Fourth of July Guide 2011: Fourth of July Weekend Trips

Patriotic getaways that are just a few hours away

Cape May's streets are lined with colorful Victorian houses. Its dining scene is good and varied. Photograph courtesy of Cape May Magazine

Bethany Beach, Delaware
3 hours away
The family-friendly beach will host its 28th annual July 4 parade with the theme “The United States Constitution.” The parade will start at 12 PM. At the end of the parade, head over to the 23rd annual horseshoe-throwing contest on the Southwest corner of the Christian Church Conference Center grounds (215 North Pennsylvania Avenue, Bethany Beach). Or pie lovers can enter the blueberry pie eating contest next to the Christian Church building. Those between the ages of 5 and 80 can register at Ruthie’s Bethany Beach Bakery (115 Garfield Parkway, Bethany Beach, 302-539-1119). There will be a concert by a live band at 7:30 PM and the fireworks display will end the evening at dusk. For more information call 302-539-8011, extension 24.

More: Family-Friendly Fun in Bethany Beach

Lewes, Delaware
3 hours away
Lewes has a bunch of kid-friendly activities scheduled for July 4. Old-fashioned children’s games and activities begin at 9 AM on Second Street. A decorated boat parade on the canal will begin at 2 PM. From 5 to 7 PM, watch or jump in the Doo-Dah Parade, for which children decorate their bikes. The parade travels along Manila Avenue, Kings Highway, Savannah Road, Second Street, Market Street, and Third Street. No registration necessary. For more information call 302-645-8073.

More: A Dogfish Head Getaway in Lewes

Rehobeth Beach, Delaware
3 hours away
If the crowds don’t bother you, join in with the more than 80,000 people who gather in Rehobeth for the July Fourth weekend. From 8 to 9 PM, the US Navy Country Current will perform at the Bandstand. At approximately 9: 15 PM, there will be a fireworks display visible from the beach and boardwalk. If you’re not ready to leave after the fireworks show, stick around for a performance by the Funsters at the bandstand. Call 302-227-2772 for weather updates and details.

More: Our Guide to Rehoboth Beach

Ocean City, Maryland
3 hours away
Families can enjoy a free concert starting at 8 PM on the beach both at North Division Street and uptown at 127th Street at Northside Park. Check out the fireworks spectacular at 9:30 PM. For more information call 1-800-626-2326 or 410-250-0125.

Cape May, New Jersey
4 hours away
July Fourth weekend festivities begin on Saturday, July 2 with the town’s Independence Day Parade along Beach Avenue at 1 PM. On the same day, check out a vintage baseball game played by 1873 rules at 12 PM, featuring the Flemington Neshanock and Elkton Eclipse at the Historic Cold Spring Village (720 Rt. 9 South, Cape May, 609-898-2300). On July 3 there will be an afternoon concert featuring the Cape Community Band along with family activities. On July 4, the fireworks extravaganza at 9 PM at Congress Hall (251 Beach Ave., Cape May) will wrap up the festivities for the weekend. Carnival rides and food vendors will be on site.

More: Cape May Beach Getaway

Ocean City, New Jersey
4 hours away
This beach town will hold two July Fourth bike parades, sponsored by the South OC Improvement Association and the Gardens Civic Association, both at 10 AM. Want to do more than watch? Register for the South OC’s event at 8:30 at 40th and Ashbury Avenues and Gardens Civic’s parade at 9 AM at the Longport Bridge parking lot. After the early-morning events, don’t miss the Fourth of July Celebration—with a kite-flying competition at 5:30 PM and entertainment the rest of the night. The fireworks display goes off from Ninth Street Beach around 9 PM. For more information visit the event Web site.

See Also:

July Fourth Restaurant Specials

July Fourth Hotel Deals

Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania
2½ hours away
Spend the day at the Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, on July 3 with the Celebrate America fireworks and fountains show. The show will feature favorites by John Philip Sousa and Irving Berlin as fireworks and colorful fountains light up the gardens. Viewers can reserve a space after 3 PM, but blankets are not permitted in the gardens. Tickets are $38 for those 16 and older and $22 for those 15 and under. Call 610-388-1000 to purchase tickets.

More: Longwood Gardens—1,000-plus Acres of Horticultural Beauty

Virginia Beach, Virginia
4 hours away
Virginia Beach’s Fourth of July celebration kicks off at 4 PM at Mount Trashmore Park (300 Edwin Drive, Virginia Beach, 757-473-5237). The celebration features lots of performers dancing and singing on the main stage until 9:30 PM. You can learn how to line dance with Andy Armadillo of Texas Roadhouse, or keep children entertained with various activities and bouncing inflatables. You can make a child ID card for free at the park. The fireworks go off at 9:30 PM. For more information visit the event Web site.

Canaan Valley, West Virginia
3½ hours away
Canaan Valley celebrates July Fourth all weekend with family-fun festivities. Kite-building workshops, where children and adults can make and fly their own kites for a small fee, will be held by Wings Over Washington Kite Club on July 2 and 3. Kite-flying demos will be held both days, too. On Saturday, July 2, peruse arts and crafts tables by West Virginian artisans from 10 AM to 5 PM.Subscribe to Washingtonian
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