Americans take Independence Day seriously. A day, or often weekend, full of family-friendly activities, parades, concerts, and fireworks shows is on the traditional menu.

While each region of the country has their own spin on the festivities, it’s no secret that July 4th is when Americans go all-out and show their pride. Ready to experience America’s “birthday” with the crowds? Check out these cities first!

San Diego, California

Surrounded by several military bases, San Diego is one of the most patriotic cities in the United States. Celebrate July 4th alongside some of the nation’s veterans, as well as the charming beachgoers of San Diego’s shores. Find a spot somewhere in the mix of North San Diego Bay, where fireworks are launched from barges strategically placed around the water for an epic display. Another great way to spend the day is by parking it on Ocean Beach for a day of fun in the sun, followed by a wonderful fireworks show launched from Ocean Beach Pier.

America's Best Cities To Celebrate Independence Day

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

This American classic comes alive during the July 4th weekend, when dozens of family-friendly activities take place. Between cupcake eating contests, vintage plane flyovers, a boat parade, and fireworks shows, you’re in for a holiday packed with fun. Come for the famous barbecue and milkshake joints, but stay for the festive fanfare throughout the city. Just remember, Myrtle Beach is insanely popular, so come prepared to battle the crowds. It’s worth it!

America's Best Cities To Celebrate Independence Day

New Orleans, Louisiana

For an authentic Southern antebellum experience, consider watching the iconic New Orleans fireworks display over the Mississippi River from an old-fashioned steamboat. Your dream of a Huckleberry Finn-style adventure is within reach, but try and keep the mischief to a minimum… or at least save it for the after party! New Orleans is the perfect escape for those who enjoy deep culture, exciting nightlife, and authentic region cuisine. The party never stops in New Orleans!
America's Best Cities To Celebrate Independence Day

Bristol, Rhode Island

Experience the scene of the country’s longest-running July 4th celebration in Bristol, Rhode Island. The first parade was held in 1785 and the party has grown larger and larger ever since. The festivities technically begin on June 14th (National Flag Day) and run right through the famous July 4th parade. Enjoy free concerts, baseball games, and the fireworks display on the evening of July 3rd. Then be sure to queue up early to catch the fun during the parade!

Amelia Island, Florida

Small town values meet beachfront charm in Amelia Island, Florida, a barrier island near the border of Georgia on the Atlantic Ocean. In the land of adorable, historic B&B’s and flag-waving traditions, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time. Take it slow, enjoy the free concert in town, and have a sip at the Palace Saloon, self-proclaimed as Florida’s oldest watering hole. And if you’re into Civil War reenactments, be sure not to miss the show at Fort Clinch.

America's Best Cities To Celebrate Independence Day

Created by Mandy Burkholder