Resorts across the country are pulling out all the bells and whistles to celebrate Fourth of July this year. From mountain concerts under the stars to fireworks in Napa Valley, we’ve found six spots to check into for Independence Day.
Sky’s the Limit in Las Vegas
Have a Five-Star Fourth at Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas, where it’s all about the view. Happily perched 23 stories above the Strip, Mandarin Bar’s doors open at 4 p.m. on July 4, allowing guests to partake in the room’s million-dollar vistas while the sun is still up. Beat the heat with the new Cool BBQ appetizer — Alaskan king crab and kampachi-yuzu tartare atop billowing dry ice — and enjoy sips from the hotel’s Tea Lounge with tea-infused libations, or the latest addition to the cocktail menu, Spring Into Elyx, with Absolut Elyx vodka, fresh basil and lavender-enhanced grapefruit juice. But when night falls, the live music will begin at 9 p.m., the perfect soundtrack for taking in the numerous fireworks shows that will light up the valley sky in every direction.
Head for the Hills in Park City
Come rain or shine, Four-Star The St. Regis Deer Valley’s Big Stars, Bright Nights concert series runs through August 30 on the grassy slopes of the award-winning ski resort’s Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater, where locals and visitors come armed with wine, beach chairs and picnic baskets for the affair. Independence Day weekend kicks off July 3 with Martina McBride and ends July 6 with Punch Brothers. On July 3 and 6, gates open at 5:30 p.m. and the concerts start at 7 p.m. Tickets range between $40-85.
Get on Island Time in the Carolinas
Stay at Five-Star The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort and get ready for some good old-fashioned fun. The Kiawah Island Independence Festival on July 4 at Night Heron Park rounds up all of the best summer activities: live music, tie-dye, face painting, a children’s train and carnival games. Aside from the fireworks at 9:15 p.m., the food might be the best attraction, with a classic grill and barbecue lineup, shrimp skewers, fixings, and watermelon available for purchase. The July 4 event goes from 5:30-9:30 p.m., and there’s free entry.
Make a Date of it in Newport
Newport, Rhode Island’s iconic Castle Hill Inn recently launched its summertime Social Date Book with a robust itinerary of events paying homage to beloved American traditions: Sunday night beach bonfires with s’mores and stargazing (July 6); James Bond movie night on the inn’s sweeping lawn on Monday (July 7); classic clambakes (July 8); and unobstructed views of Newport’s annual Fourth of July fireworks with gourmet drinks and bites to go along with the show. Also, new for summer 2014: Water taxis shuttle guests from Castle Hill Inn Marina to Newport Yachting Center Marina.
Save the Day in Chicago
The landmark Forbes Travel Guide Recommended JW Marriott Chicago is making summertime travelers an offer they can’t refuse: In honor of America’s independence in 1776, you can book a room for a patriotic $177.60 from July 3-6. Spend the money you saved on a trip to Navy Pier for the fireworks or a boat cruise from the Chicago Yacht Club. Use rate code ADV; book 14 days in advance.
Toast to Independence in Napa
What better way to celebrate Fourth of July than by enjoying barbecue, listening to live music and admiring fireworks? How about doing all these activities in beautiful Napa Valley? This Fourth of July, The Meritage Resort and Spa is hosting its “Red, White and BBQ” weekend. The festivities include a barbecue lunch, a barbecue demonstration by executive chef Krisztian Karkus, picnic games, two live performances by the calypso-style Shabang! Steel Drum Band and a pool party. Once the firework show begins in downtown Napa, a shuttle will be available to transport guests to and from the hotel. But you don’t have to leave The Meritage Resort to get a great view. One of the best places to see the fireworks is from the hotel’s hillside Vineyard Deck.
Photos Courtesy of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc. and Castle Hill Inn