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There are few things more cherished than getting together with friends and family annually near a body of water to celebrate the U.S.'s independence. Whether you're planning to spend the day on a boat casting a line or simply relaxing by the water, below are 7 of the top beach destinations to celebrate your July 4th holiday this 2023 season.

1. Panama City Beach, Florida

PCB shoreline

Nestled along the Gulf of Mexico, Panama City Beach boasts a 4th of July extravaganza that draws visitors from near and far. The Star Spangled Spectacular features fireworks that the city touts as "the largest fireworks display on the Gulf Coast". Families can enjoy live music, food vendors, and games, creating an atmosphere of pure joy and celebration.

2. Miami, Florida

Miami Beach Shoreline

Each year, Miami hosts the Fire on the Fourth celebration. The drone and fireworks show, slated to begin at 9 p.m., illuminates Miami Beach and the surrounding Atlantic Ocean. The festivities encompass live music, dance performances, delectable cuisine, and a beachside party that lasts well into the night.

3. Key West, Florida

Lighthouse in Key West Florida

In the southernmost city of the United States, Key West offers a 4th of July celebration that begins with the kick off of the Key Lime Festival on June 30th. The Key Lime Festival offers a unique twist on the festivities, designed to celebrate things that make the island unique — the "citrus, eccentrics, people and pie". The event runs from June 30th through July 4th, but the fireworks display, starting at 9 p.m., signals the end of the festival on the 4th.

4. Virginia Beach, Virginia

Sunset in Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach is a destination that seamlessly blends coastal beauty with patriotic pride. The Stars & Stripes Explosion takes place on the bustling oceanfront, captivating visitors with live music, delicious food, and an awe-inspiring fireworks display. The beach becomes a lively hub of celebration, with families and friends coming together to honor the nation's independence.

5. Gulf Shores, Alabama

Shoreline in Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores, nestled on Alabama's Gulf Coast, offers a picturesque setting for a memorable 4th of July celebration. The Independence Day Celebration takes place on the beach, with fireworks launching from the iconic Gulf State Park Pier. The city will close the pier at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, July 4th to prepare the fireworks display and reopen to the public by noon. Just make sure you're in view of the pier by 9 p.m., as that's when the fireworks display is slated to kick off. The event features live music performances, beach games, and mouthwatering culinary delights.

6. South Padre Island, Texas

South Padre Island Skyline

South Padre Island, located on the southernmost tip of Texas, transforms into a beachside haven for 4th of July celebrations. Visitors can indulge in the Fireworks Over the Bay event, where fireworks reflect off the waters of the Laguna Madre Bay. The island also hosts live music, beach parties, and water sports activities, making it an idyllic destination for a sun-soaked Independence Day celebration. Make sure you're around the area by 9:15 p.m., when the fireworks display kicks off.

7. Montauk, New York

Lighthouse in Montauk

Nestled on the eastern tip of Long Island, Montauk offers a charming coastal setting for a memorable 4th of July experience. The Stars Over Montauk event paints the night sky with breathtaking fireworks over the Atlantic Ocean. Visitors can enjoy beachside picnics, explore the picturesque landscapes, and partake in local festivities that capture the essence of this seaside retreat.

Book A 4th Of July Fishing Trip

Before you spend the evening on the beach celebrating, think about booking a fishing trip to kick off your July 4th holiday. With over 1,200 Damn Good fishing charters to choose from, Captain Experiences offers unmatched access to private fishing adventures perfect for friends and families looking for a great day on the water. Find and book your trip online in minutes!