Festivals, fireworks, a surplus in hot dog sales, and a whole lot of red, white, and blue everywhere are just a few of the tried and true elements that make up the Fourth of July. There is something inexplicably lovely about having set traditions, but we think there's something equally as exciting about mixing it up and thinking outside of the box to create some new ones.
That's why we've compiled a list of unique ways for you to celebrate the Fourth of July, with a few fun takes on old favorites.
Have a beach bonfire
You'll have to check with your local law enforcement first for your nearest beach's regulations and permit requirements, but we can't think of a more magical setting for a potluck-style gathering to celebrate the Fourth of July. Grab some towels, a couple of blankets, pack up some coolers with food and drinks, and you're ready to go. (If you want to get extra festive, you can even pack a few tiny flags to stick in the sand.) With any luck, you'll still be able to catch the nearest fireworks off in the distance, too!
Go on a woodland hike
What better way to celebrate the U.S. than by getting outside to explore and appreciate the country's natural beauty? Throw on some activewear and sneakers, and grab your partner or some pals to hit the trails with. If you're not sure where to head to, helpful websites, such as AllTrails, let you easily enter in your city name or a nearby park so you can plan your hike accordingly.
Set up a picnic in the park
You can stay close to home while still having a brand new Fourth of July experience with your nearest and dearest—in the form of a picnic in the park! Eliminating any potential nerves about hosting a get together at home, the park is the perfect place to gather a group of any size for to make merry. Doublecheck with your city's Parks and Recreation Department or the National Park Service in case you need to reserve the park's picnic tables or want to claim the pavilion—and make sure to pack some festive table clothes or some streamers to decorate around wherever you settle down to set the mood.
Plan your own backyard festival
For those who love to host, go above the traditional barbecue, skip the crowds at the city-run festivities, and put on a full-blown festival in your backyard. With so many tasty, or just plain adorable, recipes at a mere Google search away, there will be plenty of Instagram-worthy moments for you and your guests to capture. A few party snacks that have caught are eye are these Grilled Corn and Ranch Pizzas, simple Red White and Blue Berry Cheese Bites, and, for dessert, these Mini Star Berry Pies or Patriotic Oreo Pops.
Celebrating doesn't have to mean drinking nor binging on fried food (although, also fine if it does, we don't judge here)—it can also mean the perfectly planned movie night, complete with a solid line-up of American films and all of your favorite movie snacks within reach.
Check out some of our top picks below:
"Mr. Smith Goes to Washington"
"Saving Private Ryan"
Make a patriotic playlist
Whether you end up blasting your carefully curated playlist in the backyard later, you'll probably at least be indoors when you create it, and we've got a few American-themed lists to serve as inspiration. The inevitable union of country music and patriotism makes this playlist an easy choice, while this 4th of July playlist takes a more classic approach, with everything from John Mellencamp and Creedence Clearwater Revival to Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry.
You can stick to the game cabinet staples: Monopoly, Yahtzee, Scrabble, Cards Against Humanity...the list goes on. Or you can keep your (21-and-up) friends on their toes this year with a rousing rendition of True American, the drinking game made popular on the TV show New Girl starring Zooey Deschanel. Make sure you have a fair amount of space, enough sofas or objects to stand on (the floor is lava!), and a lot of energy and historical facts stored up before you start!
Host a "Hamilton" sing-along
We don't know about everyone else, but we're still not over "Hamilton." It doesn't matter whether you've seen the musical in person yet or not; the soundtrack is catchy, infectious, and can fully stand on its own. Host your very own "Hamilton" sing-along in your living room or out on the lawn—wherever you feel most comfortable displaying your talents—and check out the nearest costume store provide some 18th century-style wigs to help get your friends and family into character.
Want to plan a weekend trip for the Fourth of July instead? Let us show you which accommodations are available—click here!
