Looking for a last-minute getaway over the long Fourth of July weekend? Here are six destinations with great celebrations and hotel availability.
This classic summer destination goes big for the Fourth of July holiday. In addition to the beaches and lakes, visitors can enjoy live music at most bars, restaurants and amphitheatres through the weekend and take in a spectacular fireworks show on July 4 over the blue waters of West Lake Okoboji. Check hotel availability here.
2. Des Moines
Des Moines kicks off Independence Day on July 3, with the Yankee Doodle Pops performance. Listen to the Des Moines Symphony play a selection of patriotic music on the lawn of the Iowa State Capitol while watching a huge fireworks show. On July 4, most Des Moines suburbs have their own fireworks displays.
3. Cedar Rapids
The month-long Cedar Rapids Freedom Festival culminates on July 4 with a car show, concert and the Celebration of Freedom fireworks. The fireworks show is best viewed from the 2nd Ave. bridge in downtown Cedar Rapids, but the McGrath Amphitheatre and several downtown parking garage roofs also have great views.
4. Sioux City
Attend the Saturday in the Park celebration on July 6 and enjoy free admission to the arts and music festival. Two stages include headliners like Flo-Rida and George Thorogood & the Destroyers and an Arts Alley features vendors from across the Midwest. The fun ends with a huge fireworks display on Saturday evening after the concert.
5. Clear Lake
Enjoy Clear Lake's premier summer festival, held July 3-7. A carnival with midway and amusement rides, arts and crafts fair and live music provide fun for the whole family each day. On July 4, a traditional Independence Day parade starts at 10 a.m. and fireworks over the lake are held in the evening. Clear Lake has a variety of hotels, vacation rentals and campgrounds available.
6. Quad Cities
Red, White and Boom! The Quad Cities' annual event features a huge fireworks display shot from two barges on the Mississippi River on July 3. More events to enjoy include a farmer's market, kids' activities, live music and the 34th Army band. Modern Woodmen Park is a prime viewing area with free seating and space to view the show.