What’s more American than Independence Day? The stars and stripes flying everywhere, grills lit, beers at the ready, and a nationwide day off; you just need a stupendous hotel to top it all off if you’re hitting the road for the country’s birthday.
We won’t lie. You’re cutting it a little close if you want to grab one of the best waterfront hotels for July 4th. Hopefully, you’re just a Type A and already planning for next year’s festivities. But if you’re lucky, you might find a few gems available without eye-watering rates.
We’ve trawled through the best waterfront destinations in the country with the best July 4th celebrations and then found their best waterfront hotels to stay at. That’s a lot of bests. Even if you don’t stay over July 4th, they’re brilliant spots in their own right.
Here are the best waterfront hotels for July 4th.
Embassy Suites Riverfront
Location: Wilmington, North Carolina
Vibe: Classy Carolinas with an unbeatable fireworks view
The rundown: Wilmington, NC has become something of a hotspot for Northerners seeking a little Southern hospitality (and some warmer temperatures). Its picturesque historic downtown sits on the banks of the Cape Fear River and hosts a spectacular July 4th fireworks display from the USS North Carolina, moored across the water.
The Embassy Suites Riverfront has a prime spot for watching the show—its stunning rooftop bar and restaurant. On any given night, it’s the best sunset in North Carolina, but on Independence Day, it’s unmatched in town. When it’s over, take a short walk downtown and indulge in a few more tipples in one of Wilmington’s brilliant bars.
Charleston Harbor Resort
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
Vibe: Southern Charm at arm’s length from the crowds
The rundown: Just down the coast from Wilmington is another iconic southern destination, Charleston. Oozing with southern charm, the city is the perfect place to enjoy the holiday or any other weekend getaway.
A unique stay for July 4th or beyond is the Charleston Harbor Resort. Located just across the water, its private beach and fully stocked amenities make it the perfect base for a retreat from the craziness of downtown. Hop in the water taxi, see the city, and get back to the calm of the resort. There’s a fully packed schedule for the holiday itself, and the water taxi is a viewing experience during the fireworks.
Location: Downtown Miami, Florida
Vibe: Sun-drenched Biscayne Bay views
The rundown: If you’re going big in Miami, the Intercontinental is perfectly positioned to help you maximize your time. It steers away from the chaos of South Beach while positioning you right in front of the Bayfront July 4th celebrations.
While the city has a wealth of food and nightlife, the hotel’s restaurants are excellent, the service is second to none, and its bars have enough to keep you occupied long after you intend to leave.
1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Vibe: Big city spectacular
The rundown: Boasting one of the best views of the Big Apple, 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge is becoming a regular on our lists. Sprawling, beautifully designed rooms with sleek additions like oversized soaking tubs and sustainably designed effects are the norm here and will have you swooning for the property when you can pull your eyes off the view.
Thanks to its unmatched location, the hotel is a prime viewing spot for the Macy’s fireworks display, whether it’s on the bridge or further up at Midtown. The hotel even hosts a watch party on the rooftop or deck, depending on where the fireworks are.
Marina Del Rey Hotel
Location: Marina del Rey, California
Vibe: Ocean breeze luxury
The rundown: Los Angeles has a ton of July 4th fireworks shows, but there’s nothing like seeing them on the water. Marina del Rey is the best spot for this, and the hotel of the same name is the place to stay.
Its 180-degree marina views are spectacular, its rooms are classy and generously sized, and its outdoor space is an utter delight to exist in. The fireworks can be seen from almost anywhere in the area, but see if you can grab a good spot outside by the marina.
Harbor View Hotel
Location: Martha’s Vineyard
Vibe: Idyllic luxury
The rundown: Pulled from the pages of a movie, Harbor View Hotel has honed its reputation as one of the best hotels in Martha’s Vineyard for over a century. Its views over Edgartown are unbeatable, its service is legendary, and the selection of on-site restaurants is nothing short of spectacular.
It comes at a price but just look through the reviews—there’s no one there sounding regretful of their stay. You won’t even need to leave the hotel grounds to enjoy the fireworks on July 4th. And why would you? Its recent renovation is unbelievable, retaining its heritage while embracing a modern flair.
Loews Coronado Bay Resort
Location: San Diego, California
Vibe: Opulent bayfront getaway
The rundown: Very much a getaway resort, but within striking distance of San Diego’s exciting downtown, Loews Coronado Bay Resort is one of the best waterfront hotels to enjoy July 4th. Its sprawling grounds and facilities are designed to make bay views the star of the show, perfect for San Diego’s fireworks display from the water.
Straddling the Pacific Ocean and Coronado Bay, guests can enjoy multiple wonderful restaurants, watersport rentals, a luxury spa, tennis courts, excellent pools, and world-class service. There’s no real reason to leave on your visit.