Spanning an astonishing 3.8 million square miles and bordered by three different oceans, the U.S. is one of the most geographically diverse countries on the planet. From the vast deserts in the southwest and the plains of the Midwest to the Colorado Rocky Mountains and icy tundras of Alaska, it really is a world unto itself—and it doesn't stop there. The sheer diversity of the U.S. extends all the way to its 12,383 miles of coastline, which means a plethora of beautiful beaches for you to visit and enjoy.
Plan your summer trip accordingly with our breakdown of the best beaches by region in the U.S.
The West Coast
The West Coast cozies up to the Pacific Ocean and offers a fantastic variety of stunning beaches—from rugged, windswept cliffs to soft sand that stretches on as far as the eye can see. Although the temperature may be lower than the beaches of the southeast and Gulf Coast, this area more than makes up for it with its peaceful beauty and awe-inspiring views.
1. Laguna Beach, California
For many, the 36 stretches of Orange County's Laguna Beach are the epitome of a West Coast beach getaway. Whether you're spending the day spiking up a volleyball at the popular Main Beach, exploring ancient caves at Thousand Steps Beach, or snorkeling the epic underwater marine park at Crystal Cove, a summer vacation at Laguna Beach offers something unforgettable for everyone.
2. Cannon Beach, Oregon
The iconic image of Haystack Rock, reaching up 235 feet into the heavens, is one of the most recognizable natural attractions on the coast of Oregon, and Cannon Beach itself is full of majestic coves just waiting to be discovered. The upscale resort town has many charming boutiques and quality restaurants, which are great to stop in at after days of long, scenic walks and, of course, saying hello to the resident puffins!
3. Cape Disappointment State Beach, Washington
Contrary to its name, the 2,032-acre Cape Disappointment State Park on the Long Beach Peninsula is the ideal spot to enjoy a beach vacation, with a great variety of both terrain and wildlife. The freshwater lakes and majestic cliffs create a unique landscape right where the Pacific Ocean meets the Columbia River. If its hiking, calm weather, and endless ocean views you're looking for, you've just found your perfect beach getaway!
4. El Matador State Beach, California
The jagged coastline of El Matador State Beach is one of the most unmistakable coastlines in Malibu, and the area is brimming with long sandy stretches, fabulous rocky inclines, and otherworldly sunsets. With the ocean full of kelp forests, visitors to the area can embark on an amazing whale-watching tour with majestic views of the coastlines massive boulders, steep cliffs, and mysterious sea caves.
5. San Gregorio, California
As one of the many state beaches running along the scenic Route 1 between Santa Cruz and San Francisco, San Gregorio boasts one of the best places to enjoy the gorgeous bluffs, vast sandstone cliffs, and sandy beaches found along this gorgeous coastline. Nature lovers will also be in their element, with a protected estuary housing a variety of native birds and animals, as well as the opportunity to spot a whale passing by.
The Gulf Coast
The Gulf Coast stretches on for hundreds of miles through the states of Louisiana, Alabama, Texas, Mississippi, and Florida—welcoming millions of tourists each year for summers of enjoying year-round warm waters, idyllic fishing conditions, and water sports. The white sand and emerald green waters of the Gulf of Mexico are sure to enchant any visitor, making it the ideal beach vacation destination.
1. Galveston Island State Park, Texas
As a protected territory, Galveston Island State Park offers a more peaceful getaway than many of the Gulf Coast beach destinations, with its vast wetlands, dunes, and tranquil beaches being a respite from the busier tourist traps. Located just an hour from Houston, the 32 miles of sandy beaches couldn't be more of a contrast from hectic city life.
2. South Padre Island, Texas
Located off the southern tip of Texas, the half-mile-wide barrier island of South Padre offers a retreat packed with incredibly clean shorelines and shimmering water. The shallow water makes the island a perfect spot for families, while those looking to get their blood pumping can try their hand at boating, kayaking, and parasailing. With some of the best waves on the Gulf Coast, those surfers out there will have also found their slice of southern heaven.
