10 Budget-Friendly July 4 Getaways

by Christina Garofalo

10 Budget-Friendly July 4 Getaways

by Christina Garofalo

We’ve compiled a list of affordable weekend destinations — from patriotic towns to time-honored summer retreats — that offer fun, relaxing, and diverse ways to spend our nation’s birthday. For the best prices, fly on Tuesday or Wednesday (the Fourth falls on a Thursday this year) to Saturday.

We’ve compiled a list of affordable weekend destinations — from patriotic towns to time-honored summer retreats — that offer fun, relaxing, and diverse ways to spend our nation’s birthday. For the best prices, fly on Tuesday or Wednesday (the Fourth falls on a Thursday this year) to Saturday.

20
St. Augustine, Florida / Joshua Moore/iStock
1 of 20
St. Augustine, FL

America’s oldest city throws one of the best July 4th fireworks shows on the East Coast — lighting up the Bayfront, Castillo de San Marcos, and the Bridge of Lions. For the best view, snag a coveted spot atop the St. Augustine Lighthouse ($40 per person); book early, tickets sell out quickly. Spend your remaining balmy days admiring Spanish colonial architecture and lounging on white-sand beaches.

America’s oldest city throws one of the best July 4th fireworks shows on the East Coast — lighting up the Bayfront, Castillo de San Marcos, and the Bridge of Lions. For the best view, snag a coveted spot atop the St. Augustine Lighthouse ($40 per person); book early, tickets sell out quickly. Spend your remaining balmy days admiring Spanish colonial architecture and lounging on white-sand beaches.

2 of 20
What to Budget

We found flights from $317 round-trip from New York City to Jacksonville Airport and found private homes for rent for less than $100 per night on Airbnb. The historic Old City Inn has rooms from $179 for the night of the Fourth, including breakfast and a view of the Lightner Museum gardens and Flagler College.

We found flights from $317 round-trip from New York City to Jacksonville Airport and found private homes for rent for less than $100 per night on Airbnb. The historic Old City Inn has rooms from $179 for the night of the Fourth, including breakfast and a view of the Lightner Museum gardens and Flagler College.

3 of 20
Finger Lakes, NY

With more than 30 waterfalls, 130 wineries, and 11 glacial lakes, this New York enclave is an outdoorsman’s ideal summer escape. And it’s affordable. Celebrate the region’s patriotic history (it’s been home to figures like Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass) at free July 4 events: the swearing in of new U.S. citizens at Genesee Museum, the 1876 Grand Parade, and, naturally, lakeside fireworks.

With more than 30 waterfalls, 130 wineries, and 11 glacial lakes, this New York enclave is an outdoorsman’s ideal summer escape. And it’s affordable. Celebrate the region’s patriotic history (it’s been home to figures like Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass) at free July 4 events: the swearing in of new U.S. citizens at Genesee Museum, the 1876 Grand Parade, and, naturally, lakeside fireworks.

4 of 20
What to Budget

Four hours north of Manhattan by car, the Finger Lakes are an easy weekend trip from New York City. Flights into the gateway cities of Rochester and Syracuse start at $167 round-trip and $142 round-trip, respectively, for the holiday. We found rates as low as $124 per night at Glass Magnolia B&B, an early 1800s estate with easy access to Cayuga Lake and Seneca Lake. Private cottages are as low as $60 per night on Airbnb.

 

Four hours north of Manhattan by car, the Finger Lakes are an easy weekend trip from New York City. Flights into the gateway cities of Rochester and Syracuse start at $167 round-trip and $142 round-trip, respectively, for the holiday. We found rates as low as $124 per night at Glass Magnolia B&B, an early 1800s estate with easy access to Cayuga Lake and Seneca Lake. Private cottages are as low as $60 per night on Airbnb.

