Top 10 Cheesy Fourth of July Celebrations in America
Confession: we like the Fourth of July on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The show of patriotism in the nation’s capital is big on pomp and circumstance but somehow it all feels appropriate, what the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument on one side and the Capitol on the other.
This top 10 on the other hand, evinces other questionable, less than desirable facets of Independence Day in the United States.
Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York
Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest – a July 4 staple since 1916 – combines two of America’s favourite pastimes: scarfing copious amounts of processed, tubular meats and brazen patriotism. To cleanse your Coney Island palate, book a swish boutique hotel in Manhattan.
Where to stay: Hudson A Morgans Hotel New York City
Corny Ozark, country jubilee sentiment is Branson’s bread and butter and on full display on Independence Day. Nearby St. Louis strikes a good counterbalance.
Where to stay: Renaissance St Louis Grand Hotel
Disneyland, Anaheim, California
“The Happiest Place on Earth” is also one of the cheesiest places in America. If you have plans to spend the Fourth of July in a theme park, you probably have a few whiny kids at home. Stay sane in Los Angeles at the W Westwood.
Where to stay: W Los Angeles Westwood
Disneyworld, Orlando, Florida
See above. Try as Orlando may, the city – more like a collection of suburbs, to be honest – can never quite shake that distinctive Disney stench. The mega-theme park celebrates July 4 with all the requisite Mickey Mouse antics and cartoonish patriotism.
Where to stay: The Peabody Hotel Orlando
The Las Vegas Strip, Las Vegas, Nevada
Thank Hunter S. Thompson Las Vegas has enough furtive, dodgy corners to keep intrepid hipsters edgy enough to maintain their cred. The Strip blings out with more than the usual cheese on July 4.
Where to stay: Bellagio Resort Las Vegas
Niagara Falls, New York
The one-time “Honeymoon Capital of the World” is so faded, it’s almost retro-cool. Almost but not quite. Niagara Falls’ attempts to pick up the pace on the Fourth of July are more than cheesy – they’re just sad. Still, the Giacomo’s a good spot to pound a few celebratory Independence Day drinks.
Where to stay: The Giacomo Hotel Niagara Falls
South Padre Island, Texas
South Padre, South Texas’ Spring Break destination por excelencia, throws a darn good Independence Day party. Still, the massive crowds and drunken exuberance can be poco mucho.
Where to stay: La Mansion Del Rio Hotel San Antonio
Salt Lake City, Utah
Mormons, a lot of white people and country music? Say no more. Worry not though, one of the best four seasons resorts in America is close by in handsome Park City.
Where to stay: Hotel Park City
Atlantic City, New Jersey
Las Vegas-lite is no Boardwalk Empire. Atlantic City, even (or is that especially) inside the faux glitz of its casinos, is a blight. The leisure town throws a big pity party on the Fourth of July and for pure escapism, you can indulge yourself silly at the colossal Borgata resort.
Where to stay: Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa Atlantic City
Virginia Beach, Virginia
The numbers say that Virginia Beach is the most populous city in Virginia … but where is the city exactly? Unless you count the one major artery – Atlantic Ave. – that lines the coast, Virginia Beach is all ‘burbs. The beach town is good, affordable fun for a family on a tight budget but with tacky souvenir shops, arcades and theme restaurants everywhere, total cheese. Independence Day events up and down the coast just magnify it all.
Where to stay: Wyndham Virginia Beach Oceanfront