6 Last Minute Fourth of July Trip Ideas

Where to stay, eat, and celebrate this 4th of July

Patriotism is relative. Just because you haven’t made plans for 4th of July weekend yet doesn’t mean you love your country any less. And planning a weekend away in honor of the red, white, and blue at the last minute doesn’t mean the trip should be any less fabulous.

Whether you feel like packing up the car or making sure the bottles in your carry-on are less than 3 oz., there are great trips and deals to be had from a 4th of July BBQ at your hotel in Arizona to a quaint, countryside Independence Day with afternoon tea in Vermont and from a sleek and delicious weekend in San Francisco to a fireworks display from your hotel’s rooftop in Manhattan.

 

Palm Springs

If you forgot to rent a summer house in Malibu this year (slacker), get out of town by taking advantage of the gloriously discounted rates at hotels in Palm Springs. Yes — the heat is intense, but it just means that you’ll spend your days in air conditioning or pools and your nights outside beneath the stars. (Photo courtesy of Flickr/swang168)

The Ace Hotel is a haven for cool, hip, in-the-know people from near and far. Available rates for 4th of July weekend start at $235/night and give you access to two pools, fantastic food, and serious drinks.

The Parker Palm Springs (pictured) exists for a more luxurious, mod set with a gorgeous spa, huge pool, and colorful 70s vibe. Available rates for the holiday weekend start at $309/night and with their “Mini Bar,” Norma’s, and Mister Parker’s — you’ll be eating well and tanning well, all while supporting your country.

How to celebrate? Catch a glimpse of the locals at the All American Fourth of July at the Palm Springs Stadium or the Palm Desert Independence Day Celebration (at Civic Center Park). (Photo courtesy of Flickr/Grant Lindsay)

 

New York

Heading to the big city for Independence Day? The options are endless — whether you catch the iconic hot dog eating contest on Coney Island or watch fireworks from a rooftop. Many New Yorkers skip town, meaning hotels are doling out discounts for savvy city-lovers.

The modern, cool Hotel on Rivington offers American cuisine from Co-Op Food and Drink, an unbeatable location, and spectacular views. Available rates start at $292/night giving you a whole weekend to figure out which of the many ideal vantage points you’ll take for the fireworks.

Situated over the much-loved Highline, The Standard is a perfect weekend home for fun-loving, New York-bound patriots. Available rates start from $295/night, giving you access to the hotel’s Standard Grill and Biergarten — cheers, America! (Photo courtesy of Flickr/1hr photo)

How to celebrate? The Big Apple knows how to celebrate with Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks and the Nathan’s Famous 4th of July Hot Dog Eating Contest on Coney Island. You can also view fireworks from the Hudson Terrace.

 

Maine

Trade in the city for a weekend in favor of Maine’s inherent pleasures. Play a round of golf, take a swim, try your hand at hauling lobster, or go for a hike — just leave your phone in your room.

The Samoset Resort in Camden is a restored historic property with on-site golf, fresh and local foods served poolside or in their various restaurants, and a kid’s club. Available 4th of July weekend rates start at $299/night.

New England luxury is at its most classic at The Inn at Ocean’s Edge. Outdoor activities abound and dining on fresh seafood is inevitable. With available rates starting at $250/night, you’ll be dining on fresh fruit scones and locally-sourced coffee in no time.

How to celebrate? Camden’s celebrations are musical ones, from the Rotary Club’s “Music by the Sea” to the Motown-inspired Junior Walker’s All Stars in concert with a fireworks finish. Dancing in the streets is heavily encouraged as is getting a good seat for the Small Town 4th of July Parade. (Photo courtesy of Flickr/NixBC)

 

San Francisco

 Known far and wide as a (mostly) health conscious, food-loving city, San Francisco is a great stomping ground for patriotic, fun-loving West Coasters. Whether you explore Chinatown, hit the shops at Union Square, or sample the seafood at Fisherman’s Wharf, the small city packs a punch.

The sleek Clift Hotel, designed by Philippe Starck, is located on Nob Hill, which positions you well for the best sights and eats in the city. With available 4th of July weekend rates starting from $240/night, you’ll be slurping up oysters, tasting those famous garlic fries, and sipping wines from just up north in no time.

How to celebrate? Fireworks are infinitely more beautiful with the San Francisco Symphony playing in the background. Check out the 4th of July Waterfront Festival and the Fillmore Jazz Festival, while you’re there. (Photo courtesy of Flickr/chadedwardus)

 

Vermont

If you’re hankering for a quaint, scenic getaway to celebrate this year without sacrificing any of your creature comforts, get yourself to Vermont.

The Windham Hill Inn, in West Townsend, is a beautiful home with lush gardens, quintessential New England style, and an endless offering of food and drink. Available rates for the weekend start at $305/night and come with breakfast, afternoon tea and sweets, and an evening cheese board. It also grants you access to the property's (and the area’s) many facilities from tennis courts to hiking trails and from a swimming pool to one of the most intimate spas around.  

How to celebrate? Small town parades and fireworks displays are magical in Vermont — head to Wardsboro or Stratton for true-blue American celebrations with pie eating, hay rides, and fireworks. The Magic Hat Artifactory may not be hosting any specific 4th of July events, but it’ll be open that day and with 30 beers on tap, it seems like you can easily make your own party. (Photo courtesy of Flickr/gnatallica)

 

 Miami

Sultry and glam may not be the first words that come to mind when thinking of a great 4th of July getaway, but that’s never stopped anyone from partying all Independence Day weekend-long in Miami. Whether you go for the beach, the people watching, or the food, a weekend in Miami can send you home in need of some real rest and relaxation.

For Florida locals, The Raleigh is offering a nightly rate of $218 over the holiday weekend, while the JW Marriott has room rates available from $189/night. Both position you well to take advantage of the sea, sun, sand, and great Cuban eats. Then, The New Hotel, a modern boutique hotel tucked away in a historic Miami district, has rooms available for revelers from $162/night.

How to celebrate? Join America’s Birthday Bash at the Bayside Ampitheatre for live music and local food vendors or spend the afternoon and evening on Ocean Drive listening to live music and catching the fireworks at the City of Miami Beach’s celebration.

 

Chicago

From the skyscrapers to the parks and from deep-dish pizza to molecular gastronomy, a visit to Chicago isn't complete without tasting it all. You can enjoy old school luxury just as easily as you can a more contemporary urban setting and, on the 4th of July, everything from fireworks to a Ribfest.

The storied Drake Hotel has available rates from $175/night (including breakfast) and considering it has been around since 1920, the classic hotel and its old world dining options (think red low-back chairs in the Coq d’Or and white linen breakfast tables) are a safe bet for an iconic American weekend.

The James has a less fussy, more casual minimalist style and plays host to David Burke’s Primehouse (with its famous burgers and dessert cart (pictured)) and JBar. Available holiday weekend rates start at $242/night. (Photo courtesy of Flickr/roboppy)

How to celebrate? Celebrate the melting pot that is our country at the African Caribbean International Festival of Life, tuck into delicious barbecue at the Naperville Ribfest, or enjoy some good ol’ fashioned fireworks at Navy Pier.

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