Published June 2020
2019 was a record-breaking year for travel on July 4. A whopping 48.9 million Americans traveled over the holiday weekend to celebrate with loved ones.
This year, many people have been waiting to see how the pandemic shakes out before making Independence Day travel plans. And, it’s true Fourth of July getaways will look different this year, as we avoid airplanes, practice social distancing, and keep our masks on—but you can still have a blast.
Vacasa travel experts identified a handful of the best drive-to destinations across the U.S. where we anticipate smaller crowds. And, you can choose from a number of Vacasa vacation homes cleaned to CDC standards with private amenities in every destination that made the list. Last-minute planners, your time is now.
With a population of less than 1,000, social distancing is certainly possible in Killington. And, while snowsport enthusiasts may flock to Killington during the winter, the summer months are generally slower, allowing you to feel like a local and explore miles of the Appalachian Trail in relative solitude. On the fourth, head to Snowshed Slope for a spectacular fireworks display from the safety of your vehicle.
A historic Colorado town reminiscent of the Old West, Steamboat Springs is a beautiful off-the-beaten-path escape nestled in the Rocky Mountains. Float the Yampa River, or take a dip in the Old Town Hot Springs—and don’t forget to make a reservation, because openings fill up fast! Celebrate Fourth of July at the Red, White, and Blue Drive-Through, a pandemic-era take on Steamboat’s classic annual parade.
The alpine mountain views in Park City are unbeatable, and there’s nothing like the town’s fresh summer air. Take a chairlift ride to enjoy panoramic views of the landscape, or bring your fishing rod and beach towel to Rockport State Park. While the annual Fourth of July parade has been cancelled this year, you can make your own festivities and light up the night with sparklers.
Located in the Rocky Mountains, Big Sky is home to roaring whitewater rapids, steep canyon ravines, and diverse wildlife. As a bonus, it’s only an hour drive from Yellowstone National Park. The town’s Fourth of July celebration isn’t set in stone just yet, so plan on grilling from the back deck after a long day of outdoor adventure.
The little town of Sun Valley is aptly named, getting 15 hours of sunshine per day during the summer months. At the edge of Sawtooth and Challis National Forests, Sun Valley is a gateway to outdoor recreation. Bald Mountain sits west of town, where you can hike or lift to the top to enjoy the cooler temperatures and scenic views. On the Fourth, Sun Valley Resort will host a celebration with live music, delicious food, and plenty of fireworks.