivities, like live music and delicious food and drink, but it doesn’t end there. Ever wanted to take part in a pie-eating contest? They’ve got one! Wash down the pie after at the beer garden, then chill out watching the glorious firework display at Lake Union.

Miami, Florida

Want to take a trip to the sunshine state this Independence Day? You totally should, it won’t leave you disappointed and we’ll tell you why. If you like the sound of celebrating the anniversary of your country’s freedom on the beach, quit waiting around and get yourself to Miami!

That’s right, this city holds Fourth of July festivities on the glamorous South Beach. Young or old, this place does not discriminate when it comes to having a little (or a lot of) fun. Spend the day drinking away your troubles while catching some rays before, you guessed it, a grand firework display. What’s not to love?

Wilmington, North Carolina

Proving that Northern Carolina is just as good as the south, here comes Wilmington! If you want to keep the celebrations lowkey this year, you totally can. Wilmington is probably one of the most chilled out cities to enjoy your country’s anniversary of independence, and we’ll tell you exactly why.

Just kick back, and relax. If you want to keep things simple this year, you’re free to spend the day laying out at Carolina Beach Boardwalk before preparing for some fireworks to light up the sky. Alternatively, you could hop on a Firecracker Cruise along the river. Whatever you do here, it’s guaranteed to have chilled vibes!

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Chicago that toddling town! That’s right; we’re hopping over to one of the largest cities in the States to celebrate this great day of patriotism. If you’re keen to keep yourself busy this Fourth of July, you’re going to need to pay Chicago a visit ASAP, it may become your new annual tradition!

In this Illinois city, you can pig out from early till late as Chicago holds some of the best BBQ restaurants we’ve seen. If you’re a sucker for a good firework display, the city has the biggest and the best. The Navy Pier puts on one of the most patriotic displays we’ve ever seen, and it gets the crowd going every year without fail.

Lake Tahoe, California

If you’re looking for some family-orientated fun this Independence Day, there’s no better place to spend it than this popular lake resort. Lake Tahoe reaches a high spot on our list of the best Fourth of July locations. We’ll tell you everything you can expect here.

Who said American Independence celebrations could only last one day? For these Californians, the week-long festivities ensure spirits stay on a constant high. The lake holds some of the most impressive light show the country has ever seen. When an event is called a “Red, White and Tahoe Blue Fireworks Extravaganza” you can only expect great things!

Houston, Texas

Howdy, fellas! We’re partying like the cowboys this Independence Day. There’s so much to do in Houston, we wonder why we haven’t spent our Fourth of July there before! Whatever you choose to do in this Texan city, it’s guaranteed to be the perfect day out for both you and your family.

Grab your blankets, it’s time for a picnic! One of the many events Houston holds on Fourth of July is an Independence Day concert at the Miller Outdoor Theatre. For something more traditional, Eleanor Tinsley Park holds live music before a series of fireworks light up the entire sky come evening.

Boston, Massachusetts

This one’s for all you keen learners out there! Boston is one of the best places to not only celebrate with friends and family but learn the history of how our nation-state achieved their liberty. It’s great for all the family to get in-the-know about how the United States came into being.

In the most patriotic way possible, this day kicks off with a full-fledged parade to the Granary Burial Ground, followed by a reading of the Declaration of Independence, ending with a spectacular firework display along Memorial Drive of the Charles River. It’s safe to say, you won’t leave this place feeling anything but pride for your country!

Mackinac Island, Michigan

Feel like paying a visit back in time, to the late nineteenth century? Mackinac Island is taking you back to the days where before cars were a thing. Instead, you’ll be driving around in horse-drawn carriages and bikes. Sounds like your type of thing? Pay this Michigan island a visit on Fourth of July.

Among this olden day island, you can find a range of activities that will keep the whole family entertained. For the little ones, there’s a number of games set up on the lawn while the rest of you can tuck into a delicious all-American buffet, while a series of majestic fireworks light the sky.

Nashville, Tennessee

Is there any Southern city in the States that doesn’t hold an impressive Independence Day? Nashville certainly is not one. Pay a visit to the capital city of Tennessee, if you wanted to see why patriotism features on every corner here during Fourth of July. Once again, they hold completely free events!

Featuring some of the most impressive line ups, the city of Nashville loves to get its crowds cheering through their live concerts, which also holds child-friendly activities, followed by some of the best fireworks the country has ever seen by 5th and Broadway.

Bristol, Rhode Island

Now, here’s a little Fourth of July trivia for you: did you know, the town of Bristol in Rhode Island is one of the very first places to celebrate Independence Day, dating all the way back to 1785? With so many years of experience, we’re pretty confident these people know how to throw a good party for the family.

Start your day with a little nostalgia, observing the oldest Independence Day parade in history. The Fireman’s Parade starts at 10:30 am and concludes a series of festivities which have been going on since June 14th, such as a firework show over Bristol Harbor, a drum show, golf tournaments, and much more. Now, that is a dedication to your country!

Williamsburg, Virginia

This southeastern city potentially has one of the most nostalgic atmospheres on Independence Day, so it makes a great day out if you’re looking to get some education out of it! Fourth of July in Williamsburg will have you feel as if you just took a time machine back to where it all began in 1775.

The colonial theme completely takes over the city on this day. From the Declaration of Independence readings to militia assemblies! Even the live music has a colonial twist, as musket and cannon firings feature during the performances, followed by a firework display. This day will be any history lovers dream!

Minneapolis, Minnesota

If you’re all about the hustle and bustle on Independence Day, Minneapolis is the location you’ve been looking for. Hosting a grand total of over 75,000 visitors every year, the people of this major city clear know exactly how to hold a stars and stripes themed party!

People in this midwestern state tend to do things a little differently come Fourth of July. They love to kick off the celebrations with a half marathon, a 5km run, and a relay, followed by an evening of family-orientated activities, and live music. All this is done before a display of fireworks light up the night sky. Come to Minneapolis, if you don’t want to get bored!

Gatlinburg, Tennessee

We’re hopping back over to the southern state of Tennessee, this time in the eastern city of Gatlinburg to see what the red, white and blue fuss is all about! If you consider yourself to be an early riser, you might want to travel over to this city, as they wake up at 12:01 am to commence the Fourth of July celebrations!

That’s right, this city prides itself on its timeliness when it comes to nation-state festivities. Join over 80,000 spectators during the iconic event, before continuing the celebrations including a free concert given by the Army band, before heading downtown for their annual firework show. It’s a day of patriotic fun from start to finish.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

This is the perfect way to spend Independence Day for all of you outdoorsy types. Situated on Surfside Beach, you can begin the festivities by observing the Garden City Golf Cart Parade, and believe us, it’s even more fun than it sounds!

The parades just keep on coming! By late afternoon, be sure to get yourselves to the Murrell’s Inlet fishing village for their all-American Annual Boat Parade. Finish off the parade with a variety of activities and shows as well as the impressive firework display on Surfside Beach Pier. It’s all-around fun for the whole family!