Located on the southeast side of North Carolina, Wilmington is a perfect summer getaway retreat that’s surrounded by water, history and natural beauty. It features nearly two miles of scenic Riverwalk along the historic Cape Fear River. Lose yourself in a vibrant array of locally owned shops and restaurants as well as colorful attractions - including a thriving arts and cultural scene, riverboat cruises, and a World War II battleship. Stroll along the 230+ block National Register Historic District, brimming with Victorian-era homes and gardens. The brick paved streets of downtown take you back in time as you ride along in a horse-drawn carriage. Its beach towns - Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and Wrightsville Beach - all charm visitors and residents alike with an independent spirit and energy that nourishes and recharges the soul.
And Wilmington is the perfect site for the best family event in July. There is nothing that screams family fun and patriotism like watching fireworks over a World War II Battleship. On July 4 each year, the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA, across from downtown Wilmington, proudly presents a spectacular pyrotechnic show that will knock your socks off. Already noted as one of the top places to being during the holiday, onlookers walk away with a sense of pride in their country. Before the fireworks begin at 9:05pm the streets of Wilmington come alive with band performances and vendors showcasing the best of the best this coastal town has to offer. It is an event you will never forget!
Co-sponsored by City of Newport Beach, Newport Dunes Resort’s annual fireworks presentation has become one of the area’s most popular 4th of July destinations. Located 10 miles south of Downtown Santa Ana, CA, Newport Beach is the perfect Fourth of July location for anyone who loves rock n’ roll music, beach and fun in the sun. Tribute bands honoring these legends of rock - Bon Jovi, Heart & Journey - will take the stage from 3-9 p.m. as the Dunes carries on its half-century-plus summer tradition with all-day family fun festivities followed by one of the regions finest fireworks presentations. From 11 a.m.-7p.m., attendees can enjoy a number of fun activities including a Velcro wall, dunk tank, bungee run, cake walk, limbo contests, inflatable jumpers and bounce houses. Newport Dunes Resort is a 100-acre waterfront resort featuring a 386-site state-of-the-art RV park, 450-slip marina and a private waveless beach and playground that has been enjoyed by families since 1958. It is also is home to 24 mobile cottages that the public may rent. Each May, the Dunes will open up its Aquatic Fun Park and visitors can also rent kayaks, windsurfers, pedal boats, bicycles, and electric boats. www.newportdunes.com
Mt. Rushmore, SD
There is little to compare to celebrating America's Birthday under the faces of the country's most famous men. Each year the Fourth of July or Independence Day Celebration at Mount Rushmore provides the visitor with great entertainment. During the day music is provided by live performers which are sure to please everyone. In addition there are performances along the Avenue of Flags, Military honors, a flag folding ceremony, Declaration of Independence reading, a US Air Force flyover and the monument lighting complete two days of activities. Acclaimed as one of the 10 man-made wonders of the world, celebrating the Fourth of July here is truly a tribute to American history. You can get up close to the famous visages of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt by following the Presidential Trail. Or, you can celebrate by night, at the July 4th fireworks display. Unfortunately, there won’t be any fireworks at Mt. Rushmore this year due to the risk of wildfires, however, nearby communities in the Black Hills area will have fireworks.
Home to many of the pivotal historical moments leading to American Independence, few locations could be more patriotic. More than 200 events make up the six-day long annual Boston Harborfest (June 28-July 4) that’s celebrated in conjunction with Boston Navy Week. The event will honor the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 with USS CONSTITUTION as the centerpiece. Warships and military tall ships from several nations are expected to be in Boston for the festivities as there will be a Parade of Ships in Boston Harbor that will be open to the public throughout. Annual Party on the Plaza will be held, featuring Disco Inferno. Over 200 events during these six days will provide entertainment throughout the festival. The schedule includes historical reenactments, walking tours, sunset harbor cruises, and free noontime concerts throughout the week on City Hall Plaza. Visitors to the 31st Annual Chowderfest will vote for “Boston’s Best Chowder” after sampling traditional New England style clam chowder from top Boston area restaurants. Free admission to over half of the over 200 events makes the celebration accessible to all.
In addition, to Harborfest, there will be a reading of the Declaration of Independence from the Old State house and the Boston Pops Firework Spectacular, which is known as the premier Independence Day celebration in the nation. Each year, since its inception, hundreds of thousands of people come from all over the country to the banks of the Charles River to celebrate America’s birthday while another seven million tune in nationally on the CBS Television Network to view the event during a live one-hour primetime special.