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U.S. National Parks to Visit on the 4th of July (or Any Time)

Looking to spend some time outdoors this 4th of July? Visiting a national park is one of the best ways to celebrate this summer holiday in the United States. Whether you’re looking to take a hike with family or friends or enjoy a fireworks show, here are a handful of U.S. National Parks to visit today to enjoy the festivities—or any day to enjoy the outdoors.

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Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite - Tunnel View
Credit Kenny McCartney via Getty Images

Ah, Yosemite. Half Dome and Yosemite Valley are the stars of the show, but there is so much more to do and see. The park and surrounding area are home to many special events during the summer, including a 4th of July BBQ at Ducey’s on the Lake and the 2023 Light Up the Sky Fireworks and Boat Parade at nearby Bass Lake. 

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Elk grazing in meadow at sunset in Rocky Mountain National Park
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When you visit Rocky Mountain National Park, you get to enjoy a variety of landscapes—from alpine meadows to rugged peaks. There’s wildlife to view, many hiking trails, and some fun activities going on in nearby Estes Park for the month of July. Specifically for the holiday, there’s a fireworks display over Lake Estes, as well as concerts and a car show. 

Acadia National Park, Maine

Couple kayaking on Jordan Pond in Acadia National Park, Maine, USA
Credit Jerry Monkman / Aurora Photos via Getty Images

Bar Harbor, Maine is minutes from Acadia National Park, and the town’s festivities have been voted the top 4th of July celebration in America by the Today Show and ranked in the top 10 in the U.S. by National Geographic. While in the park, you can take a boat tour or explore a scenic trail, and then a full day of 4th of July festivities will include the annual parade, a concert series, and an evening fireworks display over Frenchman Bay. 

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee and North Carolina

Mountain Waterfalls and Stream with Model
Credit Dan Reynolds Photography via Getty Images

Enjoy a day hiking to waterfalls and watching for wildlife in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and then head to Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge to celebrate the 4th. Gatlinburg is hosting its annual 4th of July Midnight Parade, this year featuring the Harlem Globetrotters. It’s been named one of the top 10 parades to see in the U.S. by National Geographic Traveler. Meanwhile, this year’s Pigeon Forge Patriot Festival will be headlined by Grammy-nominated and multi-platinum entertainer Sara Evans.

How do you plan to spend time outdoors this 4th of July?

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