Top Fourth of July Destinations & Scenic Drives

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Piers, fireworks and scenic byways galore! Photo by Matthew Trudeau.

Greet Summer in Style

June 21st officially marked the start of the summer solstice as well as the longest day of the year. Shortly thereafter, the premier summer Holiday in the U.S. descends on the populous recognizing the country’s Independence Day: the 4th of July! Here are some of the prime destinations to visit for the Holiday and the scenic drives to use to get there.

Top 5 Independence Day Destinations
  1. Las Vegas – Chalk it up to this place being the premier vacation destination on any list, the town pulls out all the stops for the 4th of July, with many of the leading resorts offering special packages. If you are coming from the south, use AZ-74, aka Carefree Highway, to take you into “Sin City.” It takes visitors through the desert and alternating terrain with gorgeous topography. Even better, it leads visitors right along the Joshua Tree National Forest and Hoover Dam.
  2. Myrtle Beach, SC – Located off the southeastern coast of South Carolina, Myrtle Beach has a multitude of exciting things to do during the 4th of July. Visitors can partake in one of the Plantation Island Tours, various nature trails and preserves or a conspicuous spot on the Huntington Beach State Park. To access this State Park, take SC-17, which takes travelers right on the skirts of where the Atlantic Ocean splashes onto shore.
  3. Black Hills, SD – The Black Hills of South Dakota are a rugged and expansive area beaming with open spaces, long stretches of road and most notably the Mount Rushmore National Memorial. The grounds have tons of camping areas and events devoted to our nation’s Independence. To get there coming from the south, look for US-16 as the main stretch of highway to get there, complete with all your scenic byway wants and needs.
  4. Lake Michigan – Coincidentally, Lake Michigan borders Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana and Illinois. Festivities include water sports and water activities, docking at various harbors in cities bordering the Lake. But be sure to check out the Silver Lake area for the Freedom Festival and fireworks show. Located on the western side of Michigan, be sure to use US-20 W/US-31 N for your scenic byway adventure experience to get to the quaint and exciting town of Ludington.
  5. San Diego – What is there not to like about San Diego/La Jolla area? The climate is perfect, beaches are clean and bright and the surrounding area has so much to offer. The perfect destination for the premier holiday of the summer, be sure to venture down the pier at San Diego’s Imperial Beach, to La Jolla Cove and to Coronado. For one of the best views and scenic byway, take CA-75 across the bridge for a breathtaking view of San Diego Bay on your way to a spectacular fireworks display!