Independence Day Slideshow

Independence Day

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The Best Cities for 4th of July Celebrations

Fireworks spelling USA

As we prepare to celebrate our nation's Independence Day this July 4th, some of us have plans to keep it low-key and maybe watch fireworks on the television, while others are excited for the opportunity to go all out and have a day of festivities that likely include barbecues, beer, and parties on the waterfront while millions of dollars' worth of explosives light up the sky.

If you fall into this second category, you'll want to pay attention -- recently put out a list of the best cities to celebrate 4th of July, and we've summarized the findings below. As you'll notice, weather is playing a big role here. According to, it's supposed to be hot on in the West, but the forecast calls for stormy weather for parts of the mid-Atlantic, Southeast, and Midwest.

The other categories used in determining places to be included the "Entertainment & Food" rank, and "Attractions & Activities" rank. Did you know that Americans are expected to spend more than $1 billion on beer, eat 150 million hot dogs, 700 million pounds of chicken, and 190 million pounds of beef this 4th of July? It sounds like quite a lot of us will be celebrating, and it's very likely that service members and veterans will be doing their fair share of partying, so let's look at the list below to see where the best places for these celebrations will be.

4th of July Celebrations Rankings

1. Seattle, WA: You may be surprised to see that Seattle is 1st on the list, considering the reputation it has for rain. But summers in Seattle can be quite pleasant, and when people are cooped up all year because of the rain, it makes sense that they would want to get out and have fun when the sun's shining., Seattle was not super high in the Entertainment & Food ranking as it came in at 46th, but came in 3rd with Attractions & Activities and 5th for weather.

2. Minneapolis, MN: Minneapolis came in at number 1 for Attractions and Activities, which certainly makes Minneapolis appealing this 4th of July. However, in other categories it had more average rankings, with 27th for Entertainment & Food and 34th for weather.

3. New Orleans, LA: It seems obvious that New Orleans would score high on Entertainment &Food, and indeed it came in 2nd, right behind Dallas, TX. The city also came in 9th on Attractions & Activities, but only scored 67th on weather.

4. Washington, DC: Washington's Attractions & Activities came in 6th, and ranked 10th in weather, but finished lower at 33rd for Entertainment & Food.

5. Portland, OR: Another West Coast town, Portland is benefiting by the nice weather and came in at 10th in that category. The city was 7th in Attractions & Activities, but fairly low on the list for Entertainment & Food, coming in 63rd.

 6. St. Louis, MO: The weather ranking for St. Louis is a bit scary at 87th (the lowest in this category among the top 10 overall rankings), but the city came in 5th for Attractions & Activities and 10th for Entertainment & Food. If the storms come in, you can hide out in all the great barbeque joints and still have a great time!

7. San Diego, CA: San Diego came in 4th for weather, but did a bit worse at 17th for Attractions & Activities and 35th for Entertainment & Food.

8. Milwaukee, WI: Milwaukee scored pretty evenly 17th, 16th, and 20th, for Entertainment & Food, Attractions & Activities, and weather, respectively.

9. San Francisco, CA: Since our offices are located in San Francisco, we were pretty excited to see that San Francisco came in 1st for weather. The city came in on the low side for Entertainment & Food, at 73rd (the lowest in this category among the top 10 overall rankings), and 11th for Attractions & Activities.

10. Orlando, FL: Orlando came in 3rd for Entertainment & Food, but we have to wonder if Harry Potter Land being there counts, because that wouldn't be fair. Orlando came in 30th for Attractions & Activities (the lowest in this category among the top 10 overall rankings), and 13th for weather.

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