We Americans often forget how fortunate we are when it comes to travel. You can travel from the forests of Maine to the beaches of Southern California and not even need a passport. It’s one of the many freedoms we should think about when the Fourth of July comes around. Better yet, why not travel this Fourth of July?
In the spirit of the annual Independence Day celebrations, we’ve put together a list of hotels across the whole of the United States that would be perfect for celebrating the Fourth of July.
9 Places to Visit for the Fourth of July and Where to Stay
New York City — The Wagner
Let’s start with the obvious — New York City. There are few better ways to get your patriotism on than by watching the annual fireworks show over the Statue of Liberty — one of the most symbolic, recognizable statues in the world. It’s what millions of immigrants first saw as the ships pulled into New York City with those immortal words, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” etched into the monument.
At The Wagner, you’re steps away from Battery Park and the ferry terminal where millions of tourists make the short journey over to Liberty Island. But if you’d rather watch the show from the quiet and comfort of your room, The Wagner Hotel offers suites with a Statue of Liberty view. Rooms come equipped with an in-room telescope, offering not only iconic views of the statue but of New York Harbor and Ellis Island as well.View Hotel
Washington D.C. — W Washington D.C.
Okay, New York City is hardly the only obvious stop for a Fourth of July trip. Washington D.C. is renowned for its Fourth of July celebrations and has no shortage of hotels taking part in the action.
Just a couple of blocks away from the White House and a short jaunt over to the Mall, the W Washington D.C. lives up to the hype and quality surrounding the W brand. For Fourth of July travelers, head up to the rooftop bar when it’s fireworks time for one of the best views of the show.View Hotel
San Francisco — Fairmont Heritage Place Ghiradelli Square
San Francisco makes the list because it in many ways represents the American melting pot promised by those aforementioned words on the Statue of Liberty. In fact, San Francisco now has a minority-majority population with its mix of Asian and Hispanic cultures. At the same time, with the rise of Silicon Valley, the city has become a synonym for the problems of gentrification associated with ebbs and flows of American history — immigration, racism, the fight for gay rights, white flight, and now as the poster child for the return to American urban centers, a trend across the country.
Contemplate this history (and current events) with a Fourth of July stay at the Fairmont Heritage Place Ghiradelli Square. (If possible, ask for a view facing the Bay so you don’t miss a thing!)View Hotel
Houston — Hotel ZaZa
Staying on the topic of diversity for a moment, we’d be remiss if we left out Houston — statistically the most diverse city in the United States. If celebrating the Fourth of July means sampling the various cuisines brought to us by our fellow immigrants from far and wide, Houston is the place for you. Plus it certainly doesn’t hurt that Houston has a solid fireworks celebration right across the street from Hotel ZaZa at Hermann Park.
Make a reservation at the hotel restaurant, Monarch, and enjoy a menu full of locally-sourced ingredients. When it’s time for the fireworks, you can head out to their patio with a view overlooking Hermann Park and the fireworks display at Miller Outdoor Theater. You should even catch the familiar melody to Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. Even if you are hard of hearing, you won’t miss the canons at the climax.View Hotel
Las Vegas — Caesars Palace
Las Vegas is still just a baby in the timeline of American history, but it’s quickly become the place to be for the best (or worst) of adult entertainment. Whether you love Vegas or think it’s an abomination (seriously, how does that city work in the desert?), there’s no hiding the fact that it’s a very American destination with all the glitz and glamour that many foreigners expect out of the United States — for better or worse.
Few Vegas hotels promise a patriotic celebration like Caesars Palace. They don’t care if you’re in the Democratic of the Republican party. The only party that matters to Caesars is “the one that goes all night long” on the Fourth of July weekend. When you’re not busy partying, you can relax in luxury at their Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis.View Hotel
Chicago — Chicago Athletic Association
A trip to Navy Pier over the Fourth of July weekend is a Midwestern favorite from the Dakotas and Minnesota through Indiana and Ohio. Truth be told, firework shows happen throughout the summer at Navy Pier, but going over the national holiday makes for an even more special occasion.
The Chicago Athletic Association comes immediately to mind when thinking about a Fourth of July trip to the Windy City. Besides scoring an excellent 9.0 rating from trivago users, locals and travelers alike love heading up to the hotel’s rooftop restaurant — Cindy’s Rooftop. Foodies will be plenty happy and fireworks fanatics will appreciate the view over Millennium Park with the Navy Pier show going on just beyond.View Hotel
Boston — Battery Wharf Hotel
“The British are coming, the British are coming!” Who doesn’t recognize the famous cry of Paul Revere, warning Boston colonists of an incoming British invasion? Turns out he didn’t actually shout the phrase since his mission required him to act in secrecy lest he be outed by British loyalists. (Eyewitness accounts — and Revere himself — attribute him with saying, “The Regulars are coming out,” which is admittedly not as catchy as what made the famous poem, Paul Revere’s Ride.) You can learn all about this fascinating history by walking along the colonial cobblestones of Boston’s North End where Paul Revere’s house still stands.
The Battery Wharf Hotel is one of the few hotels actually in Boston’s North End with views over the waterfront. If you don’t mind stretching your legs a bit, check out the Boston POPS Firework Spectacular at the Hatch Shell amphitheater. On July 4th, the festivities begin at 9 a.m. with a flag raising ceremony on City Hall Plaza followed by a parade that works its way to the Granary Burial Ground. Watch as wreaths are displayed over the graves of old patriots. You can then follow the finale of the parade over to the Old State House where, at 10 a.m. there will be a reading of the Declaration of Independence from the balcony — just as was done for the citizens of Boston on July 18, 1776.View Hotel
Philadelphia — Embassy Suites
Ben Franklin, the Liberty Bell, Continental Congress — Philadelphia is bursting at the seams with colonial history.
For a hotel pick, we turn to the locals at Visit Philadelphia. “Located seven blocks from the Philadelphia Museum of Art straight down the Parkway, the Embassy Suites hotel offers a number of rooms that have fantastic views of the fireworks.” Fireworks + a night in the home of the Continental Congress = a memorable Fourth of July weekend.View Hotel
New Orleans — The Westin New Orleans Canal
New Orleans didn’t join the Union until President Thomas Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase in 1803 (cue the applause of third-grade social studies teachers everywhere). Before the United States, New Orleans at different points of its history was part of the Kingdom of France before being turned over to Spain, back to the fledgling French Republic, and then over to Uncle Sam only to see the state of Louisiana seceded in 1861 and join the Confederate States. Today, New Orleans is a staple of the American cultural quilt with its unique blend of cultures and celebrated Mardi Gras festivities.
We’ll never argue against going to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, but if you save your trip for the Fourth of July, you won’t be disappointed with the Big Easy fireworks display over the Mississippi River. For a hotel view of the party, check into the Westin Canal Place. The 11th-floor lobby is open to the public and offers a fantastic view of the show.View Hotel
Feature image courtesy of David Fox, Boston USA