10 Budget-Friendly Family Getaways For July 4 Fireworks

By Sydney Burdick,

For the first time in six years July 4th falls on a Friday, meaning, there’s a 3-day vacay weekend handed to you on a red, white, and blue silver platter.

We’ve taken all the top 10 lists of fireworks in the country and the concept for our countdown is simple: the best fireworks for July 4th with hotel rates for under $165 per night.

1. Addison, TX

The best kept secret is a 4.4-square mile Texan city that packs a rocket-studded punch.

Addison TX July 4 Fireworks

Photo by Scott Slocum. CC BY

Addison, TX, expects an influx of hundreds of thousands from all over the country, along with its 19,000 year-round residents, to celebrate an Independence Day with scintillating pyrotechnics following a g-force galore Addison Airport Air Show. Nightly rates average out at $74 for the weekend. And there’s no need to beat traffic back to your hotel, which can take up to two hours, bumper to bumper, because Emerald City is headlining the after-party that should run until midnight. Secure your free tickets to the event here.

2. Idaho Falls, ID

Ready, aim, and fire those 17,261 shells in to the dark Idaho night sky.

By booking a hotel, at an $88 average rate per night, you might find yourself in what some claim are the largest fireworks in the West. The Melaleuca Freedom Celebration, now in its 21st year, promises another year of incendiary art, to outshine a starlit sky for the brightest spotlight. Those who wish to pay their respects to fallen heroes and their families can attend a banquet dinner, which will feature prominent figures of Idaho and an orchestral performance.

3. Houston, TX

There’s a sparkler in my boot! We’re not done with Texas yet.

Freedom Over Texas July 4th Fireworks
Photo by: courtesy of the city of Houston

For the big city folk, Houston plans to ignite a salvo of over-the-top flares into its patriotic sky at this year’s Freedom Over Texas celebration. This patriotic extravaganza even features Grammy award-winning country music star Jennifer Nettles, formerly of country duo Sugarland, making one of her first solo performances since going solo. With rates per night in the low $90s, why not check out this year’s fireworks display?

4. Nashville, TN

Attention shoppers, calling all live music fanatics to Music City, Nashville, TN.

July 4 Fireworks Nashville TN
Photo by: courtesy of the city of Nashville

Fireworks are usually the main attraction on Independence Day, but at Nashville’s Let Freedom Sing shindig, they’ve got Billy Currington, Ashley Monroe, Striking Matches, and the Nashville Symphony on the bill to serenade your patriotic evening. With rates averaging about $109 per night, you should check-in at a hotel and check out the Country Music Hall of Fame while you’re down in that neck of the woods.

5. Las Vegas, NV

Land of the night owls. Home of the strip. Las Vegas.

July 4th Fireworks Las Vegas NV

Photo by Sathish J. CC BY

It’s hard to ignore an average July 4th weekend rate of $107, and even harder to ignore temperatures expected to exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit in Sin City. But if you’ve got enough ice cubes in your cocktail, then we trust you’ll also keep hydrated by seeking refuge at a nearby Vegas pool party. Book a room and pack your floaties for the pool, for the aquatically challenged. And if the city saps you of your strength, we recommend the two-hour drive to Death Valley for some epic stargazing.

6. St. Louis, MO

Come for the BBQ ribs and no need for baby wipes, save the dab of sauce on your cheek for the fireworks.

Photo by MJ. CC BY

Patriotic festivities in St. Louis, MO, start early in the morn, at 10 a.m., although you’ll probably need to scoot over earlier to secure a decent spot for the Veiled Prophet Parade, a timeless St. Louis family tradition. After grabbing some BBQ, a little nap in your hotel room, where average prices are currently around $110, then grab a couple tickets to Fair St. Louis concert, featuring Mary Lambert, Gavin Degraw, Matt Nathanson, Bonnie Raitt, and a bountiful supply of fireworks post-concert.

7. Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia’s got a fever and the only prescription is more sparklers.

Philadelphia Museum of Art July 4th Fireworks

Photo by G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia

In Philadelphia, with hotel rates inching just above $130, you can rock out with Uncle Sam at the “Largest Free Concert in America.” Musical acts include The Roots, Ed Sheeran, Nicki Minaj, Jennifer Hudson, and others. An explosive montage of smiley-faced fireworks concludes this Fourth of July Jam Fest, dazzling above the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

8. Lake Tahoe, CA

Request permission to come aboard a couple old Mississippi paddle wheelers on Lake Tahoe, CA.

Lake Tahoe South Shore July 4th Fireworks

Photo by Steve Dunleavy. CC BY

Outdoor adventurers, Boy Scouts, Girl Scout Brownies, and lake-sport enthusiasts get a double-feature by vacationing at the second deepest lake in the U.S. at Lake Tahoe, CA, with daytime water sports and a night of barges stocked to the brim with high-octane fireworks–the American Pyrotechnics Association rates South Shore’s show as one of the top five displays in the nation. Average hotel rates are $154 per night. Those foolish enough to water ski on the lake without suntan lotion will want to nestle into cool and crisp bed linens at a nearby resort for a snooze.

9. San Diego, CA

The Big Bay Boom promises a flashy, combustible strut into the stratosphere.

Big Bay Boom July 4th San Diego Fireworks

Photo by German Licon. CC BY

Four barges drop anchor in the North Bay, as this year’s Boom in San Diego, CA, is expected to draw a crowd of over 300,000 spectators expecting a little more than just the 15-sec premature spectacular mess that took place in 2012. So, drop anchor at a hotel, catch some sun beforehand at a free outdoor concert at Seaport Village, deck yourself out with red, white and blue face paint and entertain your inner child by riding a carousel. Hotel rates are around $158 per night and all proceeds for the Big Bay Boom will go to the Armed Services YMCA.

10. Washington, D.C.

President Obama called, he wants his eagle back.

July 4th Fireworks in Washington, D.C.

Photo by Matthew Straubmuller. CC BY

While the most expensive hotel rate on our list, at $163, there’s no contesting that the nation’s capital is one of the most coveted places for an American pyro to succumb to feverish patriotism. Televised nationally with your host, Tom Bergeron, you can witness the National Mall’s constant stream of rockets crackling and lighting up skies all over Washington, D.C. This year’s celebratory A Capital Fourth features music from Frankie Valli, Jordin Sparks, Patti Labelle and the National Symphony orchestra. Your going to need to book a place to stay and prove how American you really are at this year’s exciting festivities.

*Average prices were calculated in advance for the 4th of July weekend. All prices and availability are subject to change.