5 Less-Crowded Places to Camp This 4th of July 17683

Hands down, the 4th of July is the busiest camping day of the year. There are so many wonderful, historic spots in the U.S. that are perfect for celebrating our nation’s heritage. But with those locations, come crowds and campsites that book up well in advance.

If you’re looking for some last minute spots to camp and enjoy Independence day, consider these destinations and the scenic campgrounds nearby.

Whitefish, Montana

fireworks in Montana
Fourth of July fireworks display over Skidoo Bay on Flathead Lake, Montana. Image: Shutterstock.

Whitefish, Montana is an ideal camping location all summer long, with Whitefish Lake and nearby Glacier National Park. The area has everything you could want for a camping trip—mountains and water with endless outdoor recreational activities. Whether you spend the day exploring one of the nation’s favorite national parks, walking around the charming downtown area, or fishing the Flathead river, you’ll find plenty to love about Whitefish.

A camping trip there is especially memorable for celebrating the Fourth of July, because you simply just have to kick back and relax. You can choose to join to the crowds at City Beach for the fireworks display, or find your own private spot right on the lake in a boat or kayak to view them from a different vantage point. Either way, they are spectacular and the area offers a wonderful laid-back way to enjoy the holiday.

If Whitefish is already booked, try Missoula, Montana.

Campgrounds Near Whitefish, Montana

Flagstaff, Arizona

Named “America’s best town to celebrate the Fourth of July” from a recent poll by Travel+Leisure Magazine; Flagstaff, Arizona takes their celebrations very seriously. They have events all week long and offer everything from car shows, to art and musical festivals, and even a parade. Everywhere you look around Flagstaff beginning on June 30, you’re sure to see red, white, and blue, and stars and stripes, just as the town’s name suggests.

If you’re looking for a quintessential Independence Day celebration, Flagstaff is where it’s at! Combine these festivities and patriotism with perfect weather in the high 70’s and beautiful scenery, and you’re sure to have a holiday camping trip you’ll remember forever.

If Flagstaff is already booked, try Kanab, Utah.

Campgrounds Near Flagstaff, Arizona

Ogallala, NE

You don’t always have to head to the coast to find sandy beaches! Ogallala is home to beautiful Lake McConaughy where you can enjoy dry camping right in the sand, under the shady trees, and steps from the water and beach! You’ll enjoy all your favorite water activities right from your campsite—waterskiing, jetskiing, paddle boarding, fishing, and more.

You won’t even have to leave to enjoy the fireworks display. You can sit back in your camping chair, on the roof of your RV, or float on the water and watch the boat parade go by followed by fireworks over the lake. Lake McConaughy offers the ultimate relaxing, fun in the sun, simple 4th of July celebration.

If Ogallala is too small for you, try Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Campgrounds Near Ogallala, Nebraska

Raleigh, NC

If you’re looking for more “city vibes” for your holiday camping trip, Raleigh is the perfect spot. You’ll find great restaurants, trendy hang out spots, plus some good ‘ole southern charm.

You’ll also have several options for celebrating Independence Day. You can catch an outdoor concert with fireworks and the Red Hat Amphitheater, watch the fireworks display at the state fairgrounds (which also offers RV sites), head to the ballpark for a Durham Bulls game, or go to Cary for a variety of family friendly festivities, including a parade, rides, and contests!

When you’re ready to escape the city, head to any of the nearby lakes (Jordan Lake, Lake Johnson, Falls Lake and more) to cool off and escape the crowds.

If Raleigh is too hot, try heading up into the mountains to Asheville, North Carolina.

Campgrounds Near Raleigh, North Carolina

Bristol, RI

Bristol is actually known as “the most patriotic town in the country”, so what better place to celebrate our nation’s birthday?

With such a title, it of course, has one of the most well-known, oldest, and longest small town 4th of July celebrations. The festivities date back to 1785 and run for 2 weeks with a variety of concerts, carnivals and other fun events.

The grand finale is on the 3rd and 4th of July, which includes an impressive fireworks display and a parade in honor of our country’s heroes, called the Military, Civic and Firemen’s Parade. Aside from it’s 4th of July celebrations and history, this New England town is also known for its nautical beauty, art, gardens, food, and friendly locals. So, you’re sure to have an all-American fun-filled trip!

If New England seaside small towns are what you’re after, try Mystic, Connecticut.

Campgrounds Near Bristol, Rhode Island

This 4th of July, be sure to get out there and enjoy the open roads and beautiful land. But, no matter where you go or what you do to celebrate our great country’s Independence Day, we hope it’s safe and filled with all the things we love most—nature, freedom, family, and fun!

Lindsay McKenzie travels full-time in her Winnebago Navion with her husband Dan and their 2 dogs. Originally from Colorado, they have been seeking adventure together for 10 years now and have done a lot of international traveling, including living in Costa Rica. They took the leap into full time RVing after experiencing life-altering news. They viewed the news as a life “detour” and started a travel and inspirational blog called Follow Your Detour. Lindsay has grown more passionate about pursuing her dreams and a leading a fulfilling life, while inspiring others to do the same. She loves that RVing allows her to be in nature and do more of what she loves. You can usually find her on the river fly fishing, hiking to sunset spots, or at a local brewery. (All photos by Lindsay McKenzie, except where noted.)

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