As the summer sun reaches its zenith and the anticipation of Independence Day builds, Americans across the country begin to dream of the perfect destination to celebrate the nation’s birthday. From the sun-kissed beaches of Virginia to the glittering cityscape of Las Vegas, each destination comes alive with the sights, sounds, and flavors of patriotic revelry, each offering a unique expression of the American spirit. For those seeking to elevate their parties beyond the backyard barbecue, we’ve carefully curated a selection of the best 4th of July celebrations for 2024.

Why do we celebrate the 4th of July?

The Fourth of July, also known as Independence Day, commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, marking the birth of the United States as an independent nation. On this day, Americans come together to celebrate the freedoms and liberties that define the American spirit, honoring the sacrifices made by the nation’s founders and all those who have fought to preserve these ideals. Celebrating the 4th of July has become a cherished tradition, filled with patriotic displays, heartfelt reflections, and joyous gatherings with family and friends.

Budget-friendly 4th of July celebrations

1. San Antonio, Texas

Best 4th of July Celebrations for 2024 - San Antonio, Texas

Dive into San Antonio’s rich culture at the free Independence Day Celebration in Woodlawn Lake Park, one of the best 4th of July celebrations. Indulge in delicious local cuisine like succulent barbecue and spicy Tex-Mex, dance to the lively beats of mariachi bands and country music performers, and marvel at the stunning 20-minute fireworks display from a barge in the middle of the serene lake.

2. Salt Lake City, Utah

Best 4th of July Celebrations for 2024 - Salt Lake City, Utah​

Escape to the stunning landscapes of Salt Lake City for a free 4th of July celebration at Jordan Park. Enjoy live performances, including patriotic orchestras and energetic rock bands. Participate in family-friendly activities such as face painting and carnival games, and witness a breathtaking 30-minute fireworks show illuminating the night sky against the majestic backdrop of the Wasatch Mountains.

3. Raleigh, North Carolina

Best 4th of July Celebrations for 2024 - Raleigh, North Carolina​​

Get ready to soak in the lively atmosphere of Dorothea Dix Park for a free downtown festival in the heart of Raleigh. It’s the perfect place for celebrating the 4th of July. Indulge in delicious treats from food trucks, offering various options from classic American fare to international delicacies. There are also music and games to keep the festive spirit.  Don’t miss the breathtaking 20-minute fireworks display that lights up the city skyline, all synchronized to a patriotic soundtrack.

4. Albuquerque, New Mexico

Best 4th of July Celebrations for 2024 - Albuquerque, New Mexico​

Experience a southwestern adventure at the free Freedom 4th celebration in Albuquerque’s expansive Balloon Fiesta Park. Have a great 4th of July weekend in New Mexico with live entertainment featuring Native American dances, Spanish guitar performances, and contemporary music acts. Indulge in regional cuisines, such as green chile cheeseburgers and sopapillas drizzled with honey, and be captivated by a 25-minute fireworks show, illuminating the vast desert sky with a kaleidoscope of colors.

5. Virginia Beach, Virginia

Best 4th of July Celebrations for 2024 - Virginia Beach, Virginia​​

Enjoy the sun, sand, and surf at the free 4th of July celebration at the lively Virginia Beach Oceanfront. Dance to live performances by local and nationally acclaimed bands on several stages, take part in thrilling beachfront activities such as volleyball tournaments, sandcastle-building contests, and surfing demonstrations, and be amazed by the spectacular 20-minute fireworks display over the glistening Atlantic Ocean, creating a brilliant show of light and color as it reflects off the water.

Yosemite National Park, California, USA

1. Boston, Massachusetts

Best 4th of July Celebrations for 2024 - Boston, Massachusetts

Experience the iconic Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular, a beloved tradition since 1929, along the grassy banks of the Charles River Esplanade. Secure a coveted spot near the Hatch Memorial Shell to enjoy a rousing live performance by the world-renowned Boston Pops Orchestra, featuring a mix of patriotic anthems, classical favorites, and contemporary hits. Then, enjoy a stunning 30-minute fireworks display illuminating the city skyline and river in a breathtaking sound and light spectacle, making it one of the best 4th of July celebrations in the country.