3. Gulf Shores, Alabama
The "sugar sands" in Gulf Shores, Alabama, offer a family-friendly destination full of impeccably well-maintained beaches and glistening ocean. Although Alabama doesn't boast as many miles of beaches as its neighboring states, the champagne shores dotted around this area are simply incomparable, and the 6 miles of soft sand at West Beach are a testament to this. Get ready for relaxing beach days full of collecting seashells, taking a dip in the calm waters, and enjoying the warm gulf breeze.
4. Orange Beach, Alabama
Situated just a 10-minute drive east from Gulf Shores, Orange Beach offers even more white quartz beaches and pristine, green-blue ocean waters. Open year-round, with public beach access, Orange Beach has earned a reputation as one of the best beaches on the Gulf Coast. Why not spend days swimming, sunbathing, and building sandcastles with the kids? You can even take a thrilling parasailing trip high above the scenic beauty of this fabulous area.
5. Gulfport, Mississippi
The second-largest city in Mississippi after the capital of Jackson, the diverse downtown of Gulfport is a southern tourist hub steeped in charming local history. With pristine sands stretching 6.2 miles and outlined by swaying palm trees, this is a paradise for those looking to kick back and enjoy a true beach vacation. The theme and water parks draw many visitors each year, while the various water sports rentals along the coast are perfect for some high-thrill experiences on the emerald waters.
The East Coast
While the West Coast gets a lot of the credit for the best beaches in the U.S., the 3,000 kilometers of Atlantic Ocean coastline on the other side of the country boast their own unique selection of sandy shores, rocky outcrops, and charming beach towns. From the hip vibes of Miami Beach to the peaceful sunsets of Hilton Head Island, the East Coast is a must-visit destination in and of itself.
1. Block Island, Rhode Island
Nicknamed "The Bermuda of the North,” New England's Block Island is home to 17 miles of beaches, which surround the vibrant town center. The clear waters of Crescent Beach are simply unmissable, while the dramatic clay cliffs at Mohegan Bluffs are well-worth making the descent down the 141 wooden steps to the spectacular shoreline. Those seeking some history should head to the northern tip of the island to the North Lighthouse, built in 1867, and nature lovers can spot migratory songbirds at the Block Island National Wildlife Refuge.
2. Miami Beach, Florida
Connected by bridges to mainland Miami, the island city of Miami Beach truly is one-of-a-kind, in terms of the unique atmosphere found in this idyllic area. Models, A-list celebrities, and eccentric locals alike can all be found at South Beach every summer, making it a perfect destination for afternoons of people-watching in the Florida sunshine. The wide beaches, full of fine sand, are just begging for you to sink your toes in them while sipping a mojito, and after sunset, the clubs and bars start to fill with nightlife-lovers ready to dance late into the night.
3. Virginia Beach, Virginia
Just a short 30-minute drive southeast of Norfolk International Airport in Virginia, where Chesapeake Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean, Virginia Beach is an outdoor enthusiast's dream. The North American Sand Soccer Championships and annual Coastal Edge East Coast Surfing Championships both draw in fans from far and wide, while the opportunities to go kayaking, parasailing, and jet skiing are practically endless. An iconic part of the beach is the 28-foot-wide boardwalk, which stretches on for 3 miles, with arcade games, live music, and street entertainers.
4. Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Full of tranquil Atlantic Ocean beaches, world-class golf courses, and historic lighthouses, the coastline of Hilton Head Island offers a laid-back vacation surrounded by scenic natural beauty. The subtropical climate also means the boot-shaped sea island enjoys mild weather year-round, while the high-class restaurants, summer festivals, and epic water sports provide something for everyone. With a welcoming atmosphere and small-town charm, this really is one of the best family vacation destinations on the East Coast.
5. Nantucket Island, Massachusetts
Those looking for an undisturbed, peaceful beach getaway have found their solution with a vacation on Nantucket. Found at the easternmost end of the island, Great Point is widely regarded as one of the most secluded beaches in the U.S. The reason for this is that visitors to the area need a beach permit to drive their 4x4 across the rugged sandy tracks to the historic Great Point Lighthouse. The beauty of this hidden gem is simply breathtaking, while watching the sun set across the vast Atlantic Ocean from Madaket Beach, located on the opposite side of the island, is an unforgettable experience.