 

5 of 20
Long Beach, CA

Long Beach hosts festive ways to celebrate the Fourth, big and small. At the Kids Bike Parade, hundreds of little ones (and their bikes), decked-out in red, white, and blue, ride along the beach. The grandest party is on the historic Queen Mary ocean liner ($44 per person); but if you can’t get on board, the city’s aquarium stays open late to offer views of the Queen Mary fireworks ($14.95 per person). 

Long Beach hosts festive ways to celebrate the Fourth, big and small. At the Kids Bike Parade, hundreds of little ones (and their bikes), decked-out in red, white, and blue, ride along the beach. The grandest party is on the historic Queen Mary ocean liner ($44 per person); but if you can’t get on board, the city’s aquarium stays open late to offer views of the Queen Mary fireworks ($14.95 per person). 

6 of 20
What to Budget

Long Beach is approximately 30 minutes by car from downtown Los Angeles (depending on traffic). We found rooms as low as $99 per night on the Fourth at Art Deco, family-run Hotel Royal, just three blocks from the beach and aquarium. Hotel Current has rooms from $149 per night, breakfast included, along with free parking. On Airbnb, you can snag a private place for around $100 per night.

Long Beach is approximately 30 minutes by car from downtown Los Angeles (depending on traffic). We found rooms as low as $99 per night on the Fourth at Art Deco, family-run Hotel Royal, just three blocks from the beach and aquarium. Hotel Current has rooms from $149 per night, breakfast included, along with free parking. On Airbnb, you can snag a private place for around $100 per night.

7 of 20
Nashville, TN

What’s more American than country music? In addition to the usual haunts, Music City hosts free concerts on Thursdays (including the Fourth) all summer. It's also home to one of the nation’s largest Independence Day fireworks displays. For unrivaled views, splurge on dinner at the Fairlane Hotel, with open bar and dessert in its penthouse overlooking Broadway ($225 per person).

What’s more American than country music? In addition to the usual haunts, Music City hosts free concerts on Thursdays (including the Fourth) all summer. It's also home to one of the nation’s largest Independence Day fireworks displays. For unrivaled views, splurge on dinner at the Fairlane Hotel, with open bar and dessert in its penthouse overlooking Broadway ($225 per person).

8 of 20
What to Budget

We found flights from New York City over the holiday for as low as $269 round-trip. The 81-room Fairlane Hotel is offering 15% off the Best Available Rate ($279 per night on July 4) plus a $25 food and beverage credit. The 180-room Kimpton Aertson in midtown, with a pristine rooftop pool overlooking the leafy Vanderbilt campus, has rooms from $196 on the Fourth. We found private apartments and homes in the city from around $100 per night.

We found flights from New York City over the holiday for as low as $269 round-trip. The 81-room Fairlane Hotel is offering 15% off the Best Available Rate ($279 per night on July 4) plus a $25 food and beverage credit. The 180-room Kimpton Aertson in midtown, with a pristine rooftop pool overlooking the leafy Vanderbilt campus, has rooms from $196 on the Fourth. We found private apartments and homes in the city from around $100 per night.

9 of 20
Myrtle Beach, SC

Home to more than 10 miles of shoreline and one of America’s best boardwalks, Myrtle Beach is a quintessential Independence Day destination. Free celebratory events include an afternoon flyover of F-16s from McEntire Joint National Guard Base, fireworks in several locations, and the Pawleys Island Golf Cart Parade, which features make-shift floats on golf carts and flat-bed trucks.

Home to more than 10 miles of shoreline and one of America’s best boardwalks, Myrtle Beach is a quintessential Independence Day destination. Free celebratory events include an afternoon flyover of F-16s from McEntire Joint National Guard Base, fireworks in several locations, and the Pawleys Island Golf Cart Parade, which features make-shift floats on golf carts and flat-bed trucks.

10 of 20
What to Budget

We found flights from $261 round-trip from New York City for the holiday weekend. We found homes on Airbnb for as low as $70 per night on the Fourth. If you opt for a hotel, there are plenty of deals to be had. For extra savings, consider staying off the beach. We found rates at La Quinta Inn & Suites — less than two miles from the beach, with free parking and airport shuttle — from $131 the night of the Fourth.

