This year the 4th of July lands on a Tuesday. While the date means you’re going to have to part with a couple of your vacation days to enjoy it to its fullest, it also means airfares are cheaper than typical. Score!
We recommend making a long weekend of it, and exploring a new destination with Independence Day bona fides. Here are a few of our top 4th of July picks – at every price point.
Thrifty Paradise Las Vegas, Nevada A perennial favorite, we’re once again going to have to tap Las Vegas as The Party City for folks on a budget. Hotels, dining and airfare are low, low, low which means you just have to avoid the tables (or have “Lady Luck” on your side). Las Vegas’ pool party game is strong all summer, but don’t forget to bring the sunscreen. You can expect temperatures over 100 degrees in the shade in this desert oasis. The casinos on the Strip participate in a semi-official competition to host the most spectacular fireworks, though Caesar’s Palace tends to emerge victorious most years (their show goes for close to 15 minutes and is scheduled to kick off at 9:10pm this year). Flights: Nonstop flights on American for under $300 from JFK and for $142 on Spirit from Chicago (ORD).* Accommodation: Harrahs for $55/night, the Flamingo for $75/night or Caesars Palace for just $129/night.**
Budget-Conscious Austin, Texas If you like your Independence Day celebrations weird (and who doesn’t?), go right to the source of all manner of oddball fun and take that party to Austin! This year, you can attend the 7th Annual Corn Dog Eating Contest at the Black Sheep Lodge, Willie Nelson’s 4th of July picnic (where Uncle Willie shares the bill with Sheryl Crowe, Kacey Musgraves, Jamey Johnson, and other special guests), and round out your evening under the stars with the traditional fireworks display accompanied by the Austin Symphony downtown at Vic Matthias Shores. Pro tip: The traffic in Austin is terrible, so plan to park when you get to town and walk (downtown hotels are the way to go for this weekend!) Flights: From Los Angeles on United for $233, from Denver for $138 on Frontier, and from Milwaukee for $274 on American.* Accommodation: Stay at the historic Driskill for $199/night or the Holiday Inn Express downtown for $117/night.**
Save a Little, Splurge a Little Phoenix, Arizona The hot summer months in Phoenix scare away the heat-phobic (is that a word?), but it ushers in a season of incredible value at world-class resorts. We recommend staying at a 5-star property at a fraction of the cost, and luxuriate in the first-class service and amenities like full-service spas and impressive outdoor swimming complexes. Independence Day celebrations around the Valley of the Sun include the popular Tempe Town Lake Festival and the family-friendly 4th of Zooly (get it?) at the Phoenix Zoo. Flights: Round trip from Los Angeles for $177 on United and from Seattle for $184.* Accommodation: You can stay at the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed, historic Arizona Biltmore for just $139/night or the romantic, boutique Royal Palms for $164/night.**
Baby on Board Washington, D.C. When you’ve got a family it’s hard to beat our nation’s capital for an educational and fun way to celebrate Independence Day. As you’d expect, there’s a ton of family-oriented activities like a National Independence Day Parade along Constitution Avenue, the National Archives sponsor a “Family Day”, and the National Symphony Orchestra accompanies the fireworks over the reflecting pool on the National Mall. Many of D.C.’s main monuments are outside (translation: free of charge), and even large portions of the Smithsonian Institution are free of charge. Flights: From Boston for $121, Dallas for $242 or Fort Lauderdale for $139 round trip on Spirit.* Accommodation: A family of 4 can stay for $170/night at the Hampton Inn White House (breakfast buffet included) or the Comfort Inn Downtown for $149/night with full breakfast.**
Money is No Object Maui, Hawaii Why not experience how our youngest, most laid-back state celebrates Independence Day if your budget allows? Flights: Nonstop first class flights from San Francisco on United for $1,478 or from Seattle for $1,518 on Alaska Air.* Accommodation: In the category of “Go Big or Go Home,” you’d be hard pressed to find a more luxe hotel on Maui than the 5-star Four Seasons Grand Wailea. Rates for this week are $929/night, but we promise this property is worth every penny. The Ritz Carlton Kapalua is located near buzzy, historical Lahaina and a bit less dear at $677/night.**
If you haven’t booked your flights yet, check out our Summer Flights Page for some nitty gritty detail on the best days to fly for your 4th of July getaway. Happy Birthday to the U.S.A. and Happy Travels!
*Fares include taxes and fees and are valid as of 6/10/17 on select dates between 07/01/17 and 7/6/17. Lowest fare seats are capacity controlled and may not be available on every airline, flight, or date. Fares subject to change without notice.
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