From absolutely incredible reefs and some of the most romantic coves imaginable to beaches with green, red, and black sands, its no wonder that Hawaii is widely considered to have some of the best beaches on the planet. If you're looking for a vacation of discovering a stunning new coastline every day, you've found your perfect getaway in Hawaii.
1. Sunset Beach, Hawaii
Located on Oahu's North Shore, the 200-foot-wide Sunset Beach stretches on for 2 miles and boasts prime surfing conditions, so much so that it forms part of the world-famous Triple Crown surfing competition. You can spend an afternoon watching surfers try their luck on the legendary waves or spotting some of the exotic tropical fish in the reef. Don't miss the enchanting sunset over the distant horizon before nightfall, too!
2. Kailua Beach Park, Hawaii
With crystal-clear, aquamarine water and talcum white sand, along with great swimming conditions, it's no surprise that Kailua Beach Park on Oahu regularly ranks at the top of the list of the best beaches in the U.S. Located on the eastern shore, it's difficult to imagine an ocean more turquoise blue than it is here, and with the powdery, 2.5-mile beach, kayaking along the coast is sure to be a dream-like experience that no one will ever forget.
3. Lanikai Beach, Hawaii
As a constant rival to Kailua Beach Park, Lanikai Beach also often ranks as one of the best beaches in the world. As the endless, aqua blue waters stretch on seemingly forever, it comes as no shock that the meaning of Lanikai is actually "heavenly ocean." The alluring waters are simply asking to be dived into! One of the main attractions here is the staggeringly beautiful sunrise, so be sure to get up early and make your way down to the beach for some other-worldly imagery at dawn.
Not ready to head back home after you've checked out? No worries! Check out Knock Knock City's of places you can visit and store your luggage nearby.
Panoramic vistas, crystal-clear lakes, deserts that never end, snow-capped mountains, and giant monoliths—whether they're starring as the backdrop in thrillers and dramas or alien planets in sci-fi movies, the U.S. National Parks have long held an important and prominent role in American cinema.
In celebration of National Park Week, here are some of our favorite films that take place in National Parks.
"Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" (1969)
With Paul Newman and Robert Redford, this iconic movie is one we're sure many of you have seen, or at least heard of. But did you know much of the movie was filmed in Utah's Zion National Park? If you can take your eyes off of Paul Newman and and Robert Redford long enough, you may notice some stunning natural landscapes and classic western scenery with these bank- and train-robbing bandits on the run to Bolivia.
Channel your inner Butch Cassidy and head for Zion. This luxury safari tent is located in Kanab, Utah, and is perfect for visiting Zion National Park. Stay here and you'll be right on the southern border between Utah and Arizona, as well as roughly 10 miles east of Kanab, where you can enjoy starry nights under the magnificent southern Utah sky.
"North by Northwest" (1959)
The chiseled granite faces of Presidents Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson, and Roosevelt make an unforgettable appearance during a climactic chase scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s dizzying thriller "North by Northwest." While shooting did take place in and around South Dakota’s Mount Rushmore National Memorial, the harrowing chase scene itself, against Hitchock's wishes, ended up being filmed on a replica erected on a Hollywood sound stage.
This safari tent is located in Keystone, South Dakota, where it is situated on a multi-acre glamping site nestled among the Black Hills. Mount Rushmore lies just a few miles away and can be seen right from the site, which is stippled with towering pine trees. For movie-buffs, this is the perfect rental.
"Into the Wild" (2007)
Much of "Into the Wild," a Sean Penn-directed biographical film, was shot on location at Denali National Park and Preserve. It was here that young Christopher McCandless (played by Emile Hirsch) attempted to live off the land in an abandoned bus parked along the remote Stampede Trail. We wouldn't recommend exploring the natural wonders of Denali in the same, some would say reckless, nature that McCandless did, but the stunning beauty captured by this film does make us want to head for the great outdoors.
