If you find yourself making last minute plans for Independence Day, here’s a list of the best cities in the United States to spend your holiday and why:

Virginia Beach

Thousands of people head to Virginia Beach for the annual Fourth of July Stars & Stripes Explosion every year. The event features marching bands, tribute bands, and local entertainers, and is followed by a beautiful fireworks display over the ocean. 

Virginia Beach is an affordable beach destination and the Stars & Stripes Explosion event, which is free, is an example of how affordable it can be to celebrate during the long weekend.

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Chicago is a city that is must-see in the summer, but if fireworks are your thing, that’s especially true during the July Fourth weekend.

Organizers from Navy Pier put on one of the best fireworks shows in the country.  Large crowds are expected every year and only people with advanced reservations or tickets are permitted entry.

With that said, it’s what happens before the fireworks show, which begins at 9:30 pm local time, that makes Chicago worth the hype. There will be food, music, and other entertainment, that will make this feel like a neighborhood barbecue or block party.

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New Orleans

New Orleans is the kind of place that always incorporates its signature style in every festival and/or holiday.  The same is true for the Fourth of July.

If you’re looking for a new way to celebrate the holiday, then head to New Orleans for the annual “Go 4th on the River” festival. 

The Port of New Orleans will bring out the General Roy S. Kelley fireboat and make a return appearance along the river, with its famed water show with plumes of red, white, and blue fountains beginning at 6:00 p.m. and leading up to the 9:00 p.m. fireworks show.

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Saint Louis

St. Louis is probably the last place you would think for July Fourth but it’s actually a fun Midwestern city that has great food and ridiculously affordable.

July 4 kicks off the Saint Louis Fair deemed as “America’s Biggest Birthday Party.”

Over 2.5 days, visitors will be entertained by musical acts, air shows, and of course fireworks under the Gateway Arch for free. 

Los Angeles

Festivals, barbecues, and more, downtown Los Angeles offers a lot do. 

Enjoy live music, food, and activities for the entire family at this Fourth of July Community Festival and Fireworks Show.  This picnic-style event on the South Lawn off Exposition Park Drive and Bill Robertson Lane begin at 12 p.m.

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Washington D.C.

From the National Independence Day Parade along Constitution Avenue and the “A Capitol Fourth concert, the nation’s capital is one of the best places to be to commemorate Independence Day.

There will be a ton of day parties on 14th and U Street that you can attend or you can travel about 30 miles up the highway to enjoy your day in Baltimore, Maryland. 

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Savannah, Georgia

Savannah offers a slower pace if you’re looking to avoid large crowds for the holiday. 

River Street is where you want to be for a day of festivities starting at noon with food, drinks, music and family activities. 

Road at Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah lined with Spanish Moss covered Live Oak Trees and Azaleas.