5 coastal destinations for a 4th of July beach vacation

Gather friends and family together for a fun-filled 4th of July vacation.
The deck of a vacation rental in Avon, NC overlooking the water with chairs.

Squeeze out as much fun (and sunshine) as you can this summer by getting a jump-start on vacation plans. Fourth of July has maintained its status as the top holiday families travel for during the summer. With the promise of fireworks, parades, outdoor barbecues, and family activities, finding the right backdrop for your celebration is crucial.

For travelers looking for the best places to go, with the bonus of an all-star vacation rental, we turned to Vacasa.com search data to reveal the most popular spots for the July 4th holiday. And it turns out—people want to celebrate by the water. From white sand beaches to blue ocean waves and vivid red fireworks, here are the five most popular Vacasa destinations for the Fourth that are sure to spark some vacation inspiration.

The deck of a vacation rental overlooking the ocean in Bethany Beach, DE.

1. Bethany Beach, Delaware

Featured vacation rental: The Preserve - 39676 Hamptons Lane

As the first state admitted to the Union, Delaware is a fitting place to escape and celebrate Independence Day. The charming town of Bethany Beach, just south of Rehoboth Beach, celebrates with a parade kicking off at noon, live music, and of course, fireworks lighting up the night sky at dusk. Fill the remaining sunny days with an endless array of do-as-you-please activities, like strolling down the famous boardwalk and exploring the Nature Center, trying a few hands of mini-golf at Captain Jack’s Pirate Golf, or checking out the unique Blue Room Fine Art Gallery.

The view from the boardwalk beach access of hotels and vacation rentals in Gulf Shores, AL.

2. Alabama Gulf Coast

Featured vacation rental: Plantation West #1147

Prepare to fall in love with 32 miles of pristine beaches when you head to the Alabama Gulf Coast, which becomes even more spectacular for America’s birthday. Refreshing Gulf waters for swimming, gorgeous beaches for lounging, and plenty of fun things to do around town make it an ideal place to spend the holiday. Don’t miss the iconic Fishing Pier—that’s also where the annual fireworks celebration display takes place, along with a secondary show nearby at The Wharf in Orange Beach. Both are home to an epic Fourth of July party, so don't worry, there’s no wrong choice.

The back patio with a fire table, chairs, and a view of another house at a vacation rental in North Carolina.

3. Outer Banks, North Carolina

Featured vacation rental: The Wright Stuff OBX

Spanning 100 miles of coastline, the Outer Banks is a strip of barrier islands separating the Atlantic Ocean from the North Carolina mainland. Known for its maritime villages and stunning coastal scenery, the Outer Banks is one of the most popular vacation destinations on the East Coast—and, fittingly, also referred to as America’s First Beach. This year, visitors can head to Manteo for their Fourth of July celebration to participate in an apple pie contest before the party moves over to Roanoke Island Festival Park with live music and a fireworks show.

The view from the living room of a lake in Plymouth, MA

4. Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Featured vacation rental: Navy Door Lake Escape

Massachusetts knows American pride—after all, it was one of the first states to enter the Union. With its duney beaches and quaint villages, it’s no surprise Cape Cod is one of America's most beloved summer vacation destinations. The region goes all out for the Fourth of July with parties and fireworks all around the coast. One can’t-miss event is Barnstable’s massive annual downtown parade, which includes large floats, motorcycles, marching bands, dogs, and more.

A beach house in Florence, Oregon with sand and a fire pit.

5. The Oregon Coast

Featured vacation rental: Sunset Dunes

Though West Coast states have a shorter U.S. history than their East Coast counterparts, there are still plenty of spots to celebrate the patriotic holiday. One perfect example? The Oregon Coast, with more than 350 miles of picturesque shoreline. For visitors to the northern region, Lincoln City’s Historic Taft District is one of the best places to go for the 4th of July. Live music begins mid-morning, and then the fun moves down to the water for a patriotic boat parade around Devils Lake before the grand finale—a spectacular firework display over Taft Waterfront Park at dusk.

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