Located in Talkeetna, Alaska, this is the perfect choice for glampers hoping to enjoy a secluded and quiet vacation in the heart of the Alaskan wilderness. With an amazing lakeside location, glampers will be able to enjoy all that Denali National Park has to offer. This part of the world boasts beautiful scenery and is a great opportunity to have some truly unique experiences, including one of the popular flight tours on offer in the area.
"Dances with Wolves" (1990)
Having been badly wounded, Lt. John Dunbar (Kevin Costner), a Civil War hero, makes his way to the Western frontier. There he encounters Indians, buffalo, a dancing wolf, and Mary McDonnell. Camera crews filmed the movie at a variety of locations, but the most gorgeous, mixed grass prairie landscape they found was at Badlands National Park in southwestern South Dakota.
The cabin is located in a small community just off scenic Rimrock Highway. This rental has a great central location in the Black Hills, South Dakota—just 15 minutes from Rapid City and approximately 30 to 45 minutes to nearby tourist destinations, such as Keystone, Mt. Rushmore, Hill City, Crazy Horse, Custer, and Deadwood. Whether guests are looking to hike and explore, shop and sightsee, or just relax, this cabin will make a glamping trip to South Dakota enjoyable for all.
"Star Wars Episode VI—The Return of the Jedi" (1983)
If you've seen this infamous saga, you'll probably remember the Ewoks, those little, furry creatures living on the forest moon of Endor? Well, those small, bear-like creatures actually live in one of the most spectacular forests in California. In the Redwood National and State Parks stands the forest of mighty trees at more then 300 feet high, more then 2,000 years old, and with an all but closed canopy of towering Redwoods.
This gorgeous cabin rental offers a private oasis where glampers can relax and enjoy nature. Nestled among towering redwoods, the rental is just 10 minutes from both Eureka and Arcata. In addition, glampers will be just one and a half miles from the bay and a short 15 minutes from a wide range of local beaches. And of course, Redwood National Park is also located nearby and is well worth a visit.
Looking for more accommodations? Head to Glamping Hub for our full inventory!
In honor of National Park Week, we want to highlight some of the amazing landscapes and geographies in the US. The National Parks Service, created in 1916 by President Woodrow Wilson, works with National Parks Foundation to maintain over 400 National Park sites across the country and U.S. territories. Of those 417 sites, 59 are National Parks, like Yosemite or Yellowstone.
Though many parks, like the Grand Canyon or the Everglades, are world-renowned for their beauty and grandeur, there are many other parks with landscapes and historical narratives that make them more than worthwhile to visit.
Carlsbad Caverns is a network of 117 underground caves, the longest of which is over 120 miles long! In Southern New Mexico, the caverns have several notable caves, among which is the Big Room at almost 4,000 feet long. The park's cultural resources represent a long and varied continuum of human use, starting in prehistoric times and illustrating many adaptations to the harsh Chihuahuan Desert environment.
Perched above the spectacular Hueco Mountains in El Paso, Texas, this 6,500-square-foot, luxury adobe cabin is the perfect blend traditional desert and modern chic. With panoramic views of the breathtaking scenery below, glampers who stay will be amazed each morning when they wake up and start their day. And while it is in Texas, it is about a two-hour drive from Carlsbad Caverns.
Dry Tortugas National Park is in the Gulf of Mexico, west of Key West, Florida. It is made up of seven islands along with several protected coral reefs. Garden Key is home to stunning beaches and the 19th-century, Cival War-era Fort Jefferson. Loggerhead Key has a lighthouse and sea turtles, while on nearby Loggerhead Reef are the remains of a shipwreck from 1875 and is a popular dive site. It is important to note that the National Park is only accessible by boat or plane.
