Some stores began making their Fourth of July preparations before Memorial Day parties even had a chance to end. And while much of the motivation was likely a fiscal one, we’re sure some of the anxiousness in the aisles had to do with the fact that the summer holiday that centers around baseball, barbecues and bright lights is just such a joy to observe.
High-end hotels relish all of the outdoor festivities as well. Many pull out the celebratory stops this time of year with themed meals, live entertainment and hard-to-ignore overnight packages. Here are seven places that are going above and beyond to honor the red, white and blue with you.
Forbes Travel Guide Recommended Barnsley Resort rests in the cozy foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, about an hour north of Atlanta. It’s the quintessential American South, making it an ideal locale for an early July getaway. The property has an event-filled day of paintball fun and s’mores eating on the agenda. Barnsley Resort’s Savor Summer deal (book a two-night stay on Sunday through Thursday and get the second night free) makes a timely visit even more appealing.
And on top of all that potential fun, Cartersville, which annually ushers in Independence Day with a parade, live music and fireworks, sits just a town over.
As if the nation’s birthday weren’t reason enough to party in St. Louis, the long-anticipated opening of the new-look Museum at the Gateway Arch happens on July 3. The state-of-the-art attraction’s ribbon cutting will coincide with Fair Saint Louis, a popular three-day festival (July 4, 6 and 7) highlighted by an air show, marching bands and a St. Louis Symphony Orchestra performance.
Four-Star The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis, just 10 miles from the Arch, joins in on the revelry with its Gateway Arch Grand Reopening Package, which comes with breakfast, valet parking, a welcome amenity, light rail passes and an overnight stay in a room with a fantastic view of the iconic curved attraction.
One of the city’s top hotels, The Houstonian Hotel, Club and Spa shows its patriotism with a lavish barbecue on July 1 and a pool party on July 4. Of course, you’ll need somewhere to recuperate after all of the gallivanting around the property, so opt for the Four-Star favorite’s Cele-Cation — available for stays between July 1 and 7, the deal includes a $50 hotel credit, complimentary parking and a late checkout.
Sea Island, Georgia
Turn a Fourth of July getaway into a weeklong escape with five days of festive activities at luxurious Sea Island. Kick summer into high gear with banana splits on the beach, 5Ks and cookouts starting on July 2, and then celebrate Independence Day with an itinerary of patriotic parties, bountiful barbecues, fun runs and, of course, a spectacular fireworks show over St. Simons Sound.
Once the last sparklers have sputtered out, make your way back to your room at one of the island’s Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotels: links lovers will want to relax at The Lodge at Sea Island Golf Club, while those looking for a more stately stay will book The Cloister to surround themselves with stylish details and superb dining.
As American as apple pie, a trip to Virginia’s Colonial Williamsburg is a must for those who want to get a glimpse of what life was like during the birth of the nation. July 4 is a special time to visit with public readings of the Declaration of Independence, musical performances and reenactments, hands-on activities for little ones and a dazzling pyrotechnics display to cap off the evening.
To enjoy a festive celebration, book your stay at Forbes Travel Guide Recommended Williamsburg Lodge and take part in the property’s All-American Buffet. This family-friendly fete, happening from 4 to 6 p.m. on the Fourth, includes chef-grilled goodies, live music, games and crafts for the kids and photo opportunities with the historic town’s canine mascot, Liberty. And in case rooms fill up in the lodge, Five-Star Williamsburg Inn is minutes away and sits across from the historic downtown.
Stay, play and pamper yourself in style with offers from Pebble Beach Resorts. Book your coastal California escape at a couple of Four-Stars: The Inn at Spanish Bay (right on the property’s famous links) or The Lodge at Pebble Beach (offering ocean views and easy spa access) for special rates and discounted play on the resort’s renowned greens. Though Casa Palmero isn’t a part of the promotion, its newly renovate suites overlooking the first and second fairways make it an excellent option, too.
After all the jubilation, don’t forget to treat yourself to an afternoon of posh pampering at The Spa at Pebble Beach — during the holiday week, you can take advantage of a 20 percent discount on any service at this Five-Star spot.
What better way to celebrate summertime in the Emerald City than with a spectacular Fourth of July festival? Hosted by the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Seafair Family 4th at Gas Works Park serves up a patriotic party for kids of all ages with food vendors, live music from local bands, a beer garden and the All-American Games stuffed with pie-eating contests, sack races and more.
But the main event takes place after sundown, when one of the country’s best fireworks displays, choreographed to an original score, lights up the night over Lake Union.
Set up your home base for the holiday at nearby Pan Pacific Seattle. Just four miles south of the park, this Four-Star downtown hot spot delivers easy access to some of the city’s most iconic landmarks — you can even get a glimpse of the Space Needle from the Lobby Bar’s picturesque patio.