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If you plan to go camping for the 4th of July holiday, you’re not alone. Millions of Americans will flood to campgrounds nationwide to enjoy the festivities of our country’s birthday.
We’ve compiled a list of 11 of the best locations for 4th of July camping so that you can truly enjoy the best of the best in parades, fireworks displays, and entertainment. Let’s dive in!
What to Look for When Booking 4th of July Camping
If you want to camp for the 4th of July, you can’t wait until the last minute to plan. Many people take off work for the entire week and hit the road. Families choose this week to go on vacation.
So if you wait until June to make your camping reservations, you might be out of luck. Even in smaller, less crowded locations, you’ll likely find campgrounds with no vacancies over Independence Day weekend.
But when planning ahead and deciding where to book your 4th of July camping, we have a few tips for picking the right destination for you and your family.
First, check out the local celebrations. Are there parades, concerts, or fireworks nearby? Are there special events sponsored by the community, like the Parks and Recreation Department or the Chamber of Commerce? If you have kids and want entertainment, this is important.
Second, don’t just explore the local area. Also, check out the campground activities. Even if the town where you want to stay doesn’t have a 4th of July parade, a campground within that county may have July 4th breakfast, a golf cart parade, arts and crafts, or other activities. You won’t even have to leave your campsite for celebrations.
Tips for Booking a 4th of July Camping Trip
As already mentioned, booking early is very important when planning a 4th of July camping trip. Don’t run into the stress of not finding a campsite in the area you want to visit.
So if Washington, D.C., is the ultimate place for your family to celebrate our nation’s birthday, you better book months in advance. Plus, you’ll find very few campground options near the city.
But to help with this overcrowding, it’s also a good idea to try less popular campgrounds. If Branson, Missouri, is on your list, check out reviews and find a safe campground that offers the amenities you need but doesn’t have 5,000 ratings.
These campgrounds will fill up the quickest and have limited availability because many of the same campers travel back year after year.
Instead, find a smaller or less popular campground that’ll still provide the 4th of July experience you want. Especially if you’re more interested in the surrounding city than the campground itself, finding another convenient place to other attractions and activities will make your stay more enjoyable and your reservation process easier.
Finally, if you can boondock with your RV, try dry camping in the same area. You’ll still find it hard to claim these spots during the week of July 4th, but they won’t be as difficult as campgrounds.
Check Bureau of Land Management land, state parks or forests, state trust lands, and other overnight camping locations with no hookups. This way, you can avoid more crowds and pay much less than the nightly summer rate at a campground.
11 Best Places for 4th of July Camping
If 4th of July camping is what you look forward to most each summer, we have 11 great locations throughout our country where you’ll get an authentic American experience.
From Lake Tahoe in the West to Bar Harbor in the Northeast, no matter where you live, a city nearby will provide the birthday celebration you long for this 4th of July!
1. Branson, Missouri
For people who enjoy music and live entertainment, you can’t get much better than Branson, Missouri. You’ll find numerous parades and concerts.
If you like running, consider signing up for the annual Firecracker 5000 Run. You can do the 5K and 10K race along Lake Taneycomo that starts and finishes at Branson Landing.
And you won’t have any problem finding a campground as the area has dozens of options. Just make sure to make those reservations early! Whether you’re 6 or 86, Branson is a fun town to explore on July 4th.
Keep in Mind: Looking for the Best Campgrounds to stay at in Branson? Click the link to see our top picks!
2. Bar Harbor, Maine
Bar Harbor, Maine, is about as far northeast as you can get to celebrate the 4th of July in style. You’ll enjoy cooler temperatures and unique culture here. It’s a great destination for 4th of July camping and all summer.
The fireworks show over the harbor is one of the best in the country. The entire town gets decked out in red, white, and blue, and there’s no shortage of shops or restaurants. Plus, Acadia National Park is just minutes away, where you can park your RV for the week and enjoy pleasant temperatures in the dead of summer.
3. Washington, D.C.
The biggest holiday in Washington, D.C., has to be Independence Day. It can get very hot during the summer, but if you want to experience one of the best celebrations in the country, this is the place.
Instead of watching the fireworks display on television, you can actually see this fantastic show in person against the iconic skyline. And you can enjoy “A Capitol Fourth,” the annual concert on the National Mall that always brings in stars and celebrities.
And, of course, you can pay homage to the founding fathers as you explore the monuments and memorials. Although you won’t find any campgrounds in the city, Cherry Hill in Maryland is a great option within minutes of the Metro. There’s really no better place to be than our nation’s capital on our nation’s birthday.
