Independence Day is so much more than just a holiday - it’s a cultural institution, and an opportunity to experience an America you won’t see on any other day of the year.

The biggest day of the year for anyone living in the United States is just around the corner. BBQ’s have been primed, fireworks hoarded and family reunions scheduled. But not all 4th of July celebrations are created equal. When it comes to where best to celebrate Independence Day, those who aren’t tied down to one spot have quite the array to choose from. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not strike out on a road trip and experience something completely new? Here’s a few of the best cities to take in the sights and sounds of the big day:

Hey, if you’re going to have a massive celebratory festival, why limit it to just one day? That’s what Boston natives obviously figured, as Boston hosts the largest Independence Day fest in the nation: Boston Harborfest, a five day bonanza of music, fireworks, historical reenactments - and even a Chowderfest! Like Philadelphia, Boston was an integral part of the struggle for independence, so Harborfest has a lot of historical elements - but even if you’re not a huge history buff, you can still revel in the classic New England cuisine on offer and enjoy the spectacular fireworks.

New York
While it may not have the same history behind it, you can’t beat New York’s Independence Day for sheer scale. For the Big Apple, it’s all about the fireworks - the famed Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks take a proud place as one of the biggest pyrotechnic displays in the world. Starting at 9pm and lasting for between 25 and 30 minutes, this light extravaganza is truly unforgettable. The best place to watch the show is Brooklyn Bridge Park - not only will you have the perfect vantage point to appreciate the fireworks, but you’ll also have a fantastic view of the city skyline. 

The city of brotherly love is where it all began. It was in Philadelphia on the 4th of July 1776 that the Declaration of Independence was adopted, severing ties with Mother England once and for all. For this year’s celebration, the city plays host to a whole day of spectacle and revelry. From the parade that winds its way through the streets beginning at Independence Hall to the Grand Finale Fireworks that will explode over the Philadelphia Museum of Art, this is the classic holiday steeped in history like nowhere else.
If you’re after a slightly different approach to July 4th, it’s time to move away from the east coast and into the heart of Dixie. Nashville is known as Music City, and Independence Day sees it in full musical mode. With free concerts all day long from artists Martina McBride and Mikky Ekko, followed by the acclaimed Nashville Symphony, this is the city that music lovers need to be in for the Fourth of July. It’s also a great pick if you’re bringing the kids along, as there are loads of free events and activities tailored specifically for them.

Las Vegas
For those looking to get away from the usual 4th of July celebrations and just party, there’s really only one place to go. Known as the entertainment capital of the world, Las Vegas is a little light on the whole parade and fireworks side of things, but it more than makes up for it with spectacular shows and ubiquitous pool parties. Hit the nightclubs for special events or sip cocktails at the top of the world with the Level 107 Lounge Party at the Stratosphere. 
San Francisco
This west coast city didn’t even exist when the Declaration of Independence was signed, but that doesn’t mean that folks from Frisco don’t know how to celebrate in style. Take in a concert at Stern Grove Park or spend the day on a wine tasting tour - after all, not every second of the day needs to feature national nostalgia. Make sure that you’re ready for the fireworks at 9:30 though - two synchronized displays are set off simultaneously to ensure that everyone has a clear view. If you’re willing to splash out a bit, taking a harbor cruise to view the pyrotechnics is quite the experience but you’ll need to book tickets soon as this is very popular.
Obviously you can only be in one place for the 4th of July - but with so many diverse cultures and experiences on offer, why restrict your journey to just one city? Whether you’re ready to take “the great American road trip” or you just want to get a taste of what a few cities have in store, the best place to start is just picking up a car rental and hitting the road. Who knows where your adventure will lead you?