Trip Tips: Where to Find Fun, Fireworks and a Star-spangled Hotel Room on the Fourth of July

- Joy Pecknold, Passport blog editor

If another backyard barbeque just isn’t going to cut it (you can always have one of those), pick a different destination for celebrating this year’s Independence Day. We’ve rounded up a few U.S. cities with fun Fourth of July festivities, plus hotels in proximity that make a plush crash pad after the fireworks.

New York
There’s never a special event shortage in the Big Apple, so naturally the Fourth of July is no exception. The Standard New York might just have the best spot for viewing Macy’s 36th annual spectacular, dubbed Ignite the Night. Situated on the city’s west side, the hotel’s windows offer unobstructed views of the Hudson River (not to mention its rooms offer refuge from the crowds below). Last year, our Megan Montenaro biked the day away on Governor’s Island. For easy access, stay in Lower Manhattan at either Andaz Wall Street or The Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park. Take a room at The Ritz with a view of the Statue of Liberty to up the patriotism even more.

Washington, DC
There’s something about spending the Fourth of July in the nation’s capital. It all centers around The National Mall, and includes a parade along Constitution Avenue, concerts and family activities, culminating with a fireworks display over the Washington Monument. For the easiest walk to and from the festivities, room at the W Washington DC or better yet, the historic Hays-Adams where many a famous American—from Henry Adams to Amelia Earhart—has stayed. Lunch at The Lafayette for a White House view to accompany your Waldorf salad.

When you’re home to the Liberty Bell, you’re expected to take Independence Day a little more seriously than the everyone else, and that equals a 10 day freedom festival. The celebrating began on June 25 and culminates on the day of with a parade, fireworks and live performances by The Roots, Queen Latifah, Common and Joe Jonas, among others, on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at Eakins Oval. The Four Seasons Philadelphia puts you nearest to the festival’s epicenter.

New Orleans
In and around Woldenberg Park is where you’ll find most of the Fourth of July action, including the Dueling Barges Fireworks Extravaganza (it’s as exciting as it sounds) in the middle of the Mississippi River. The closest hotel to the heart of the festivities is the W New Orleans French Quarter. If gorging yourself on Cajun food under a searing sun gets you too hot and bothered, give yourself the gift of a dip in the hotel’s rooftop pool.

They regularly fire off fireworks at the Navy Pier, but they’ll bring out the big guns for Fourth of July. You can also opt for a dinner cruise and see the show from the water. During the day, the whole family will find entertainment with the Pier’s array of amusement park rides and live shows. The James Chicago Hotel is just a couple blocks away so you won’t have far to walk before you hit the sheets.

Los Angeles
Dubbed Americafest, the Rose Bowl in Pasadena opens its stadium doors for food, games, a motocross show and the “biggest fireworks show in Southern California.” Seek refuge at The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles, and you can just hop on and off the 110 Pasadena Freeway. Be sure to slot in pre and post pool time.

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