This luxurious catamaran sailboat charter comes with a crew and offers a unique way to explore the stunning surroundings. Moored in Key West in Florida, the yacht is ready for an adventure and can head to many destinations. The boat sleeps up to six guests; including the captain and one crew member, the total people aboard will be eight.
Photo sourced from NPS and photo credit to Elizabeth Havelin.
The Haleakalā National Park on the island of Maui, Hawaii, is home to the Haleakalā volcano and features a very large crater with numerous cinder cones, Hosmer's Grove of alien trees, the Kipahulu section's scenic pools of freshwater fish, and the native Hawaiian goose. The park protects the greatest number of endangered species within a U.S. National Park.
This luxurious glamping site is nestled on Maui's rugged north shore in Huelo, Hawaii. The property overlooks some of the world's most beautiful coastline, featuring crystal blue water and rolling Pacific Ocean waves. The grounds are home to tropical coconut palms and banana trees, as well as myna birds and wild parrots. Guests will be only an hour from Haleakalā.
Already visited all of these National Parks? Head to Glamping Hub for more inspiration!
We know that there is no accommodation more sought after than a good, old-fashioned tree house, and at Glamping Hub, we’re certainly spoiled for choice. We see the best of the best on a daily basis, so narrowing it down to just five was a tall order.
High up in the tree tops, these accommodations reignite childhood playfulness, evoke memories of bedtime stories, and days out playing in the woods. Long before iPads and video games, tree houses were things of make-believe and adventure—Peter Pan, Swallows and Amazons, a trip into Wonderland, and all those other childhood stories that we all think we are a bit too old to reenact.
We live by the mantra that a tree house is not just for kids, and we think that you should, too. Get your backpacks ready and picnics packed...we’re going on an adventure!
Our first stop takes us to this magical wooden tree house in the Appalachian Mountains of Georgia. Perfect for a couple or a group of four, this accommodation is everything you could have dreamed of as a child and more! Tucked away in the forest at the top of a hill, glampers can let their imagination run wild at this fairytale getaway.
This unique tree house can be found near the town of Asheville, North Carolina, and from the outside could easily be mistaken for a princess palace. Maybe Rapunzel is about to let down her golden hair, or a prince charming is hiding just around the corner. Inside, the immaculate interior is certainly fit for a prince or princess, and this vacation will surely be one for the books.
It doesn't get much better than this castle-style tree house near Lake Sunapee in New Hampshire.
If the previous tree house was a princess fairytale castle, this one is the home of the prince and his squires, all three of them that is. Located near Lake Sunapee in New Hampshire, this is a sturdy tree house, reminiscent of knights of old and days gone by, but not without a modern twist. The immaculate finish of both the interior and exterior, with the addition of luxury amenities and fittings, set this accommodation a cut above the rest!
Get swept away by the beauty of the rainforest at this tree house getaway in Hawaii.
We’re leaving the woodlands behind us now and hopping on a plane in search of sunnier climes. Quite by accident, we have arrived at a bohemian, eco-friendly accommodation in Hawaii. This tree house is more Swiss Family Robinson, nestled in the rainforest and surrounded by banana trees, with exotic birds in the treetops—it doesn’t really get more magical than this! Hawaii isn’t quite Guinea, but we think it’s pretty darn exotic!
You'll never want to leave this luxury rental suspended in the trees in Georgia.
Sadly, all good things must come to an end, and back we go. Our round trip concludes in Georgia once more—but not without one last stop on this magical journey through the trees.
One could be mistaken in thinking we were already back to adult life, sipping a coffee in a chic apartment with cutting-edge interior design fit for any young professional. Well…not quite yet.
This stylish accommodation can be found suspended in the high treetops, with stunning views of Chattanooga. Who says we have to grow up quite yet?
Discover your inner child at this unique tree house in Georgia.
Want to win a trip to one of these tree houses?Follow us on Instagram and enter to win a two-night stay at the Luna Loft Tree House seen above! Find your inner child and start planning your treetop adventure today.