Many people in America play the 4th of July as a low-key event. Many never leave their own backyard, and there is certainly nothing wrong with that. Backyards, however, aren’t going to make most bucket lists. Why not head down South or out West? One of the best places and to get your Fourth of July swerve started is New Orleans. The party runs year round in the Big Easy, but it really lights up on America’s Independence Day.
As with most things in New Orleans, everything is a little livelier in the party center of Louisiana. New Orleans doesn’t have a mere single fireworks show, it has two in the form of dueling barges on the Mississippi River. These two barges fire off a fantastic display of other worldly sights and sounds over the New Orleans river front. Similar to the dueling pianos one can see on Bourbon Street, these magical displays work their way into a dazzling crescendo. The show kicks off at 9 p.m., so finish your gumbo and another hurricane and enjoy the show. For an extra special experience, board a riverboat such as the Creole or the Steamboat Natchez and see the show whilst floating down the Mississippi.
If the West Coast is more your style, head out to beautiful Washington, the Evergreen state. Spend a few days in picturesque Seattle. Throw a fish in Pike Place Market, take in a Mariner game at Safeco, and go to the top of the Space Needle. Start your day with a fresh cup of the famous Seattle java, and head over to Gas Works Park. Lake Union has plenty of food vendors, live entertainment, beer gardens, and, of course, a splendid fireworks show. If you are lucky enough to board a boat, you will enjoy the show in true style.
Moving down the West Coast, let’s move into the Beaver State of Oregon. Rockaway Beach offers seven miles of unspoiled and generally un-crowded and sandy beaches. You can spend the day flying kites, combing the beach, taking a dip, or simply admiring the renowned Twin Rocks. There is a traditional parade at 11 a.m., quaint bake sales, and a midday Dachshund race. Fire up your grill, and let your feast unfold into a stunning firework show over the Pacific.
If idyllic Rockaway is too quiet for you, head down to the Bay. San Francisco offers an active way to ring in the Fourth. Start at Pier 39 which will be hopping and swinging with live tunes. Take in the famous street performers, and say hello to the sea lions. Set up a chair from anywhere from Pier 39 to the Aquatic Park, or live it up with a reservation at a Pier restaurant.
Heading further south, we slowly roll into San Diego, which we again hope you have a few days to explore. San Diego is not only an obvious choice for its year-round mild, tranquil weather, but also the fact that it is well-known for being a patriotic town. Many residents are known for loving the U.S.A., several military bases dot the area, and you will have the grand opportunity to board the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier. For the kids, there is Legoland, and Birch Aquarium in La Jolla holds leafy sea dragons and a much more chilled out atmosphere than Sea World. Of course, the San Diego Zoo is also a world-class facility. La Jolla also offers great shopping and restaurants with unparalleled ocean views. But, of course, it’s the Fourth of July, and you came to see the fireworks. Set up a beach blanket, enjoy the grand salute, and check off another beauty from your bucket list.