Almost every city, from Portland, Maine, to San Francisco, California, rings in Independence Day with an awe-inspiring fireworks display and friendly backyard barbecue. But there are some American towns doing their best to put an unconventional spin on the holiday.
One of America’s most family-friendly celebrations takes place in central Oregon, in the small town of Bend. The party kicks off with an all-day gathering in Drake Park, where visitors can expect to see old-school games, like potato sack races, and even a kids and pets parade, where participants dress up in their patriotic best.
As one of the central birthplaces of American democracy what better place to celebrate the fourth than Philly? There are a handful of historic monuments to visit on your trip (e.g. The Liberty Bell at Independence Mall), and when the night is done you can look forward to one of the largest and most spectacular fireworks displays anywhere in the country.
For an important lesson on the significance of America’s independence, look no further than Charleston, South Carolina. Aside from amazing, authentic barbecue and small-town feel, before the fireworks display at night, crowds love to gather around the historic U.S.S. Yorktown to listen to stories from local veterans.
Head to Connecticut for a true Revolution Era feel. The town of Southbury is not only more than two hundreds years old, but is also home to old Revolutionary War parade grounds. Music lovers will also appreciate the town’s concert series, which makes for a wonderful accompaniment to a Fourth of July picnic in the park.
New York City, NY
Of course NYC makes the list for it’s incredible pyrotechnics display that takes place over the Hudson River or East River, respectively, each year. However, if you end up in the Big Apple for the fourth and get hungry for a good old-fashioned hot dog, be sure to pay a visit to another one of the city’s most famous July fourth traditions—Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, which takes place on Coney Island each year.