Looking to get away this Independence Day weekend? We’ve got you covered! Yelp’s data scientists took a look into search and review data to come up with this year’s top Fourth of July destinations, perfect for a weekend full of fireworks and festivities. From breezy beaches to towering redwoods, here are the best places to celebrate the red, white, and blue as well as what to eat, see, and do at each spot!
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1. Long Beach, NYPhoto by Lambert P.
See: Ocean Beach Park
- Bike or stroll along miles of beautiful boardwalk. Packed with restaurants, shops, and bars, there’s something here for everybody!
Do: Skudin Surf
- Sign up for semi-private lessons and get ready to hit the waves!
- Treat yourself post-surf with some pizza! Yelpers love Sorrento’s brick oven pies topped with fresh mozzarella.
2. Carmel-by-the-Sea, CAPhoto by John L.
See: Carmel Mission Basilica. Built over two centuries ago, this beautifully restored church holds the first library in California.
- Adventures by the Sea offers everything from bike and kayak rentals to stand up paddle board lessons, perfect for exploring Carmel by land or sea.
- Cultura offers authentic, unique twists on Oaxacan cuisine. Yelpers love the skirt steak, street tacos, and mezcal-infused queso fundido.
3. Bar Harbor, MEPhoto by Rob W
See: Acadia National Park
- Whether you’re climbing Cadillac Mountain or resting at Jordan Pond or Sand Beach, enjoy all the magnificent scenery this national park has to offer.
- Hop on this sightseeing boat ride and learn about the history of Bar Harbor, the lobstering industry, local celebrities, and more.
Eat: Thirsty Whale
- Head to Thirsty Whale to get a taste of Maine. Known for their lobster rolls, Yelpers also love the fried haddock sandwich and clam chowder.
4. Big Bear Lake, CAPhoto by Chhandara P.
See: Stanfield Marsh Boardwalk & Wildlife Preserve
- Marked by a two-mile long wooden boardwalk, this easy walking path offers some incredible views of the lake.
- Conquer the wild terrain! Led by an experienced guide, drive a Jeep over challenging trails while learning about indigenous plants and wildlife, mining history, and off-roading techniques.
Eat: Bone-Side Down
- A small joint with outdoor seating, this place offers a great selection of BBQ favorites and delicious side dishes. Try the pulled pork, sweet baked beans, and corn muffins.
5. Marin, CAPhoto by Rachel C.
See: Muir Woods National Monument
- Hike among NorCal’s famous redwood trees. Trails are available for visitors of all levels.
Do: Cataract Falls
- Journey up to Cataract Falls! Take the Laurel Dell or High Marsh trails for breathtaking views along the way.
- This restaurant serves fresh and high-quality dishes inspired by the owners’ Burmese roots. Yelpers love the tea leaf salad, basil shrimp stir-fry, and coconut rice.
6. Galveston, TXPhoto by Jennifer Y.
See: 1892 Bishop’s Palace
- This ornate, Victorian-style building is regarded as one of the 100 most important buildings in America; audio-guided tours are offered.
- Take a boat ride around the harbor and spot dolphins in their natural habitat.
- Get a delicious taste of the south with the gumbo, chicken fried steak, and lump crab.
7. Barnstable, MAPhoto by Dave C.
See: Hyannis Whale Watcher Cruises
- Guided by marine biologists and other experts, this whale watching tour lets you catch a glimpse of some of the world’s most magnificent creatures up close and personal.
Do: Mayflower Beach
- This beach offers gorgeous white sand and warm water, perfect for exploring or relaxing on a sunny day.
- Enjoy the flavors of New England with the supreme lobster roll from Skipper Chowder House.
8. Sausalito, CAPhoto by Tony J.
See: Vista Point
- Right off Interstate 280, head up here for unbeatable views of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Do: Sea Trek Kayak & Stand Up Paddling Center
- Looking to discover the bay? Sea Trek offers kayak rentals and guided tours. A great way to explore Sausalito, you might even be lucky enough to peep some seals while out in the water!
- Joinery offers great indoor and outdoor seating areas on the waterfront, where you can enjoy tasty treats such as pulled pork tacos and garlic fries.
9. Newport, RIPhoto by Jen R.
See: The Breakers
- Visit one of the five famous Newport mansions from the Gilded Age. Rich in history, these mansions offer both guided and self-guided tours that walk visitors through each of the rooms.
Do: Cliff Walk
- Take this scenic walking route along Easton Beach for a view of the gorgeous Newport mansions and stunning waterfront.
Eat: The Mooring
- Indulge with their rich scallop chowder (packed with huge, delicious scallops) and buttery lobster croissant.
10. Rehoboth Beach, DEPhoto by Deena H.
See: Rehoboth Beach
- Scenic stretches of beach and a boardwalk packed with delicious eats, bustling shops, and fun activities make Rehoboth Beach a perfect place for a weekend getaway.
- A small amusement park with a haunted mansion, bumper cars, and kiddie rides, Funland is a great place to take kids of all ages.
Eat: Henlopen City Oyster House
- This restaurant offers delicious options such as the lobster mac, New England clam chowder, and soft shell crabs – yum!
Methodology: This is a list of the top 10 Fourth of July weekend destinations in the US according to Yelp. To compile this list, we looked at cities in the US that saw the biggest spike in users searching during Fourth of July weekend 2017 compared to the week before and the week after. The businesses we suggested to visit in each destination are among the highest rated businesses in each city.