SUMMER VACATION IDEAS

4th of July Getaways Every American MUST Take

From unforgettable fireworks displays to the nation's oldest continuous 4th of July celebration, you won't want to miss these exciting Independence Day events happening around the country.

  1. Norfolk, Virginia's 32nd Annual Great American Picnic & Fireworks celebration takes place July 4th at Town Point Park on Waterside Drive. You'll spend the night sampling tasty American fare and be treated to a special performance by the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Band while fireworks dazzle overhead.

    (Courtesy VisitNorfolk)
  2. Spend the holiday relaxing along the Elizabeth River and admiring the Norfolk city skyline before the fireworks show begins at 9:30 p.m.

    (Wangkun Jia/Dreamstime.com )
  3. Columbia, South Carolina, has plenty of events planned for the week of June 28th thru July 4th including the Lake Murray Patriotic Boat Parade, Torchlight Tattoo and Fireworks at Fort Jackson, BBQ & Blues at Irmo Community Park, and the South Carolina Philharmonic Patriotic Music Concert.

    (Sean Pavone/Dreamstime.com)
  4. The Lexington County Peach Festival in Columbia, South Carolina, turns 56 this year with a morning parade, more than 1,000 arts and crafts on display, live performances, an antique car parade, and of course, fireworks. Don't miss the chance to chow down on delicious peach ice cream cobbler, teas, and other peachy products.

    (Courtesy Robin McCartha)
  5. The Ashland BalloonFest takes place this year from July 3-6 in Ashland, Ohio, located between Cleveland and Columbus. The event celebrates its 24th year and is known for balloon glows at sunset and affordable tethered balloon rides priced at $30 for a family of four, or $10 for individuals.

    (Courtesy TourismOhio/DiscoverOhio.com)
  6. Fireworks fans shouldn't miss Red, White & Boom! in Columbus, Ohio, on July 3rd, a spectacular display along the city's downtown riverfront area, touted as the biggest in the Midwest. Kick things off with a parade, family-friendly entertainment, and the chance to sample food from the best restaurants in town.

    (Courtesy Tourism Ohio/DiscoverOhio.com)
  7. Gatlinburg, Tennessee in the Smoky Mountains, celebrates the 4th of July with the 39th run of the nation's First Independence Day Parade starting at midnight on July 4th. Join more than 100,000 people as the city celebrates and honors military veterans with a parade, river raft regatta, music festival, and fireworks display.

    (Sean Pavone/Dreamstime.com)
  8. This year's Grand Marshal of Gatlinburg's First Independence Day Parade in the Nation is Heath Calhoun, a retired Army Staff Sgt. and wounded warrior who participated in the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi, Russia.

    (Sgoodwin4813/Dreamstime.com)
  9. Don't miss the Idaho Statesman Chalk Art Festival & Fireworks Celebration, this year on July 4th in Boise. You'll get to watch as artists create works of art in front of your eyes, and you can even try it yourself. Anyone is welcomed to draw, expecially little ones in "Chalk Land," a special area just for them.

    (Courtesy Chalk Art Festival)
  10. This Boise celebration also includes live musical entertainment during the day and a brilliant fireworks display in Ann Morrison Park at night.

    (Larry Gevert/Dreamstime.com)
  11. If you're looking for a more historical celebration, the state of Virginia is offering several events around the state to mark the holiday. Independence Day celebrations and reenactments at Mount Vernon (pictured here), Monticello, and Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest are not to be missed.

    (Howard Nevitt, Jr./Dreamstime.com)
  12. Santa Fe, New Mexico, is home to the 39th annual Pancakes on the Plaza event, a 4th of July tradition involving live musical performances, a car show, an arts and crafts fair, an evening fireworks show, and what else—pancakes! Tickets are $7 per person ($8 on July 4th) and proceeds benefit local charities.

    (Ffooter/Dreamstime.com)
  13. Providence, Rhode Island, celebrates the 4th of July with the BankRI Independence Day Celebration in India Point Park. Interesting trivia tidbit: George M. Cohan, prolific playwright and composer of patriotic tune "Yankee Doodle Dandy," was born in Providence.

    (Tupungato/Dreamstime.com)
  14. This year's event starts at 7:30 p.m. in India Point Park and features performances by The Rhode Island Philharmonic Pops Orchestra. The night concludes with a spectacular fireworks display at 9:15 p.m.

    (Courtesy Michael Christofaro)
  15. 4th of July weekend in Panama City Beach, Florida, is always a special event. This year, kick things off with a July 3rd performance at Aaron Bessant Park by the Air National Guard Band of the South, a spectacular jazz ensemble you won't want to miss.

    (Ruth Peterkin/Dreamstime.com)
  16. Panama City Beach will also host its very first Color Run on July 4th, as well as the Star Spangled Spectacular, a massive neighborhood block party that finishes things up that night with a fireworks display at Pier Park.

    (Courtesy Panama City Beach CVB)
  17. If you're lucky enough to be in Fort Worth, Texas, this time of year, don't miss Willie Nelson's 4th of July Picnic at Billy Bob's Texas, one of the most popular honky-tonks in Texas, if not the world.

    (Mitchel Varela/Dreamstime.com)
  18. The all-day concert starts at 11 a.m., ends at midnight, and features country music artist Dierks Bentley and performances by, you guessed it, Willie Nelson.

    (Courtesy Fort Worth CVB)
  19. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, celebrates the holiday with the fifth annual Salute from the Shore flyover, an event where vintage aircraft fly along the coast as a salute to all the brave men and women who have fought for our freedom. Grab a flag, run out to the beach, and wave the pilots on as they pass by.

    (Scottnodine/Dreamstime.com)
  20. Nearby in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, keep an eye out for the July 4th Boat Parade, a wonderful tradition where locals and visitors alike deck out their boats and take them out for a spin past the Murrells Inlet Marshwalk. Festivities end with awards for best decorations and an impressive fireworks display on the water.

    (Courtesy MurrellsInlet2020/VisitMyrtleBeach.com)
  21. This 4th of July, join more than 100,000 as Bristol, Rhode Island, celebrates its 229th Independence Day celebration. First established back in 1785, the oldest continuous celebration of the 4th of July, which officially started on Flag Day, culminates in a spectacular parade that attracts visitors from all over the U.S. Don't miss it.

    (Courtesy Bristol)
  22. The Munroe Dairy marching band plays during Bristol's Fourth of July Parade.

    (Dreammediapeel/Dreamstime.com)
  23. California's Mendocino County is offering several events over 4th of July weekend. Don't miss Willits Frontier Days on July 4th, featuring the longest, continuous rodeo in the state (July 4th with a Junior Rodeo on July 5th); the world's largest salmon BBQ at Noyo Harbor on July 5th; and the Village of Mendocino 4th of July parade.

    (Jairo Leiva/Dreamstime.com)
  24. History buffs will love the Grand July 4th Celebration at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine in Baltimore. You'll get to see cannons firing, watch a parade through Federal Hill, and celebrate the holiday with a public reading of the Declaration of Independence, singing, and toasting, starting at 3 p.m.

    (Courtesy Visit Baltimore)
  25. Celebrate on Miami Beach with the Fire on the Fourth Festival, an all-day event featuring live performances by the Marshall Brothers Band and Spam Allstars among others. Don't miss an impressive fireworks display at 9 p.m. from the North Shore Bandshell on 73rd and Collins Avenue.

    (Courtesy Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority)
  26. Celebrate the 4th of July on the beach in beautiful South Beach, Miami (come on, look at that water!) On behalf of everyone at Budget Travel, we hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend wherever you are!

    (Jorg Hackemann/Dreamstime.com)

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