The Complete Beginner's Guide to the Best 4th of July Vacation Spots!

Jun 27, 2018

Best 4th of July Vacation Spots | 4th of July Vacation Ideas | Westgate Resorts
By Rich Weidman

Looking for The Best 4th of July Vacation Spots? Here's a Handy Primer!

“America … it is the only place where miracles not only happen, but where they happen all the time.”

– Thomas Wolfe

Just because the Fourth of July holiday falls on a Wednesday this year doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to grilling some frozen hotdogs in the backyard, lighting off a few lame sparklers and lounging on the couch watching a distant fireworks display on TV. Why not simply make it a five-day weekend, head out on the road and enjoy the time of your life? Celebrate Independence Day in style, whether you long to take a relaxing hotel staycation close to home, experience a thrill-a-minute getaway with any number of amazing Disney vacation packages for the summer, or venture to a unique destination you’ve never been before. With endless travel options, simply narrowing down where to vacation in July for Independence Day is the real key. Therefore, here’s our guide to a few of the best 4th of July vacation spots!

Rock Out a Fourth of July NYC-Style in the Bustling Big Apple

With a variety of patriotic activities and attractions, along with one of the biggest fireworks displays in the country, New York City is simply the place to be on the 4th of July! To get yourself into the 4th of July spirit at the outset of the day, stop by some of the fascinating Revolutionary War locations spread throughout Manhattan such as St. Paul’s Chapel, where George Washington worshipped; Fraunces Tavern Museum, where Washington bade farewell to his officers at the end of the Revolutionary War in 1783; and Fort Tryon Park, site of the Battle of Fort Washington in 1776. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the afternoon wandering through Central Park and visiting such landmarks as Belvedere Castle, Strawberry Fields, Central Park Zoo, Loeb Boathouse and the adjacent American Museum of Natural History. Or you may opt to take a subway ride out to Coney Island for an all-American adventure full of thrill rides and classic amusement park rides, carnival games and even a circus sideshow, along with plenty of fried food to satisfy your taste buds! As night descends, find a spot to view the incredible Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Show, which kicks off around 9:25 PM and launches from barges in the East River in Midtown Manhattan. An astounding 40,000 pyrotechnic shells will be launched during the 25-minute fireworks extravaganza. A great place to view the fireworks show is from the fourth-annual Freedom Fest at South Street Seaport. Of course a visit to New York City on the Fourth of July is not complete without viewing the majestic Statue of Liberty at Ellis Island at night as it becomes illuminated by blazing fireworks in all directions. Many harbor cruises offer special 4th of July fireworks excursions that will let you experience the fireworks amid breathtaking views of the New York City skyline. Best of all, Westgate New York City (formerly Hilton Midtown Hotel East), which lies in the heart of Midtown Manhattan’s East Side, places you within walking distance of all the amazing Fourth of July activities to be found in the Big Apple!

Experience Old-Fashioned Independence Day Fun in Beautiful Park City

Nestled in the scenic Wasatch Mountains, Park City (aka “America’s Favorite Mountain Town”) is the perfect locale for a 4th of July getaway. In fact, Park City’s annual Old-Fashioned 4th of July Celebration features something for everyone – including a pancake breakfast at City Park, 5K Mountain Fun Run (preregistration required), Main Street Parade at 11 AM, children’s activities, volleyball tournament, rugby games, live music and beer garden, followed by a barbecue, free concert and spectacular fireworks display at the base of Park City Mountain Resort. Before you stake out a spot for the fireworks, make sure to check out the upcoming summer concert series kicking off on July 7th at the Canyons Village Stage! This summer only, as an additional musical treat to augment the regular Saturday evening concerts that often grace the crisp air of Park City, select Thursday evenings will bring together the best in local and regional musical talent starting at 6 p.m. with visiting artists and bands from all around the state. If you’re coming out for a sit and sing along, you’re welcome to bring a self-serve picnic or your own refreshments.

