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7 Last-Minute Getaways for the Fourth of July

If you’ve skipped planning for Independence Day, we have you covered—from sea to shining sea.

Hi, I'm Gianmaria!

Gianmaria Franchini is a writer based in Oakland, CA who makes his life between California and Italy. He’s a Senior Writer with Viator, and the in-house San Francisco expert.

Though everyone loves a backyard barbecue on the Fourth of July, some years you want to head somewhere new and exciting to celebrate America’s independence. But what if you haven’t planned anything, and the holiday is fast-approaching? In the spirit of the adventurous American spirit—here are seven last-minute getaways worthy of the country’s revolutionary birthday party.

1. Las Vegas, Nevada

Fireworks light up the heart of Las Vegas in Nevada on the Fourth of July.
Head to Vegas for the Fourth of July, and you're in for a spectacular fireworks show.Foto: Lets Design Studio / Shutterstock

Bet on fun if you’re headed here for the holiday.

Some of the best Fourth of July firework shows can be found in Vegas, where resorts on the Strip launch fabulous, festive displays from their rooftops. You can often find cheap flights to Vegas year-round—even at the last minute. Make the most of your visit by embracing the no-holds-barred atmosphere: beat the daytime heat at a pool party; cruise the Strip on an open-top bus; and then get the best view of the festivities from a helicopter. Or if you're looking for something more sophisticated, catch a Cirque du Soleil performance.

2. Savannah, Georgia

Historic Savannah buildings, down by the water in Georgia.
Savannah's waterfront is an ideal location for a stroll.Foto: f11photo / Shutterstock

Beach parties, bar crawls, and a whole lot of history.

With its lovely waterfront and historic district, Savannah offers a suitable scenic location to celebrate the nation’s birthday. Independence Day celebrations happen all over town, with highlights including live music and fireworks on River Street, a beach party on Tybee Island, and a “Red, White & Brews” bar crawl downtown. While you’re there, explore the city’s fascinating history: Take an American Civil War walking history tour or learn to make Prohibition-era cocktails at the American Prohibition Museum.

3. New Orleans, Louisiana

A man joins a New Orleans Fourth of July Parade.
The best parades are in New Orleans.Foto: GagliardiPhotography / Shutterstock

Let the good times roll, especially on Independence Day.

New Orleans always brings the party, and the Fourth of July is no exception. Join locals watching fireworks above the Mississippi River as part of the city’s “Go 4th on the River” celebration. Or take in the festivities from a balcony in the French Quarter: With its renowned Creole and French-American food offerings, the neighborhood provides a fitting location to celebrate France, the US’ great partner in revolution. To learn more about the two country’s battles for freedom, be sure to visit the World War II Museum.

4. Allentown, Pennsylvania

A carousel in Allentown in Pennsylvania.
Get to know revolutionary history (and carousel rides) in Pennsylvania.Foto: Ritu Manoj Jethani / Shutterstock

Explore US history just a short drive away from Philly’s crowds.

With its rich revolutionary history, Philadelphia is a top destination for Independence Day. But if you’re looking for a smaller, less crowded alternative, try Allentown just 90 minutes away. Legend has it that American rebels hid the original Liberty Bell from the British, moving it from Philadelphia to underneath the floorboards of an Allentown church. Allentown is also perfectly situated for day trips to either Arlington Cemetery or to Philly to explore its top-notch restaurants and museums.

5. Flagstaff, Arizona

The historic downtown of Flagstaff, Arizona.
Flagstaff makes for a perfect visit when you're traveling between the Grand Canyon and Phoenix.Foto: Fotoluminate LLC / Shutterstock

Canyon hikes and fireworks over the lake.

Easy to reach from Phoenix—just over two hours away by car—Flagstaff is typically 20–30°F (11–17°C) cooler than Arizona’s capital city, a bonus during July’s heat. It’s also one of the gateways to the Grand Canyon, along with nearby Williams, where the Grand Canyon Railway departs. Visit the national park for a ranger-led sunset walk or stop by on the way to Page, near Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend, where revelers celebrate July 4 with a parade and fireworks above Lake Powell.

6. Sonoma, California

Vineyards spreading across the sunny hills of Sonoma, California.
You'll find these vineyards about an hour from San Francisco.Foto: Willowtreehouse / Shutterstock

World-class wine, stunning scenery, and small-town charm.

As a Fourth of July destination, Sonoma has three clear draws: It’s just an hour’s drive from San Francisco; it’s more affordable than nearby Napa; and it hosts a nostalgic parade that departs from historic Sonoma Plaza in the heart of town. Beyond its world-renowned wineries, it also offers plenty of opportunity for adventure, whether it’s touring the European-esque countryside on eco-friendly bikes or viewing the “home of the brave” from the skies on a hot-air balloon.

7. Hudson Valley, New York

People prepare to head onto a pretty lake in Hudson Valley, New York by motorboat.
Leave the big city and get to know the stunning Hudson Valley.Foto: Ritu Manoj Jethani / Shutterstock

Escape from the big city to a verdant valley.

If you’re in the New York area for the Fourth, but don’t want to deal with NYC’s infamous crowds, pull a Yankee Doodle and head out of town to the Hudson Valley, where holiday celebrations are held all week long. A little-known fact: The Hudson Valley is among the oldest grape-growing regions in the US. Start celebrating with a day of wine tasting before visiting Hudson proper, where locals gather at Lakefront Park near the historic downtown for a parade and carnival.

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