We found flights from $261 round-trip from New York City for the holiday weekend. We found homes on Airbnb for as low as $70 per night on the Fourth. If you opt for a hotel, there are plenty of deals to be had. For extra savings, consider staying off the beach. We found rates at La Quinta Inn & Suites — less than two miles from the beach, with free parking and airport shuttle — from $131 the night of the Fourth.

11 of 20
Bristol, RI

Lined with Colonial and 19th-century architecture, this historic seaside town between Providence and Newport is home to the longest-held 4th of July celebration in the U.S. (The first took place in 1785.) Each year, a parade passes down Main Street, which gets a fresh coat of red, white, and blue painted stripes for the occasion. Other free events include a military flyover and a concert series.

Lined with Colonial and 19th-century architecture, this historic seaside town between Providence and Newport is home to the longest-held 4th of July celebration in the U.S. (The first took place in 1785.) Each year, a parade passes down Main Street, which gets a fresh coat of red, white, and blue painted stripes for the occasion. Other free events include a military flyover and a concert series.

12 of 20
What to Budget

Bristol is approximately three-and-a-half hours by car from New York City. For a budget-friendly stay, there’s a no-frills, reliable Holiday Inn nearby with rates at just $110 on the night of the Fourth. While there aren’t Airbnbs in Bristol proper, we found private homes for less than $100 on the night of the Fourth within a scenic, 20-minute drive.

Bristol is approximately three-and-a-half hours by car from New York City. For a budget-friendly stay, there’s a no-frills, reliable Holiday Inn nearby with rates at just $110 on the night of the Fourth. While there aren’t Aribnbs in Bristol proper, we found private homes for less than $100 on the night of the Fourth within a scenic, 20-minute drive.

13 of 20
Asheville, NC

This hip city, flanked by the Blue Ridge Mountains, is the pinnacle of new Americana (think rehabbed factories, locavore eats, and microbreweries). Kick off the Fourth with a hike on the city’s 3,000-plus miles of free trails. Head to Pack Square Park downtown or Lake Julian for free fireworks, or spring for the private dinner and display at the Biltmore, America's largest home ($125 per person).

This hip city, flanked by the Blue Ridge mountains, is the pinnacle of new Americana (think rehabbed factories, locavore eats, and microbreweries). Kick off the Fourth with a hike on the city’s 3,000-plus miles of free trails. Head to Pack Square Park downtown or Lake Julian for free fireworks, or spring for the private dinner and display at the Biltmore, America's largest home ($125 per person).

14 of 20
What to Budget

We found flights from New York City for as low as $214 round-trip over the holiday weekend. Rooms at the Foundry Hotel, a brand-new boutique housed in the city’s old steel foundry, start at $300 per night; and at the Hilton Garden Inn from $231 per night. Private apartments in downtown Asheville are as low as $50 the night of the Fourth on Airbnb.

We found flights from New York City for as low as $214 round-trip over the holiday weekend. Rooms at the Foundry Hotel, a brand-new boutique housed in the city’s old steel foundry, start at $300 per night; and at the Hilton Garden Inn from $231 per night. Private apartments in downtown Asheville are as low as $50 the night of the Fourth on Airbnb.

15 of 20
Las Vegas, NV

In Sin City, July is prime pool-party season — making Independence Day an epic birthday bash. Expect dazzling fireworks displays (here are the best places to watch) and DJs spinning at nearly every hotel in town. Plus, bars and restaurants are typically brimming with drink and dining specials. The holiday overlaps with the World Series of Poker (July 2-14) and countless concerts.

In Sin City, July is prime pool-party season — making Independence Day an epic birthday bash. Expect dazzling fireworks displays (here are the best places to watch) and DJs spinning at nearly every hotel in town. Plus, bars and restaurants are typically brimming with drink and dining specials. The holiday overlaps with the World Series of Poker (July 2-14) and countless concerts.

