The San Juan Islands, Washington
Go west, and celebrate on Washington's San Juan Island. The island's holiday festivities include live music, car shows and a parade, followed by the Pig War Picnic--named after an 1859 skirmish on the island between the Americans and the British. There are fireworks, which you can watch from the dock of Friday Harbor or from one of the many oceanfront restaurants. You might even see a bald eagle, which are common flying over the island.
Located in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, Gatlinburg has a popular Independence Day event that makes it unique: It has the first Fourth of July parade in the nation. For more than 35 years, Gatlinburg has held a midnight parade celebrating the nation's birthday. The annual parade regularly draws in about 100,000 visitors and is more than a mile long. Other activities on July 3 and 4 include live musical entertainment, a river raft regatta and fireworks. Admission is free.
Murrells Inlet, South Carolina
Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, is a historic fishing village located about 10 miles south of Myrtle Beach. The people of Murrells Inlet celebrate Independence Day by decorating their boats and parading them through the inlet. After you watch the boat parade, you can wander around the town and enjoy dinner at a waterside restaurant before watching the fireworks at the end of Veterans Pier.
Canaan Land Ranch, San Antonio
This ranch, owned by the New Life Christian Center, holds an annual Independence Day celebration for local residents and visitors. The ranch opened in March 2008 to provide resort, rehabilitation and recreation activities for the community. According to the Canaan Land Ranch website, the 2010 celebration "will begin at 11:30 a.m. and end at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, July 5th. [It will include] prizes, food, live music, dancing, water rides, fishing, horse-back riding, skeet shooting, swimming pools, basketball courts, volleyball and much more."
Mount Rushmore, South Dakota
According to MSNBC, this national landmark is "one of the 10 man-made wonders of the world." July Fourth activities at the park and the monument to former presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt include hoop dances, presidential re-enactors signing autographs and a B1-B Lancer Bomber Flyover. There are no fireworks in 2010 due to the high fire hazard.