Fireworks. America. Barbecue. Declaration of Independence. Red, white, and blue. Summer. These words remind us of time spent with friends and family every Fourth of July. It's almost that time of the year again. So pull out your American flag and blast Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A.," or your own personal July 4th anthem. Celine Dion's "God Bless America," anyone?
So, where will you spend the fourth this year? If it's the same place as last year, and the year before, maybe it's time for a change. We've made a short list of spectacular cities you may not have thought of when considering where to celebrate the Fourth of July; if they're easy to get to this weekend, you should go!
On any given day, Key West is a great place to people watch and live on island time just like Jimmy Buffet. So it's no surprise the locals have their own unique way of bringing in the 4th. In addition to several fireworks shows, Key West even hosts a Key Lime Festival to celebrate its official state pie. The festival includes a pie eating contest and the unveiling of what could possibly be the world's largest Key Lime pie ever. Count us in on that one.
A stunning example of nature's beauty, Lake Tahoe couldn't be a better place to spend the fourth of July. This year marks its 70th year of celebrating the nation's birthday and that means its fireworks show is going to be bigger than ever. Can you imagine the reflection of fireworks on the lake with a backdrop of the stunning Sierra Nevada mountains? Breathtaking. Plus, NBC's Today Show even ranked Lake Tahoe's fireworks celebration as one of the top five displays in the nation. We imagine it would be jaw dropping.
You're probably wondering why Ashland, Ohio made the list. As soon as we heard about the Ashland Balloonfest, we just couldn't help ourselves. From July 2nd - 5th, a total of 32 balloons will fly the Ashland skies. This also happens to be the festival's 25th birthday, so a birthday cake will be present. Don't go hungry or expect to get a piece of this cake though. Thanks to Aerostar, this massive cake weighs in at 807 pounds and measures 80 ft tall and 71 ft around. It's even complete with 12 ft tall candles. In other words, it's definitely not edible. But if it were, it would use 804,000 boxes of cake mix, 2,520,000 eggs, and 900,000 cans of frosting. Can you imagine that much frosting? Sounds like heaven.
The fourth of July festivities will begin early Saturday morning with a competition flight. Later that day, there will also be a cornhole tournament, a vintage baseball game, a pilot meet and greet, live entertainment, and much more. The number one event you have to see is the Balloon Glow Encounter on Saturday evening. Where else could you look up and see 32 glowing hot air balloons in the sky? Mind blown.
So it may not be barbecue, but who could resist pancakes on the fourth of July? See that's what we thought. Santa Fe does July 4th like no other city with its annual Pancakes on the Plaza event. 40 years ago, this local tradition began and it hasn't stopped drawing crowds since. Breakfast lasts from 7 am to noon so you can enjoy pancakes, even if you aren't an early bird.
Pancakes aren't the only attraction. There will be kid's activities, car shows, arts and crafts, and even live music. But let's be honest, pancakes.
Celebrate the fourth of July with your toes in the Santa Barbara beach sand, voted "Best Beach Town" by Sunset Magazine. This city has plenty of fun activities happening on Independence Day. Since you can't attend every event, we settled on just one. Get in the spirit with the Spirit of '76 Activities. This year marks the parade's 53rd year. Over 175 agencies come together to walk from Micheltorena Street to Cota Street. Don't believe us? Just watch.
If the Key Lime Festival is calling your taste buds this July 4th, we recommend the Mermaid & the Alligator in Key West, FL. Just a short drive away from Ashland, Ohio is the rustic Barn Inn Bed & Breakfast in Millersburg, OH. There's also the quiet White Oak Inn Bed & Breakfast in Danville, OH. If your stomach is growling for pancakes, you've got two options: the Don Gaspar Inn and its enchanting gardens or the authentic El Farolito and Four Kachinas Bed & Breakfast Inns. Both properties are in Santa Fe, NM and both will understand your love for pancakes. If you're headed to Santa Barbara, stay right there in the historic, Victorian Simpson House Inn Bed & Breakfast. More interested in food? Spend the night at the Ballard Inn & Restaurant and enjoy gourmet wine country cuisine and fine dining.
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Select Registry is a portfolio of more than 300 quality-assured premier bed and breakfasts, inns, and hotels throughout North America. Each of our member bed and breakfasts, inns, and hotels has passed an unannounced, rigorous, 200-point quality assurance inspection to earn and maintain its Select Registry membership, and to ensure it provides travelers with guaranteed quality, exceptional service, and an unforgettable lodging experience.