16 of 20
What to Budget

Flights start at $367 round-trip from New York City and $130 round-trip from LAX. Thrifty Angelenos can also make it a road trip (Vegas is about five hours from LA by car). While rooms start at just $72 per night on Airbnb, hotels offer the best value. Rooms at the Paris Las Vegas start at $109 per night and at The D from just $24 per night. Even the Four Seasons has rooms for less than $200 the night of the Fourth.

Flights start at $367 round-trip from New York City and $130 round-trip from LAX. Thrifty Angelenos can also make it a road trip (Vegas is about five hours from LA by car). While rooms start at just $72 per night on Airbnb, hotels offer the best value. Rooms at the Paris Las Vegas start at $109 per night and at The D from just $24 per night. Even the Four Seasons has rooms for less than $200 the night of the Fourth.

17 of 20
Traverse City, MI

Summer on Lake Michigan is magical: warm days on the water followed by cool, breezy nights over wine and fireworks. Rather than fight for elbow room at Chicago’s Navy Pier, consider a quieter, tree-trimmed Fourth in Traverse City. The holiday coincides with the National Cherry Festival. Indulge in the patriotic cherry pancake breakfast and pies, while watching the military flyover and live music.

Summer on Lake Michigan is magical: warm days on the water followed by cool, breezy nights over wine and fireworks. Rather than fight for elbow room at Chicago’s Navy Pier, consider a quieter, tree-trimmed Fourth in Traverse City. The holiday coincides with the National Cherry Festival. Indulge in the patriotic cherry pancake breakfast and pies, while watching the military flyover and live music.

18 of 20
What to Budget

We found flights from $418 round-trip from New York City. Due to the popularity of the festival, rooms book up well in advance. There are still Airbnbs as low as $98 per night for an entire home, and hotels, like the Quality Inn, have rooms as low as $154 per night — but they won’t last long.

We found flights from $418 round-trip from New York City. Due to the popularity of the festival, rooms book up well in advance. There are still Airbnbs as low as $98 per night for an entire home, and hotels, like the Quality Inn, have rooms as low as $154 per night — but they won’t last long.

19 of 20
Williamsburg, VA

For families and American history buffs, it doesn’t get better than July 4 in Greater Williamsburg. There are the high-adrenaline rides at Busch Gardens, and in Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown, readings of the Declaration of Independence, Fifes and Drum performances, and one of the nation’s oldest African-American churches. Have ice cream on the Wren Lawn before awe-inspiring fireworks. 

For families and American history buffs, it doesn’t get better than July 4 in Greater Williamsburg. There are the high-adrenaline rides at Busch Gardens, and in Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown, readings of the Declaration of Independence, Fifes and Drum performances, and one of the nation’s oldest African-American churches. Have ice cream on the Wren Lawn before awe-inspiring fireworks. 

20 of 20
What to Budget

The nearest airports to Williamsburg are Richmond and Norfolk. Flights to both start at $142 round-trip from New York City. Many hotels have multi-night minimums, which result in added savings to already-low rates. The Westgate’s three-night minimum, for instance, equates to just $79 per night over the holiday. Watch for summer vacation packages that include extras like breakfast and day passes to sights.

The nearest airports to Williamsburg are Richmond and Norfolk. Flights to both start at $142 round-trip from New York City. Many hotels have multi-night minimums, which result in added savings to already-low rates. The Westgate’s three-night minimum, for instance, equates to just $79 per night over the holiday. Watch for summer vacation packages that include extras like breakfast and day passes to sights.

Up next...

5 Cruises Under $500: Alaska, Brazil, Cuba, and More

Go Back
Find The Best Cruises
Find a cruise

Find the best deals!

Click on multiple sites to get the lowest prices

Click on multiple sites to get the lowest prices