Fireworks, barbeques, parades, and live music—no other holiday spells summer fun quite like the 4th of July. Although you could just as easily celebrate America's birthday by watching the festivities on TV or setting out some lawn chairs and a grill in your backyard, some Independence Day celebrations are worth the trip, especially if they're right up the road from you. Here, Karen Chen counts down our picks for the country's top ten places to ring in the 4th.
10. Mount Rushmore
With the faces of our country's most venerated presidents etched indelibly in the stone of the Black Hills, this national monument epitomizes American history and pride.
9. Great Williamsburg, Virginia
Celebrate July 4th with living history in the Greater Williamsburg area, the center of political events leading up to the American Revolution.
8. Miami, Florida
A holiday smack dab in the middle of summer just begs for a beach party.
7. San Diego, California
Okay, so make that two beach parties. During the day, Pacific and Mission beaches will be packed with holiday sunbathers.
6. New Orleans, Louisiana
Like every festival N'awlins hosts, it's always a roarin' good time, and the 4th of July is no exception. The city's Go 4th on the River festival offers concerts at the French Market and a free Mardi Gras-style party with live music, food, and door prizes.
5. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
It's only fitting that you celebrate America's Independence Day in the city where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were first drafted.
4. Chicago, Illinois
Famous for its food, it makes sense that Chicago celebrates America's birthday with the ten-day Taste of Chicago in Grant Park, which runs through July 3.
3. New York City, New York
It wouldn't be The Big Apple without big events planned for July 4th. Each year Macy's launches more than 80,000 dazzling explosions over the East River between 23rd and 42nd Streets, but you can catch the display from rooftops, parks, riverbanks, and on boats across Manhattan, Brooklyn, or Jersey City.
2. Washington, D.C.
With the monuments honoring our founding fathers as the backdrop, Washington, D.C. makes a beautiful place to celebrate 4th of July—and where better than the nation's capital?
1. Boston, Massachusetts
Topping off our list is where the American Revolution all began—with the Boston Tea Party.
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