2. Washington, D.C.

Best 4th of July Celebrations for 2024 - Washington, D.C.

If you’re planning to travel on July 4th, consider visiting the nation’s capital. You can watch the National Independence Day Parade along Constitution Avenue, featuring marching bands, military units, elaborate floats, and celebrity performers. After the parade, find a good spot on the National Mall to watch the 35-minute fireworks display. The fireworks will be set against the iconic Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, and U.S. Capitol Building backdrop.

3. New York City, New York

Best 4th of July Celebrations for 2024 - New York City

Get ready to be amazed by the world-famous Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks display. This jaw-dropping extravaganza is launched from multiple barges along the East River. Over 65,000 shells explode in a carefully choreographed 25-minute show, accompanied by performances from globally renowned artists and celebrities. This spectacular event captures the vibrant energy and unparalleled excitement of the Big Apple, drawing millions of spectators to the shores of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. Doesn’t that sound like an amazing 4th of July weekend getaway?

4. Las Vegas, Nevada

Best 4th of July Celebrations for 2024 - Las Vegas, Nevada

Experience the glitz, glamour, and non-stop excitement of Las Vegas as the entire Strip comes alive with an array of glittering fireworks shows on the 4th of July. From the towering displays at the Stratosphere to the opulent celebrations at Caesars Palace and the Plaza Hotel, the city pulsates with energy, live music, and dazzling light shows. Attend star-studded concerts, indulge in lavish culinary offerings, and revel in the 24/7 entertainment that makes Las Vegas a truly unforgettable destination for celebrating the 4th of July.

5. Chicago, Illinois

Best 4th of July Celebrations for 2024 - Chicago, Illinois

Don’t forget to check out the Navy Pier Fireworks, a breathtaking 15-minute show perfectly synchronized to patriotic music. Over 10,000 shells explode over Lake Michigan in a stunning display of colors and lights, making it one of the country’s best 4th of July celebrations. Enjoy the Independence Day Salute concert by the world-class Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the architecturally stunning Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. After that, you can explore the pier’s many attractions, including carnival rides, interactive exhibits, and various food and drink options.

Tips for planning your 4th of July adventure

  1. Start your search early for 4th of July flight deals and 4th of July travel deals to secure the best rates and ensure availability, especially for popular destinations and luxury accommodations. Use platforms like OneAir to check the latest deals from your home airport. 


  1. Be flexible with your travel dates and consider booking cheap flights for the July 4th weekend, as prices tend to be lower on less popular days like July 2nd or 5th.


  1. Make your hotel or vacation rental reservations well in advance, as accommodations fill up quickly during this peak holiday period. Consider alternative options like bed and breakfasts, Airbnb rentals, or camping sites for a more budget-friendly or unique experience.


  1. Carefully plan your itinerary to make the most of your time in your chosen destination, factoring in travel times, crowd levels, and the schedules of specific events or activities you don’t want to miss. Make restaurant reservations, purchase event tickets, and arrange for transportation ahead of time to avoid disappointment.


  1. Amidst the excitement and celebration, take a moment to reflect on the profound significance of Independence Day and the enduring values it represents. Engage in meaningful conversations with fellow revelers, participate in community events that showcase local history and culture, and express gratitude for the freedoms and opportunities that make this nation great.

Have a great 4th of July weekend by fully immersing yourself in the local culture, savoring regional delicacies, and forging unforgettable connections with fellow celebrators. Whether you choose a budget-friendly adventure or splurge on a luxurious getaway, the key to a truly memorable experience lies in embracing the unique character and spirit of your chosen destination. By taking part in these celebrations, you’re not only creating your own cherished memories but also paying tribute to the enduring values that have shaped this great nation since its founding.

Ready to start planning your ultimate 4th of July weekend getaway? Look no further than OneAir for cheap flights and hotel bookings. Our AI-powered technology makes it easy and affordable to reach your dream destination.