It's almost time for the 4th of July. Most people mark Independence Day in the US with barbecues, fireworks and parades. They consider this THE summertime holiday. Though the whole summer is a relaxed, vacation-like time for many folks, the 4th is when families and friends gather together for a planned celebration. There are plenty of concerts, carnivals and parades during the holiday weekend. July 4th actually falls on the weekend this year, so the parade routes and fireworks shows will be even more accessible than usual.
Whether you consider yourself a patriotic person or not, you have probably been looking forward to the first weekend in July for the past month or so. Here are some ideas for celebrating the 4th of July this year.
4th of July events in New York
Eastern Long Island, especially the area known as the Hamptons, is a favorite summer destination for people from the East Coast. The town of Montauk is a vacation haven, and it will be one of the most happening spots in the region during the 4th of July weekend. Fireworks displays will be held in hamlets all around the area, but Montauk's will be surrounded by a number of other events. You will hear music at every turn on Independence Day weekend. Some resorts, such as the Surf Lodge, actually have their own stages and will be hosting shows by nationally-recognized acts to celebrate the 4th.
In New York City, the Macy's Fireworks show will light up the air over the East River. If you want to hold a special event to watch the spectacle, there are a few ideal vantage points. One is the Foundry, a Queens event space that overlooks the Manhattan skyline. This former industrial warehouse has a rooftop terrace that is arguably the most perfect place to watch the show.
The Mountain West
You don't necessarily have to go to a big city or a popular vacation destination to enjoy the 4th of July. For some people, the wide open spaces of the Western US are an important part of the country's image - and the perfect setting for the Independence Day vacation. Ranch resorts in Colorado, Wyoming and Montana offer both comfort and a chance to immerse yourself in the lifestyle of the Old West. Montana's Ranch at Rock Creek has all the ingredients: horseback riding, fly fishing, campfires and private log cabins and canvas tents (which are amazingly luxurious, by the way). The Ranch has special celebrations for guests who come on the 4th of July.
It seems like there is something going on every weekend of the year in Nashville, Tennessee. Of course, you will find plenty of country music here, and the 4th of July weekend is no exception. But singers in cowboy hats will not be the only performers on stage this weekend. Nashville's 4th of July calendar includes performances by the Nashville Symphony, fireworks shows and a family-friendly festival known as Music City July 4th.
For sheer diversity, California is arguably the best place to spend the 4th of July weekend. San Diego is a great spot to celebrate the holiday. Fireworks shows, celebrations and concerts will be taking place all around the metro area this weekend. The same thing goes for Los Angeles. You can party the weekend away at exclusive spots in the heart of the city or take a more panoramic view by hosting your own Independence Day celebration in Beverly Hills.
Another way to celebrate America is by drinking her best wine. Northern California's vineyards, in Napa Valley, are in full swing during the first weekend in July with tastings, concerts and art shows. The adjacent Sonoma area has more wineries worth visiting, but it also has places where you can get away from it all and enjoy rural California. The Dawn Ranch, for example, is a classic resort with cabins set amidst giant redwood trees.
Not able to make it to any of the spots we've mentioned? We have plenty of places all over the US where you can enjoy a memorable 4th of July event this weekend.
How are you planning to spend the 4th of July? Use the comments section to share your insights and tell us about your plans