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Independence Day celebrations are always a popular family event, although this year things are sure to be different with social distancing guidelines. Large gatherings are giving way to smaller, more intimate events.
Fireworks in some cities, like Boston, are taking place virtually this year so people can watch from home. Other places are still launching fireworks with full fanfare.
If you are planning to travel for the holiday, many hotels offer great vantage points from which to watch the show while still social distancing. Whether road tripping or flying, here are some of the best hotels from which to view the nighttime fireworks show in different regions of the country — moving from east to west.
1. Mohonk Mountain House
Fireworks in New York are spectacular with the skyline illuminated underneath them. The lakeside Victorian rooms at Mohonk Mountain House in New York’s Hudson Valley have a prime view of the fireworks during July Fourth celebrations.
2. DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Suites Jersey City
Or head over to Jersey City for that impressive view of the July Fourth fireworks taking place over the Hudson River. The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Suites Jersey City has panoramic views. Request one of the King Suites on a high floor for the most impressive scenery. Have Hilton points to redeem? Search for award nights on the hotel website to see how many points you’ll need.
3. Wylder Hotel Tilghman Island
In the mid-Atlantic region, the Wylder Hotel Tilghman Island in Maryland offers views of Fourth of July fireworks from across the Chesapeake Bay. Water-view rooms and suites on the second floor have the best vistas, but guests are also invited to place lawn chairs on the grass to watch the action.
4. The Edwin Hotel
At The Edwin Hotel in Chattanooga, Tennessee, you’ll have great views of the mountains and the Tennessee River. The hotel is part of the Autograph Collection and a Marriott Bonvoy Category 6 property, which means a free night costs between 35,000 and 60,000. But at Whiskey Thief, the hotel’s rooftop bar, excellent views are included with the price of your drink. (Though the city isn't hosting a formal fireworks show this year, you can still catch views of any independent displays.)
5. The Beach Club at Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina
Many of the balcony rooms at The Beach Club at Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina face Charleston’s downtown fireworks show. The resort is in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, across the water from the heart of Charleston, providing the perfect backdrop for a show framed by the city’s chapel steeples and charming low skyline.
6. HarbourView Inn
HarbourView Inn is the only waterfront boutique hotel in downtown Charleston, and its rooftop offers splendid views of the fireworks celebrations. Top-floor Grand HarbourView rooms have a private balcony where you can kick back for the show while facing the city’s harbor.
7. The Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort
The Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in South Walton, Florida, offers amazing views of the fireworks from balcony rooms in the Observation Point section. They overlook the Village of Baytowne Wharf.
8. Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center
The Ford Fireworks show in Detroit display can be best enjoyed from rooms at Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center. A free night at the Marriott Bonvoy Category 5 property costs between 27,500 and 40,000 points.
9. Embassy Suites by Hilton Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile
Families will love a room at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile, which pairs great views with ample family-friendly perks. Embassy Suites by Hilton stays include free breakfast and evening cocktails with snacks, not to mention the extra space that comes with a two-room suite complete with microwaves and refrigerators.
From the Lakeview rooms, guests can watch the fireworks display at Chicago’s Navy Pier. Guests can redeem Hilton Honors points for a free stay — the number of points needed for a room here varies by night.
10. Grande Lakes Orlando
If you’ll be near Disney World this summer, Grande Lakes Orlando will host a July 4 fireworks event. The resort includes the JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes and the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes. Both are Marriott Bonvoy Category 6 hotels; a free stay costs between 35,000 and 60,000 points per night. Guests can watch the show from lakefront rooms at either property, and enjoy one of three resort pools during the show.
11. Grand Geneva Resort and Spa
Lakeview rooms at the Grand Geneva Resort and Spa in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, will have the best views of the resort’s fireworks show from their balcony or patio. The fireworks will light up the sky on July 3. The resort is located 90 minutes from Chicago and 50 minutes from Milwaukee.
12. Big Cedar Lodge
Book one of the private log cabins at Big Cedar Lodge just outside Branson, Missouri, for an unhindered view of the city’s fireworks show. These lakefront cabins also come with barbecue grills should guests want to order a “Backyard Basket” from room service with all the cookout essentials.
13. Hilton Promenade Branson Landing
At nearby Branson Landing, the July 3 fireworks display is another holiday favorite. It takes place in downtown Branson, and the water-view suites at Hilton Promenade Branson Landing are the perfect spot to watch the show. Hilton Honors members can redeem points here for free nights. For a bird’s-eye view of the show, it’s worth redeeming points to see the fireworks both in the air and reflected on the water.
» Learn more: How to book award nights with Hilton Honors
14. La Cantera Resort & Spa
The adults-only top floor of La Cantera Resort & Spa in San Antonio, Texas, offers unobstructed views of the fireworks show downtown. Guests can enjoy a cocktail at the private lounge and bar, Seven, while they watch the colorful action in the sky. The resort is part of the American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts program.
15. Caldera House
In Wyoming's Teton Village, near Jackson Hole, Caldera House guests have center-stage seats to two fireworks presentations for Independence Day. This luxury hotel and alpine club with just eight units (all suites) has exceptional views of the Teton mountain range, creating the perfect backdrop for the show.
16. Garden of the Gods Resort and Club
At the Garden of the Gods Resort and Club in Colorado Springs, Colorado, guests will be in the ideal position to view the fireworks display from lodge rooms and suites. Balconies provide front-row views of the park’s natural rock formations, which create a spectacular frame for the holiday fireworks.
17. InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown
The skyscraper housing the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown is sure to provide the best views of fireworks around town. Its rooftop bar and terrace, Spire 73, offers guests 360-degree views.
The hotel even has a July Fourth Sky High Picnic Experience, which comes with overnight accommodations, access to the rooftop and a picnic basket with champagne and snacks. Or use IHG Rewards Club points for a free night and save your cash for a night out on the town.
» Learn more: How to book award nights with IHG hotels
18. The Wigwam
The Wigwam near Phoenix, Arizona, holds its own fireworks show, which can best be seen from the resort’s Fairway Suites. Since the show takes place over the golf course, and the Fairway Suites have private patios overlooking the course, they are as close as you can safely get to the action. The resort is a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts.
19. Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
At Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Scottsdale, Arizona, the Deluxe View rooms on the hotel’s top floor enjoy the best views of the resort’s own fireworks presentation. There’s also a vintage air show, nightly concerts and tributes to frontline healthcare workers during the resort’s celebrations, July 2 through July 4. The resort is part of the Accor Live Limitless loyalty program, which means guests can earn and redeem points during their stay.
Photos courtesy of DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Suites Jersey City, HarbourView Inn, Visit South Walton Florida, Bedrock Rebekah Witt, Embassy Suites by Hilton Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile, Grande Lakes Orlando, Grand Geneva Resort and Spa, Big Cedar Lodge, Meadows Images, La Cantera Resort and Spa, Garden of the Gods Resort and Club, InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown, The Wigwam and the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess.
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