4. Cody, Wyoming
It might surprise you to read a Mountain West location on this list. But Cody, Wyoming, has much to offer travelers during the July 4th holiday. You can take a day trip to Yellowstone National Park, and the annual Cody Stampede Rodeo takes place during this first week of July.
You can enjoy the traditional parade experience with floats, marching bands, and veterans groups in historic downtown and then get rowdy with barrel races and bucking bulls at night.
Whether you park your RV at the KOA or enjoy a more rustic setting at Buffalo Bill State Park, you’ll find several camping options to make your 4th of July holiday memorable.
5. Lake George, New York
Lake George, New York, is a great location if you want to escape the summer heat. It’s a hugely popular area for RV camping, so book those reservations in advance. Enjoy the 4th of July celebrations and the water wonderland at your fingertips.
Go swimming, parasailing, paddling, boating, and more during the day. Then head over to Rogers Memorial Park in Bolton Landing for a fireworks display on the beach.
6. Virginia Beach, Virginia
It will be hot in Virginia Beach, but don’t let that deter you from planning your 4th of July camping trip to the East Coast. The “Stars and Stripes Celebration” is a huge gathering that features live music, events, and a fireworks show to end the night.
Set up a blanket on the beach or grab a seat at a local restaurant to watch the display at this popular tourist location.
Because of its location, you’ll find campgrounds all along the Atlantic coastline. You can stay inland in the Chesapeake or Norfolk areas or enjoy state park camping at First Landing. You’ll be hot, so you probably want electric hookups for those air conditioners.
7. Lake Tahoe, California
Although Lake Tahoe is a beautiful destination year-round, it’s a great place for 4th of July camping because of the annual Lights on the Lake Fireworks, held at South Lake Tahoe.
Crowds of 75,000 to 100,000 people gather each summer. This also means you’ll want to make those reservations as early as possible or find dispersed camping in the area.
Like Lake George in New York, you can enjoy a day on the water and then bask in the glow of night with the fireworks display.
8. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
How can we not put Philadelphia on this list? With so much colonial history, it’s a great city to visit during our nation’s birthday celebrations. You can enjoy the holiday festivities and go to the actual building and room where the Declaration of Independence was signed at Independence Hall.
You can’t help but be a proud American when walking through the downtown streets of the City of Brotherly Love. Like Washington D.C., though, there aren’t many camping options in the city.
Consider staying a bit farther out to escape the noise and crowds of Philadelphia while still being close enough to enjoy the festivities.
Keep in Mind: Have you heard? These Are the Proposed National Parks for 2023!
9. Boston, Massachusetts
Like Philadelphia, Boston has so much Revolutionary War history. You’ll get an amazing 4th of July celebration, from concerts to events to fireworks. But you can also watch ships come in and out of the harbor.
Imagine the night of Dec. 16, 1773, when colonists dumped tea into the dark waters. Walk into Faneuil Hall and see where numerous meetings and protests occurred. It’s a great city for your 4th of July camping trip.
Whether you prefer the amenities of a KOA, a more natural experience at a state park, or a more personal interaction at a family-owned campground, you’ll have dozens of options to suit every traveler’s needs.
10. Bristol, Rhode Island
You can’t go wrong with choosing a Northeastern city for your 4th of July camping trip. The region has so much colonial history everywhere. But Bristol, Rhode Island, is a top choice.
This small seaside town has hosted an annual 4th of July celebration since 1785. Thus, the parade is the oldest in the country. Other activities include concerts, fireworks, a vintage baseball game, and a formal ball.
Plus, camping in Rhode Island in the summer is so enjoyable because of the mild temperatures. You’ll find a dozen options less than an hour from the town.
11. Addison, Texas
Another location far from the historical Northeast is Addison, Texas. But this small town north of Dallas won’t disappoint. Everything is bigger in Texas, right? Half a million visitors visit Addison every year to experience the Addison Kaboom Town, a 25-minute-long fireworks show.
It has been recognized as one of the top fireworks displays in the country. Grab dinner at one of the 200 restaurants in town, then find a space to listen to live music and watch this amazing display once night falls.
Addison, less than half an hour from Lewisville Lake, is easy to get to from campgrounds that lie along this popular spot.
Where Will You Enjoy 4th of July Camping This Year?
No matter where you decide to enjoy 4th of July camping this year, don’t delay! Check out lesser-known campgrounds or find dry camping spots to avoid crowds.
Get your reservations booked today if you want to enjoy the amenities and activities of a popular campground. July 4th is one of the most fun events of the year. Where will your family enjoy the celebrations?