Whether it’s watching fireworks in our nation’s capital or checking out the Fourth of July parade in Bean Town, Independence Day is a big time for travel in the U.S. We checked in with travel site Orbitz to get a rundown of the top 10 most popular destinations for the Fourth and how much it’s going to cost travelers to get there and stay for the night.
“Usually you will see Las Vegas or Orlando in the top spot but what you’re seeing over the holiday period is that people are taking those big city getaways, and New York is top on our list this year,” says Marita Hudson Thomas, director at Orbitz. “New York is known for its big fireworks displays over the Hudson River and that’s a big draw for tourists.”
Average Round-trip Airfare: $636
Average Hotel: $212 a night
From chili cookoffs to memorial concerts, picnics and of course, fireworks, Los Angeles is a big draw for people looking to celebrate the holiday and do some Hollywood sight-seeing.
“With the kids out of school it’s a great time for families to go somewhere they’ve been wanting to go for a while, and Los Angeles and Hollywood are on everyone’s list.”
Average Round-trip Airfare: $637
Average Hotel: $140
“Chicago is another city that really rolls out the red carpet for the Fourth,” says Thomas. “You've got the fireworks at Navy Pier, which is one of the biggest fireworks displays in the country.”
In addition to the show at Navy Pier, Chicago is also known for its annual Grant Park Music Festival that features classical patriotic music played outdoors.
Average Round-trip Airfare: $621
Average Hotel: $141
San Francisco gets patriotic with more than four fireworks displays on the Fourth. Harbor cruises allow onlookers to have a view of the show from the water.
“The Fourth is a big time for San Fran, but honestly, it’s always on the top of our list. San Fran is a beautiful city with a great backdrop, no matter the time of year,” says Thomas.
Average Round-trip Airfare: $700
Average Hotel: $158
“Boston is always one of the most popular cities for the Fourth every year,” says Thomas. “They have one of the biggest fireworks displays in the country, along with a huge parade, and people love walking the Freedom Trail.”
Because of the rich Revolutionary War history in Boston, many travelers love connecting with America’s founding story around the Fourth, she adds.
Average Round-trip Airfare: $537
Average Hotel: $191
“Seattle doesn’t offer the kind of celebrations that New York or Boston have, but it’s still a favorite,” says Thomas.
Seattle offers fireworks set over Lake Union as well as concerts, picnics and festivals in Bellevue Downtown Park.
Average Round-trip Airfare: $580 Average Hotel: $139
“What better place to spend the holiday than in our nation’s capital?” says Thomas. “With the parades, concerts, and all the museums and monuments, we see Washington, D.C., on our top-10 list every year.
Average Round-trip Airfare: $657 Average Hotel: 148
“With the kids out of school, Orlando is probably at the top of every family’s list because of all the theme parks and family attractions,” says Thomas.
Big parks like Disney World, MGM and Universal Studios will be having their own fireworks displays to entertain families, so even if you’re busy riding rides, you can still enjoy the show.
Average Round-trip Airfare: $393 Average Hotel: $102
Atlanta’s downtown area plays host to all manner of Independence Day festivities on the weekend of the Fourth, and Atlanta is also a big travel hub for other parts of the Southeast, says Thomas.
“New Orleans and the Gulf Coast are within driving distance of Atlanta,” she says. “It’s one of the biggest hubs in the U.S.”
Average Round-trip Airfare: $608 Average Hotel: $125
“The weather is great out there and there are so many options for couples or singles, whether it’s pool parties or the night club experience, it’s not just about the Fourth.”
Average Round-trip Airfare: $440
Average Hotel: $88
Many Americans will celebrate our nation’s independence with a vacation, and here’s where we're headed and how much we'll pay.