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Fun and festive destinations for Fourth of July celebrations

From pomp and parades to food and fireworks, Fourth of July celebrations can make visiting a new city even more special. Discover some of the country’s best Independence Day festivities from coast to coast. | By Cassandra Brooklyn | June 22, 2023

Whether you’re traveling solo, with a special someone, with a group of friends or have the entire family in tow, we’ve rounded up the best places to celebrate the Fourth of July across the United States in 2023.

  • Fabulous fireworks: The highlight of any Fourth of July is up in the sky

  • Diversify your travel experience: Consider mixing things up by exploring the area – and its fireworks – in different ways: by foot, bike or even boat

  • Family-friendly festivities: Get the whole family in on the fun with face painting, water slides, pie-eating contests and more

Boston skyline
Boston Harborfest is the summer’s most highly anticipated event with fireworks, concerts, boat tours and more.


Considering Boston is where the Declaration of Independence was proclaimed in 1776, it’s no surprise that the city has some of the best Fourth of July celebrations in the country. Here, the party lasts four full days from June 30 to July 4th, during which the city’s famous Boston Harborfest delights visitors with live music, historical reenactments, guided Freedom Trail walks, boat tours, clam chowder samplings and even a boat parade in the Inner Harbor.

On July 4th itself, the flag-raising ceremony kicks off at City Hall at 9 a.m., followed by a parade that stops at notable locations like the Old State House, where the Declaration of Independence was first proclaimed — it’s read again from the balcony each Fourth of July at 10 a.m.

In the afternoon, visit the Paul Revere House for a cultural and historical overview of Boston and attend a reading of Fredrick Douglass’s iconic Fourth of July speech before evening performances by the world-famous Boston Pops orchestra and a fireworks display.

Best of all, Boston’s top Fourth of July festivities are all within walking distance of Canopy by Hilton Boston Downtown, making the property an ideal home base for all your holiday plans. Not in the mood to walk? Hop on one of the hotel’s complimentary Canopy bikes to get around even faster.

family at baseball game
Cheer on your favorite team at an all-American baseball game with family and friends.

Rochester, New York

New York City may be known for the largest display of fireworks in the state, but it's also known for bigger crowds and higher prices. For a more relaxed and budget-friendly Fourth of July celebration, head to the western New York city of Rochester.

Cool off along the stunning shores of one of the Great Lakes or Ontario Beach Park or take in America’s greatest pastime by catching a baseball game. For something truly unique, explore the Genesee County Village & Museum, which features an Independence Day celebration with opportunities to experience how 19th-century Americans may have celebrated the holiday.

No Fourth of July getaway would be complete without a fantastic display of fireworks, which you can enjoy in downtown Rochester at 10 p.m.

kids at parade
Join in the family-friendly patriotic celebrations at Boise’s downtown Fourth of July parade.

Boise, Idaho

If you can’t decide between history, culture, fireworks and the outdoors, Boise may be for you. In addition to a traditional fireworks display at 10:15 p.m. (launched from Ann Morrison Park), the capital city is bursting with family-friendly fun and adventures all day long.

Fourth of July celebrations are also conveniently located in and around downtown, so you can easily get around by foot, bike or rideshare. Festivities kick off downtown at 9 a.m. in front of the Capitol building with a reading of the Declaration of Independence followed by the Idaho Fourth of July parade.

To be close to all the action, make Home2 Suites by Hilton Boise Downtown , your home away from home and be just minutes away from Ann Morrison Park.

In addition to the Fourth of July fireworks, the park also has an interactive fountain that kids will love, and at 6 p.m., the park will host a special Fourth of July party with food trucks and music.

friends dancing at the beach
Head to San Diego’s stunning sands for a California-inspired Independence Day celebration. 

San Diego, California

Warm weather, sandy beaches and boat rides — what could be better? Sunny San Diego is an amazing destination any time of year, but it’s also one of the best places to celebrate the Fourth of July.

Every Independence Day, California’s largest fireworks show, the Big Bay Boom, lights up the San Diego sky. Boasting four firework barges throughout San Diego Bay, the display can be seen from locations up and down the coast.

Guests of Hilton San Diego Bayfront can enjoy an incredible view of the Big Bay Boom and all four barges just by walking out of the lobby. The hotel is also a short walk to the Randy Shell arena, which will host an epic Fourth of July dance party.

older couple on carousel
 Find Fourth of July fun for all ages at Scottsdale’s many outdoor offerings.

Scottsdale, Arizona

Right next door to fun-filled Phoenix, which also has its fair share of hiking, biking and nature exploration hikes, is significantly smaller Scottsdale, which offers a slower pace and more intimate holiday experience.

Rent a car for the best access to the city’s outdoor offerings, or stick close to Old Town Scottsdale, where visitors will find plenty of great shopping, daytime gatherings, live music venues, bars and restaurants in the nearby Entertainment District.

Families visiting Scottsdale will appreciate the Fourth of July celebrations at the Red, White & Choo & Choo event at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, complete with unlimited train and carousel rides (through 9 p.m.). The fun continues all day long with face painting, water slides, bounce houses, food trucks, live music and pie-eating contests that adults can also get in on — all before a fireworks show at 9 p.m.

No matter where or how you choose to celebrate the Fourth of July, with so many fabulous options in cities from coast to coast, you’re just about guaranteed a great time.

Cassandra Brooklyn is a freelance writer and guidebook author specializing in travel, accessibility, sustainability and all things outdoors. Originally hailing from the Midwest, she now lives in New York City but escapes to adventures around the world as often as possible. As the caregiver of a disabled parent - and as a hyper involved auntie of three - Cassandra is especially passionate about accessible, inclusive and multi-generational travel. She's the author of the cycling guidebook, Cuba By Bike, has contributed to multiple guidebooks about Egypt, Portugal and the United States, and has bylines in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, National Geographic, Forbes, The Daily Beast and Lonely Planet, among others.

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