Join in at Park City Mountain Village for live music each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday afternoon beginning at 4pm all summer long. The schedule for this concert season varies and is subject to change, but at the moment have a look below for the details on times for shows in July:

  • Sunday, July 1 (4:00 - 7:00pm) – Classic Steve – Legends Bar & Grill

  • *Tuesday, July 3 (5:00pm) - DJ Velvet - Canyons Village Stage

  • *Tuesday, July 3 (7:30pm) - The Number Ones - Canyons Village Stage

  • *Wednesday, July 4 (5:00pm) – TBA – Green Stage

  • *Wednesday, July 4 (7:30pm) – The Soulistics – Green Stage

  • *Thursday, July 5 (4:00 - 7:00pm) – Shannon Runyon – Legends Bar & Grill

  • Friday, July 6 (4:00 - 7:00pm) – Nathan Spenser Revue – Legends Bar & Grill

  • Saturday, July 7 (4:00 - 6:00pm) – Fabulous Flynn’s Tones – PayDay Express

  • Sunday, July 8 (4:00 - 7:00pm) – Joy & Eric – Legends Bar & Grill

  • Friday, July 13 (4:00 - 7:00pm) – Rick Gerber – Legends Bar & Grill

  • Saturday, July 14 (4:00 - 6:00pm) – Motherlode Canyon Band – PayDay Express

  • Sunday, July 15 (4:00 - 7:00pm) – Pat Carnahan – Legends Bar & Grill

  • Friday, July 20 (4:00 - 7:00pm) – Shannon Runyon – Legends Bar & Grill

  • Saturday, July 21 (4:00 - 6:00pm) – BD Howes Band – PayDay Express

  • Sunday, July 22 (4:00 - 7:00pm) – Lumberjack Fabulous – Legends Bar & Grill

  • *Tuesday, July 24 (4:00 - 6:00pm) – TBA – PayDay Express

  • Friday, July 27 (4:00 - 7:00pm) – Bruce Music – Legends Bar & Grill

  • Saturday, July 28 (4:00 - 6:00pm) – Lost in Bourbon – PayDay Express

  • Sunday, July 29 (4:00 - 7:00pm) – Mikael Lewis – Legends Bar 7 Grill

*Denotes a special event or a holiday performance

If gathering your own grub for a performance and picnic is a bridge too far for you, then enjoy a comfortable, cutting-edge dining experience for Independence Day at Edge Steakhouse, an award-winning Park City steakhouse at Westgate Park City Resort & Spa. In between 4th of July activities, take advantage of the multitude of outdoor recreational activities available throughout Park City such as mountain biking, hiking, fly fishing, hot-air ballooning, scenic chairlift rides, rock climbing, zip lining, horseback riding, alpine sliding, championship golf and more. Art enthusiasts will have a field day exploring more than 20 Park City art galleries, as well as the Kimball Art Center. Park City is also a shopper’s paradise with Tanger Outlet Mall and its 65 brand-name outlet stores as a prime destination.

Celebrate a Laid-Back Fourth of July in World-Famous Cocoa Beach

Looking to relax on white-sand beaches, followed by a world-class dining experience and culminating with a spectacular fireworks display over the Atlantic Ocean? Consider heading out to Cocoa Beach, Florida, the premier vacation destination on Florida’s Space Coast! Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier, which stretches 800 feet over the Atlantic Ocean, is simply the best place to catch the fireworks, while enjoying a seafood feast along with an ice-cold beer or your favorite cocktail. In addition to its festive 4th of July events, Cocoa Beach features a multitude of outdoor recreational activities, museums and historic sites such as surfing, jetskiing, boat tours, championship golf, parasailing, deep sea fishing and eco-tour adventures. Cocoa Beach is also the closest beach to Orlando and its immensely popular theme parks, and lies just minutes from Port Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. For luxury accommodations directly on the beach, check out the new Westgate Cocoa Beach Resort, which offers the only (and newly renovated) 2 bedroom hotels suites in Cocoa Beach FL, as well as onsite amenities ranging from a 75,000-gallon, tropical-themed waterpark with a 335-foot lazy river to exclusive beach concierge services, making this the first (and only) luxury accommodation, among Cocoa Beach resorts in the area.

Plan Ahead and Enjoy a Spectacular 4th of July!

Whether you choose to spend the upcoming Fourth of July holiday reveling in “The City That Never Sleeps,” hiking through a scenic mountain vista or simply relaxing on a white-sand beach in a tropical paradise on a summer staycation, your Independence Day adventure will surely be one for the ages! Happy Fourth!