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10 Cheap Fourth of July Getaways

Celebrate the red, white and blue with festivals and fireworks in affordable locales.

U.S. News & World Report

10 Cheap Fourth of July Getaways

Grant Park fireworks
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Head to these top spots to salute the country's independence in style.

Independence Day – our country's most prized national holiday – is fast approaching, but there's still time to snap up a bargain. Whether you want to celebrate somewhere nearby or farther afield, there's plenty to love about the Fourth of July: the food, the fireworks, the parades, the patriotism. To help you plan a festive and frugal escape, we sought insight from industry experts to guide you to 10 budget-friendly locales across the country. Read on to discover the best Fourth of July deals.
Historic Savannah GA
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(Getty Images)

Savannah, Georgia

Hotel rates over the holiday weekend in Savannah have a median price of $178.50 and a median flight price of $297, down 30 percent year over year, according to KAYAK. While you will have to contend with sweltering temperatures, you can find plenty of entertainment on River Street, including fireworks, music and artisan booths. And aside from the holiday hoopla, there are a wealth of opportunities to soak up history during a weekend jaunt. If you're a history buff, don't skip taking a moss-laden walk through Forsyth Park in the Savannah Historic District, where you can check out the Mercer Williams House or stroll through City Market.
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Head to these top spots to salute the country's independence in style.

Independence Day – our country's most prized national holiday – is fast approaching, but there's still time to snap up a bargain. Whether you want to celebrate somewhere nearby or farther afield, there's plenty to love about the Fourth of July: the food, the fireworks, the parades, the patriotism. To help you plan a festive and frugal escape, we sought insight from industry experts to guide you to 10 budget-friendly locales across the country. Read on to discover the best Fourth of July deals.

Savannah, Georgia

Hotel rates over the holiday weekend in Savannah have a median price of $178.50 and a median flight price of $297, down 30 percent year over year, according to KAYAK. While you will have to contend with sweltering temperatures, you can find plenty of entertainment on River Street, including fireworks, music and artisan booths. And aside from the holiday hoopla, there are a wealth of opportunities to soak up history during a weekend jaunt. If you're a history buff, don't skip taking a moss-laden walk through Forsyth Park in the Savannah Historic District, where you can check out the Mercer Williams House or stroll through City Market.

Oakland or Lake Tahoe, California

If you're looking for an off-the-beaten-track destination, consider skipping popular (and pricey) West Coast hot spots like San Francisco for a cost-effective alternative like Oakland, California, says Henrik Kjellberg, president of Hotwire. From Oakland, "the drive along Highway 1 is stunning, especially in the summer months. And there are lots of great July Fourth activities in towns along the way, not to mention amazing hiking opportunities," he says. Hotwire currently shows three-and-a-half-star properties available for less than $100 a night from July 1-5. Kjellberg also suggests making the trip to Lake Tahoe to catch the impressive Lights on the Lake fireworks display. Hotwire lists nightly rates at four-star properties in Lake Tahoe starting around $200 over the holiday weekend.

San Antonio

With its mouthwatering barbecue and rich history, San Antonio offers a vibrant place to escape for the holiday, says Justine McDonald, a travel expert at CheapTickets.com. And with four-star hotels currently available for $139 a night over the long weekend on CheapTickets.com, San Antonio is an ideal place for the frugal traveler this year. Kjellberg echoes similar sentiments, noting that San Antonio markets are offering great rates over the holiday weekend. After joining the fray with the Freedom Fest at Market Square, and after taking in the fireworks, check out the area's unique art scene along the River Walk.

Nashville, Tennessee

For a dazzling fireworks display, grab your cowboy boots and head to Music City. Once you're there, you can watch free performances across two stages, including a lineup spearheaded by Grammy Award-winner Sheryl Crow, before catching one of the largest holiday spectacles in the country. Kjellberg highlights Nashville and other small towns such as Sonoma, California, as enticing small-city alternatives to bigger metropolises on the Fourth of July. "These smaller cities offer Independence Day celebrations with something for the entire family and a great small town vibe," he says. Best of all, you can score discounted flight rates. According to the 2016 KAYAK Summer Travel Hacker Guide, Nashville saw the median airfare rate sharply decline from $348 to $310 from June to July.

Anchorage, Alaska

If you've wanted to go to Alaska, now is an ideal time to do it, says David Solomito, vice president of brand marketing for North America at KAYAK. Aside from serving as a great place to explore the outdoors, there are plenty of unique and unconventional traditions, including a pancake breakfast, which starts at 8 a.m. and even a marathon starting at 10 a.m. on the holiday that takes runners from Seward to the top of Mount Marathon and back. And beyond Anchorage's bounty of outdoor splendors (hat tip: Tony Knowles Coastal Trail and Kincaid Park), KAYAK is showing the median airfare price at $306, down by 26 percent since last year. Plus, according to KAYAK, nightly hotel rates have a median price of $210, making Anchorage a steal for bargain hunters.

Las Vegas

Hotwire currently shows four-star hotels along the Sin City Strip starting at $132 for the holiday weekend. If you want to take part in the festivities, there are a dizzying array of hotel parties along the Strip at top-rated hotels such as Mandalay Bay and Caesars Palace, where you can admire eye-catching fireworks displays, along with live music and entertainment. Even if you're not a high roller, you'll find plenty of affordable and worthwhile attractions away from the city's neon-lit casinos and buzzing rooftops, including Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area and Hoover Dam.

Atlanta

With its dramatic Independence Day spectacle, complete with a laser show, an annual 10K run known as the Peachtree Road Race and more than 10,000 fireworks on display, Atlanta knows how to put on a patriotic performance. And McDonald points to Atlanta as a choice destination for the Fourth of July not only for its impressive holiday offerings, but also for its affordable rates. Currently, Cheaptickets.com shows nightly rates for four-star hotel rooms starting at $95 in downtown Atlanta. Plus, it's feasible to score cheap airfare, too. Google Flights currently shows round-trip jaunts from New York City airports to Atlanta for $343 for the long weekend and round-trip flights from Los Angeles for as low as $393.

Minneapolis

With KAYAK showing the median nightly room rate at $123 and median flight price at $294 (a 28 percent decrease from 2015), Minneapolis offers a wallet-friendly last-minute escape. When you're not admiring the light displays from Stone Arch Bridge or Gold Medal Park, make sure to carve out time to explore the city's cultural gems, including the Minneapolis Institute of Art and the Walker Art Center.

Chicago

Hotwire currently shows nightly rates at four-star properties starting at $107 in Chi-Town's popular theater district for the holiday weekend. And beyond affordable accommodations, the Windy City is chock-full of budget-friendly and free thrills, from public beaches and parks to Navy Pier, where you'll also find plenty of patriotic pursuits for the holiday. Don't miss checking out the pier's Ferris wheel before admiring magnificent fireworks in sync to music along Lake Michigan.

Boston

Let's get this out of the way: With hundreds of entertainment acts and activities, complete with Freedom Trail walks, re-enactments and, of course, dramatic fireworks over Boston Harbor, Boston hosts one of the largest Independence Day celebrations across the country. But this year, KAYAK shows the median flight price is at $244, a 28 percent decrease from 2015. Even with the drop in price, Solomito explains it's "not cheap by any stretch of the imagination," but if you compare hotels and vacation rentals, there's still an opportunity to save. To cut costs, he suggests packing light and relying on public transportation.
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