There is no better time to visit the USA than when it’s in full Independence Day party mode! We’re talking parades and block parties where people drag their barbecues out into the street.

On July 4th this year, the USA turns 242 years old – and you can expect a lot of parties and pageantry to celebrate. They are celebrating the signing of the Declaration of Independence. This took place on this date in 1776, after the Americans beat the British in the war of independence.

The Americans may have kicked out the Brits, but Australians have a special love of American culture. You just have to look at hundreds of burger and barbecue joints that have been opening around the country. And the recent Super Bowl reappearance of Crocodile Dundee and the debate it generated shows the US loves us back!

Here are some of the best places to celebrate the Fourth of July stateside:



There is no place like the current seat of USA government to celebrate the biggest holiday of the American summer. Washington has one of the largest parades in the country where you will see floats, food trucks and hundreds of thousands of flag-waving partygoers as they line Constitution Avenue.

Come night time the national monuments – like the Lincoln Memorial – are lit up with a massive fireworks display that can be seen from all over the city.


New York

New York is home to a unique Independence Day celebration: Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. Last year, Joey Chestnut – 10-time hot-dog devouring champ – ate an incredible 72 hot dogs – then presumably had a very big lay down.

But the rest of New York will be alive with parties like a beach party that takes place near the famous Coney Island boardwalk, celebrations on the city’s rooftop bars or a party pub crawl.


Independence Day is marked in Chicago by a dramatic fireworks display at Navy Pier. You don’t have to be right at the pier to see the show either, with awesome views to be found on nearby beaches and rooftops around the city.

There will also be a number of special July 4 cruises where you can enjoy dinner on board the boat and, of course, an exclusive view of the fireworks from the water.

Las Vegas


Independence Day in Vegas will not disappoint.

Make a splash at one of the many famous Vegas pool parties that will be in full swing during the day. And if you’ve still got energy you can carve up the dance floor at one of the nightclubs on the strip.

The strip itself will be absolutely buzzing and there will be plenty of fireworks displays to watch with the resorts competing with each other for the most fabulous show.



This Florida town knows how to party all year round but on the Fourth of July you will find a big bash at Bayfront Park that ends with an epic fireworks display, party cruises hitting the ocean and the city’s famous nightclubs offering themed red, white and blue parties.

Recover with a visit to any one of Miami’s great beaches, stroll the famous art deco district with over 100 perfectly preserved buildings from the 1920s or take a cruise around the croc-infested Everglades on an airboat.



Order up a plate of Philly cheese steak, catch the massive free concert or check out fireworks accompanied by the Philadelphia Orchestra – this city does not hold back on the national holiday.

The other reason this is the perfect place to plan your July 4 fiesta is that the city is home to the legendary Liberty Bell. The inscription on the Liberty Bell reads “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof” and the bell has become a symbol of the freedom so beloved by the citizens of the US.



For some southern celebrations try the parties on offer in Phoenix, Arizona. The family-friendly Fourth of Zooly sees the Phoenix Zoo transformed into a huge block party. There are patriotic parties over the length and breadth of the city and more fireworks once the sun goes down.

When the party is over, take a day trip to Grand Canyon National Park which has one of the most famous views on the planet. Check the changing colours of the canyon at sunset and stay the night in one of the nearby lodges.


Fly there with American Airlines


When you think about a trip to America, think American Airlines with daily flights from Sydney to LAX.

Book flights on American Airlines and you will feel you have arrived in the US even before the plane touches down, with American service, food and atmosphere.

Visit for further information on their extensive network, and flight deals.

READ: #travelforlife: Simon Dodd, American Airlines GM, Australia and NZ

READ: Go inside American Airlines renovated lounge at JFK

Where do you want to celebrate July 4?

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