With the Fourth of July just around the corner, the team here at TakeTours have put our heads together to come up with some of the best Independence Day celebrations around the country. Following are our Top 5 must-see destinations for the holiday!
Flex Your Muscles in L.A.
L.A. does Independence Day in typical American fashion, but with a Californian twist: parades down Sunset Boulevard, a fireworks display at night around LA Memorial Coliseum, and the celebrated AmericaFest show at the Rose Bowl. But what do we mean by a “Californian twist”? What else but a beach-side bodybuilding contest that you will find nowhere else but on Venice Beach. Can you think of a more West Coast way to celebrate America than a display of American muscle? From a state that movie star and former bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger once governed, we think not.
Join a Hot Dog Eating Contest in New York
New York City is a perennial contender on the list of interesting destinations for almost any holiday, and when it comes to lavish celebrations, look no further. In and around Manhattan , walking tours showcase sites where revolutionary history took place, cruises circle the Statue of Liberty, and parties abound. And at night, the incredible Macy’s fireworks display lights up the space over the city’s iconic skyline. Not to be missed is the kitschy annual tradition of Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest on Coney Island, which is almost a century old.
Chow Down on “Chowdah” in Boston
During Harborfest , held every year in the week leading up to the Fourth of July, the whole state relives the American Revolution. Guides in colonial dress multiply in the streets, ready to take you through the history that runs deeply through city, from Faneuil Hall to the U.S.S. Constitution; and on Boston Common a re-enactment of the British invasion pits Redcoats against colonial militia in a modern-day skirmish. Hungry visitors can chow down at Chowderfest, which celebrates this port city’s beloved cuisine. This all leads up to the nationally televised Fourth of July concert led by the Boston Pops Symphony Orchestra and the accompanying fireworks, famously set off above Charles River to the sounds of the 1812 Overture.
Join the City-Wide Block Party in Philly
Starting as early as June 24th, Philadelphia kicks off a string of events at its “Wawa Welcome America” Festival. There are food tasting and ice cream eating events galore at Penn’s Landing, movie showings, (including an early screening of this year’s summer blockbuster, Transformers: Dark of the Moon), community block parties celebrating a mixture of cultures, and much more. On the holiday itself, an Independence Day ceremony on the steps of Independence Hall will feature readings from the Declaration of Independence , followed by a massive Party on the Parkway with loads of activities and entertainment for the entire family. It all culminates with the Fourth of July Jam and Grand Finale Fireworks Ceremony with featured performers The Roots, Earth, Wind, and Fire, Michael McDonald, and Sara Bareilles.
Sing Along with Steve Martin in Washington D.C.
The nation’s capital, with its myriad monuments and national buildings, is a patriotic city even on an average day. But on Independence Day, the city outdoes itself. Every attraction, from the White House to the National Archives, opens its doors to the public for special events not only to educate and inform, but also to honor the history that the city embodies. The annual Independence Day Parade makes its way down Constitution Avenue and features military and marching bands, floats, celebrity guests and VIPs. Beginning early in the morning, the National Mall fills with crowds who gather to watch the Capitol Fourth Concert, which is broadcast around the nation. This year’s fantastic lineup includes comedian Steve Martin performing with his band, the Steep Canyon Rangers, pop music sensations Jordan Sparks and Josh Groban, Broadway performances, television personalities, the National Symphony Orchestra, and more! It’s the capital – what did you expect?