Life & Culture

July 4th plans?

If a Thursday July 4th has you thinking road trip, you’re in luck. The number crunchers at Wallet Hub have quantified just about every measure of Independence Day fun to rank 100 major US cities as a holiday destination.

They’ve been thorough!

Factors include the expected weather, the price of beer and wine, the per capita rate of drunk-driving fatalities and the price of three-star hotels. They’ve also scored cities on the legality of fireworks for personal use, the number of holiday-related festivities listed on Eventbrite and even the relative number of Google searches for “4th of July Celebration.”

Then, they further sorted the finalists by comparing the 100 most populated U.S. cities across five key dimensions: 1) Fourth of July Celebrations, 2) Affordability, 3) Attractions & Activities, 4) Safety & Accessibility and 5) Fourth of July Weather Forecast.

So where are the best places to  celebrate the nation’s birthday? 

The top Five

According to their number crunchers, the top five locations are, in reverse order, Las Vegas (with the cheapest five star hotels), Washington DC (with one of the best weather forcasts for the Fourth), San Diego and Los Angeles, with good weather and good attractions…and the number one city for Fourth of July is….(drum roll).

…New York City. After all, July 4th is all about big and loud and what city does big and loud better than New York? Billed as the largest fireworks show in the country, Macy’s will shoot up 70,000 combustibles from four barges in the East River near the southernmost tip of Manhattan. The show lasts about 25 minutes, and is free. New York also boasts the lowest percentage of DUI fatalities — if only because most people get to the party by foot or mass transit.

Pro tip:  There will be special needs viewing at the Murry Bergtraum High School Track and Field Facility at the base of the Manhattan Bridge. Map here. For more information, call 212-494-4495. 

Other findings

For the best weather, WalletHub suggests Pittsburgh, and for the cheapest wine and beer: Detroit. And the worst city to travel for the 4th, according to Wallet Hut? San Bernadino, California. Well, as the joke goes, what’s the difference between San Bernardino and yogurt? Yogurt has an active living culture. 

Of course, maybe you don’t want the biggest, loudest, longest fireworks, but a quiet place to fish. WalletHub doesn’t have an algorithm for that, but Fishing Booker suggests Atlantic Beach on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. And guess what? There will be fireworks there too.


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