Old-School Fourth of July Festivals Worth the Road Trip Slideshow

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Coronado Island, Calif.
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Coronado Island, Calif.
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Coronado Island is one of the nation's original Navy towns, with a military heritage that dates back to 1911. Coronado Island's Fourth of July Celebration is the most popular Independence Day event in San Diego County, probably because it ranked number one on Dr. Beach's "Top 10 American Beaches of 2012" list.

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San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau

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Coronado Island, Calif.
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Coronado Island, Calif.
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On Coronado Island, Independence Day begins with a 5K and 15K run/walk at Tidelands Park and continues on to a rough-water swim at 9 a.m. at Central Beach. The 64th annual independence parade starts at 10 a.m., complete with military bands, floats, and Navy aircraft. This year's Fourth of July is the first year for festival-goers to feast on new eats at four restaurants, which all recently opened on Orange Avenue, the same street as Coronado Island's patriotic parade. Leroy's Kitchen Lounge, The Tavern, Nicky Rottens Bar & Burger Joint, and Saiko Sushi are the Island's new fixtures.

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San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau

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Coronado Island, Calif.
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Coronado Island, Calif.
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Grab a sandwich from the deli counter of local favorite Boney's Bayside Market or get a pint at McP's Irish Pub, a local hot spot for U.S. Navy sailors and elite SEALs, before the day culminates with a fireworks display over Glorietta Bay.

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San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau

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Louisville, Ky.
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Louisville, Ky.
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Fourth of July in Louisville, Ky., takes place annually over two days, July 3 and 4, at Waterfront Park. These two days are full of free concerts, fireworks, and family entertainment on the park's Great Lawn.

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Waterfront Development Corporation

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Louisville, Ky.
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Louisville, Ky.
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Local food trucks serve up street eats like tacos from Holy Mole. This year, hometown favorite Holy Mole is adding barbecue pork and beef brisket to its menu. Village Anchor Pub is offering an all-American apple pie with apples glazed in a bourbon orange zest as a special for the holiday. Other Louisville dining scene classics, such as Avalon, Bristol Bar & Grille, and Doc Crow's Southern Smokehouse & Raw Bar, are must-trys for beer and barbecue.

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Waterfront Development Corporation

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La Pointe, Wis.
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La Pointe, Wis.
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The 200 residents of Le Pointe kick off the town's Independence Day parade at 10:30 a.m. on July 4 with uniquely decorated floats. Look out for the giant grill truck that tosses hot dogs to the crowd!

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Madeline Island Chamber of Commerce

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La Pointe, Wis.
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La Pointe, Wis.
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The parade is followed by a community picnic, ice cream social, and softball game in the afternoon. The night concludes with fireworks. You'll find the best vantage point for enjoying the fireworks display off the Beach Club dock.

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Madeline Island Chamber of Commerce

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La Pointe, Wis.
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La Pointe, Wis.
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Before the display, festival-goers can enjoy nearby refreshments and fast food from local vendors like Ed and Marilyn Hartig's famous Island Store, Grampa Tony's Restaurant, the Bell Street Tavern, and Tom's Burned Down Café.

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Madeline Island Chamber of Commerce

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Providence, R.I.
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Providence, R.I.
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Providence, R.I., is home to the first act of colonial rebellion against the British, so it's no wonder the historic New England town celebrates America's independence more riotously than other major cities. Fourth of July festivities start at 7:30 p.m. with the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra Pops. The program includes "America the Beautiful," Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture," as well as "Stars and Stripes Forever." Providence was ranked second for its food by Travel + Leisure's America's Favorite City survey, and during the Fourth of July, this historic city continues to live up to its foodie reputation. At Harry's Bar and Burger, wash down the beef sliders with a Caramel Twinkie milkshake, made with ice cream, vanilla vodka, and snack cakes.

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Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau

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Providence, R.I.
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Providence, R.I.
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The musical performance is followed by a traditional firework display from Colonial Fireworks over Narragansett Bay at India Point Park.

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Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau