In honor of the birthday of the USA, we asked some of the FlipKey bloggers to share their favorite ways to do July 4th right. If you’re still undecided about your Independence day plans, check out these tips to find a way to celebrate that’s not too far from home.
Suzanne Johnson – Bend, Oregon
I propose freedom from drizzle! Emancipation from precipitation! Independence from the overcoat!
July and August are the two months that the Pacific Northwest, especially along the coast, experience more blue skies than gray skies. It’s absolutely the time to visit Seattle – a gorgeous, lively, high-energy city year-round, even in the rain. But when the skies are dry, it can’t be beat for a long weekend destination over the Fourth.
I’d start on Saturday with a toast to our great country at the Seattle International Beerfest, a magnet event for beer aficionados everywhere. Sunday, July 3rd: What could be more American than a home game for the Mariners? They play the San Diego Padres. Independence day will be spent browsing Pikes Place (the outdoor market) free from cumbersome umbrellas! I’d wrap it up by watching 360 degrees of fireworks from the observation deck of the Space Needle.
Hmm. I might have to really make some reservations, not just talk about this!
Karen Ellery Jones – Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Funny, I was just thinking it was time to start planning the menu for our annual 4th of July beach dinner!
We celebrate the 4th of July here in Sandwich with a bang: starting with an early morning parade, followed by a brunch. Then we head over to the beach for a sunset dinner, bonfire and fireworks. There’s no better place to watch firework displays from Plymouth to Provincetown and all the beaches in between. It’s simply spectacular!
I remember one year when the kids were young and had just finished learning patriotic songs before school let out. My son sang This Land is Your Land, Battle Hymn of the Republic, America the Beautiful. It was before he became self-conscious, and he belted out those tunes in such a sweet voice – just wish I had videotaped it.
Jay Ferris – Seattle, Washington
In the Pacific Northwest, no place does Fourth of July quite as well as Portland, Oregon. Every year, downtown Portland comes alive with an annual Blues Festival of epic proportions: four days packed with over 120 performances on five different stages. You’ll also find impromptu jam sessions erupting across the festival grounds, as well as arts, crafts, games, and food galore.
The festival is located on the McCall Waterfront, a 37-acre park that runs alongside the Willamette River. On July 4th at 10:05pm precisely, a massive fireworks display is set off from a barge in the middle of the river, offering spectators 360 possible degrees of “oohs and ahhs”. Those in the know begin staking out a spot for their blanket on the Waterfront lawn at around 6pm, while those with some serious connections get an unmatched view from atop the roof of a downtown Portland skyscraper.
Taryn Collins – Boston, Massachusetts
There is no better place to celebrate the fourth of July than in the Northeast – the weather is fine, the beaches are hopping, the farmers markets are in full swing, and everyone seems to be sporting a smile. Backyard barbeques are in abundance, and it seems to be a time when happy people come together to enjoy great food and great company.
Whether it’s indulging in a lobster dinner along the coast, sunning on one of the many gleaming beaches, or taking in the pristine beauty of the Berkshires, there is certainly no shortage of things to do to celebrate Independence Day. This year I’m fortunate enough to be headed to Tanglewood, a part of the Boston Symphonic Orchestra, for a James Taylor concert! If that doesn’t scream New Englander on Independence Day weekend, I sure don’t know what does.