4th of July in CA/Arizona?
Replies: 13 - Last Post: Jan 15, 2013 10:20 PM Last Post By: FlagStuff
Jan 14, 2013 9:08 PM
4th of July in CA/Arizona?Will be on a trip around SW states in July, and would be interested in people's opinions on the best place to spend the 4th.
Wife and I are travelling with our 7, 10 and 13 year old sons from Aus and would like to get the US Independence Day experience. We are planning on leaving LA on the 3rd, headings toward southern Arizona (Tombstone etc) and later NMexico. Btw: yes, we know it will be hot.
Big city for better fireworks (Tucson?) or smaller town for better community atmosphere (suggestions appreciated)?
Also, I've read it's the busiest time for travel in the US. Will we need to book hotels for that weekend or will the heat be keeping most other travellers further north? We'd prefer not to lock ourselves into a specific itinerary if we don't have to, but with the kids we don't want to end up without a room either.
And welcome back Thorne Tree!
But please don't over moderate - it's the lively discussion / debates and trash talk that make it what it is - I can read tripadvisor forum for polite (ie bland) advise.
Jan 14, 2013 9:28 PM
1Welcome to Thorntree- Here in California, a traditional 4th can be seen in the cities at a Fourth of July Parade, followed by a day at the beach, then barbecue, then fireworks. Since you're already in SoCal
I'd consider San Diego for the Fourth. The fireworks reflected back by the harbors and bays is spectacular.
You will definitely need to reserve for July 3 and 4.
Jan 14, 2013 9:57 PM
2Summer is a busy travel time in the U.S. Summer Holidays, such as the Fourth. are busier. Visiting Southern California, Arizona, New Mexico (and Nevada and Utah I expect) without being locked “into a specific itinerary" is a good way to burn a lot of gas, waste a lot of time, and not see much. If you really hit a jackpot, you'll spend a night in the car because you can't find lodging.
I suggest that you will have a much more pleasant experience if you do some homework and decide what you want to see before you begin blundering about the desert. You can always set aside some half-days for "spontaneous" travel. Give us a vague idea of your route and we will provide you with more options than you can see in six months.
Have a great time whatever you do.
Jan 14, 2013 10:34 PM
Jan 15, 2013 4:57 AM
If you want to be in Tombstone on the 5th, I would not be in San Diego for the 4th. I'd go with Tucson in that case. (I'll defer to others on the quality of their show, and whether it's worth dealing with the heat.)
If you decide to push Tombstone back a bit, then San Diego, assuming the fireworks show succeeds this year.
Jan 15, 2013 6:29 AM
See what displays will be available in Tucson. Be aware that if the fire situation is bad enough in July, there may be no fireworks displays in Tucson.
Jan 15, 2013 11:45 AM
6Although displays may be canceled in certain risk-prone areas, Tucson always has several displays, even when the mountain communites in Arizona cancel theirs. It's pretty much the same as you'd see in any other major city. I agree that if need to be in Tombstone on the 5th, then be in Tucson on the 4th. Expect nightime weather to be toasty, like Africa toasty.
If you're going to be in Tombstone, add Bisbee to your itinerary. In fact, I'd probably stay in Bisbee and just make a detour to check out the foolishness in Tombstone. Bisbee is prettier, a bit cooler, just as historic, plenty quirky, and a whole lot less ridiculous. The underground mine tour in Bisbee will probably apeal to the kids (adults like it too!). Kartchner Caverns state park is on the way, and well worth a visit.
Jan 15, 2013 12:40 PM
7I recommend San Diego for the Fourth of July. Typically it is the second largest fireworks display int he country. Of course last year (7/4/2012) was a bust, when all the fireworks shot off at once and the entire sky lit up for about 20 seconds and then there was no more. With the fireworks out on the barges, and the clear line of sight along the shore, there is a lot of potential for a great show!
Jan 15, 2013 12:51 PM
8SDBH- Just curious- what is the largest US fireworks show? NY?
Jan 15, 2013 7:35 PM
10Lousiville, Kentucky! Who would've thought---It's got to go into the Double Jeopardy question category-
Jan 15, 2013 7:56 PM
11Yes, this is the best fireworks show...
Bisbee is on the itinerary - we might switch those two around as you've suggested FlagStuff. I imagine the heat will be similar to what we've had in Aus this summer. What would the 4th be like in Bisbee? We've checked it out and there are some nice quirky houses available for 3-4 day rental there.
How big / bad are the crowds / transit etc. in San Diego (if we put off the SW)?
Jan 15, 2013 9:17 PM
12If you stay in a motel/hotel near Old Town-- the historic original San Diego-- you can leave your car
parked after arriving and simply take the Red Trolley to the waterfront and downtown San Diego 3 miles
away. From downtown you just walk a few blocks to the Embarcadero and can have one of the best seats in the house
for fireworks. If your flash with cash, stay downtown or on Coronado Island-- across the Harbor from
downtown and with great views of the Harbor fireworks. Leave LA before noon on July 3 or risk nasty
traffic in the afternoon as there's always an exodus of Angelenos to San Diego for any holiday!
Jan 15, 2013 10:20 PM
13What would the 4th be like in Bisbee?
Actually, as much as it is a dusty tourist trap, Tombstone could be a fun place for the 4th. There will certainly be some sort of parade with lots of Harley Davidson riders, and a bunch of cowboy shoot-outs and the like. Nothing like the spectacular show you'd get in San Diego, but an entirely different kind of all-American experience.
We've checked it out and there are some nice quirky houses available for 3-4 day rental there.
Bisbee is a neat place, but the kids might get bored there for that long. You could check out Tombstone, take the mine tour, visit Kartchner Caverns. The nighttime "ghost tour" is a touch hokey but a lot of fun, climbing around Bisbee's numerous back alleys and passages. You could drive across the valley for a hike in Ramsey Canyon.
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