Best Cities to Celebrate the Fourth of July


Independence Day is right around the corner, and that means barbecues, fireworks and long weekend adventures with family and friends while listening to Bruce Springsteen on repeat.

Did you know that the oldest continuous Independence Day celebration in the United States is the Fourth of July Parade in Bristol, Rhode Island? That parade has occurred every year since 1785. How will you be celebrating our country’s independence this year?


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Wallethub, a website that offers free credit scores and reports, researched the best and worst cities in the United States to celebrate July 4th. Researchers compared the 100 largest U.S. cities based on five categories: Fourth of July celebrations, affordability, attractions and activities, safety and accessibility, and weather.

If you’re making travel plans for the long Independence Day weekend, here are the five best cities to consider and and the five worst cities to avoid.

Best Cities

1. Atlanta, GA

This city is ranked second for the best Fourth of July festivities and is in the top 10 for overall attractions and activities. While the weather may be perfect for outdoor fun, however, safety is still an issue in this southern city.

Where to go: Centennial Olympic Park has welcomed over 30,000 spectators in past years to its July 4th celebration.

2. San Francisco, CA

San Francisco is among the top five cities for weather and celebrations, making this an ideal spot for celebrating America’s independence. Safety is not an issue in this city, but there is a hefty price tag attached to this destination.

Where to go: PIER 39 is celebrating Independence Day with a spectacular fireworks display over the San Francisco Bay just north of Fisherman’s Wharf.

3. Buffalo, NY

Buffalo has the best Independence Day celebrations in the country. However, the city’s unique festivities do add up to an expensive vacation for a large family or those traveling on a budget.

Where to go: Canalside will be hosting its July 4th celebration on the waterfront with food, live music, free children’s activities and a breathtaking fireworks display to cap off the evening.

4. Washington, D.C.

The nation’s capital is a hot spot for Fourth of July celebrations. The city is in the top five for both safety and celebrations. Unfortunately, the summer heat makes outdoor parties uncomfortable here, and Washington D.C. has some of the highest alcohol prices in the country.

Where to go: The National Mall Fourth of July celebration will surely put spectators in a patriotic mood as they look to the sky while in our nation’s capital.

5. San Diego, CA

San Diego is a great spot for those chasing the sun and some American-themed fun this holiday weekend. But this ideal city does come with a price tag that could break the bank.

Where to go: The Big Bay Boom Fourth of July fireworks show is promising another spectacular display over San Diego Bay this year.

Continue to the next page to see the five worst cities to celebrate the Fourth of July.

Worst Cities

96. San Bernardino, CA

While California is home to some of the best cities for vacationing during the July 4th weekend, San Bernardino is not one of those ideal destinations. The city has a terrible safety record and is expensive to boot.

97. Lubbock, TX

Lubbock is one of the least safe cities to travel to for the Fourth of July, especially with its high rate of DUI-related fatalities. Overall, Independence Day activities are not extremely popular, especially with the extreme Texas heat.

98. Gilbert, AZ

The Arizona heat wave makes Gilbert one of the worst places to celebrate America’s independence this year. However, the city does have the lowest alcohol prices in the country, so those traveling here will be able to cool down on the cheap with an ice cold beer.

99. Jersey City, NJ

Jersey City is the safest city to travel to this Independence Day weekend, but the weather won’t be on your side and neither will the Fourth of July activities offered by the community.

100. Newark, NJ

This city offers the worst Fourth of July festivities of all cities on the list. However, police and other emergency services do extra monitoring during the holiday weekend, which makes Newark the city with the least amount of DUI-related fatalities in the country.

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