Go Forth: 7 Top Destinations for Fourth of July - United Hub

Go forth: 7 top destinations for Fourth of July celebrations

By Bob Cooper

Cities, towns and villages across America celebrate Independence Day in ways big and small, but some celebrations are more memorable than others. These seven are special enough to merit a trip this Fourth of July week — and each city has more to see and do even if you don't go on the Fourth.

New York City

America's biggest city attracts America's biggest crowds to watch America's biggest fireworks display on the Fourth. The Macy's Fireworks show in New York City lights up the sky from four barges on the East River, with the best views from the Lower East Side. But, it's visible from anywhere in Manhattan, Brooklyn or Queens with an unobstructed view of the river (rooftop bars are packed). The annual show will be broadcast live at 8 p.m. EST on NBC. Earlier that day attend a music and shopping festival at the South Street Seaport and stop by Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island.

Sunset overlooking the water in Bristol, Rhode Island

Bristol

This Narragansett Bay town near Providence, twice attacked by the British during the Revolutionary War, proudly hosts one of America's oldest commemorations of the Fourth — dating back to 1785, only two years after the war ended. The Bristol 4th of July Celebration in Rhode Island begins on Flag Day and stretches to the Fourth with concerts, sporting events, carnival games, dinners, fireworks, a formal ball and a parade. While in town, explore the Bristol Waterfront Historic District, established in 1680.

St. Louis arch

St. Louis

Billed as "America's Biggest Birthday Party," Fair St. Louis is a free, three-day bash that packs the city's 1,371-acre Forest Park with 250,000 total attendees. Brett Young, Keith Sweat and The Flaming Lips headline a lineup of entertainers. Between performances you can ride a zip line, cruise the crafts fair, watch a water-ski show and enjoy nightly fireworks. Also happening downtown that day is one of the nation's oldest parades.

South Lake Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe, California — with its beaches, boating, hiking and nearby casinos — is crowded every summer weekend, but on July Fourth weekend it's especially popular. That's a good thing if you enjoy people watching and fireworks watching. Lights on the Lake, one of the best such displays in America, can be seen from anywhere with a lake view. An estimated 100,000 watch the pyrotechnics, which are reflected in this Sierras lake on the California/Nevada border, not too far from the Reno-Tahoe Airport. There's also a parade worth seeing the morning of the Fourth.

Aerial view of Seattle skyline.

Seattle

One of the highlights of Seafair, Seattle's annual summer-long series of major events, is the Summer Fourth festival. The location at Gas Works Park lets you ooh and ah over the fireworks above Lake Union, though the day begins at noon with live music, a beer garden, sack races, pie-eating contests and other frivolity. The festival is free unless you wish to reserve seats for prime viewing.

Palm trees on the beach in Key Biscayne, Florida

Key Biscayne

Heading for the beach on the Fourth is a classic move, so why not visit Florida, America's beach headquarters? There's a big Fourth of July celebration at this island town, found just across the Rickenbacker Causeway from Miami and just south of Miami Beach — though Key Biscayne (pop. 12,000) is much less chaotic than those cities. After the 57th annual Biscayne 4th of July parade down the main street of town is a mass picnic on the village green and fireworks over the Atlantic that you can admire from the beach.

Pasadena

The 94-year-old, 92,000-seat Rose Bowl is best known for its college bowl game, but it hosts events year-round including a drum corps exhibition — 12 elite drum and bugle corps bands involving 1,100 youth — on June 29 and AmericaFest on July 4. For the 93rd year, fireworks will fly over the stadium at the conclusion of AmericaFest.

If you go

United Airlines offers many nonstop flights to these seven cities or airports nearby. Visit united.com or use the United app soon to plan your getaway during the week of Independence Day — or any time.

Why we fly

By The Hub team, November 27, 2020

In October 2019, we launched a first-of-its-kind airline miles donation platform, Miles on a Mission. In the inaugural year, MileagePlus members donated over 70 million miles, with United matching over 20 million miles, to 51 organizations. These miles have allowed for these organizations to do important, life-changing, life-saving work in the communities we serve around the globe.

United cargo connects products to people all over the world this holiday season

By The Hub team, November 23, 2020

Critical medical shipments – Check.

High-tech electronics – Check.

2.7 million pounds of lobster? Check.


While this year's holiday gatherings will look a little different, millions of people around the world will still carry on the tradition of celebrating the holidays with a meal.

As the appetite for different types of food from all over the world increases, so does the need for safe and reliable transport. Fish caught in the United Kingdom can depart at breakfast and arrive in Washington D.C. in time for dinner. Thanks to United Cargo's expansive network, we are longer constrained by global distance or the seasonality of a product,

United Cargo plays a big role in transporting shipments with a limited shelf life around the world. Packed in between the latest electronics from Asia and the hottest fashion items from Europe, our aircraft carry a variety of perishable shipments like flowers, fruit, meat and vegetables, where speed and careful handling keeps them fresh. Whether it's cherries from Washington State or vegetables from Peru, our temperature-controlled shipping processes and vast global network helps move these commodities all over the world.

While the holidays are an exceptionally busy time of year for shipping perishable items, United Cargo transports these critical goods for people all over the world year-round. Earlier this year, United Cargo moved nearly 190,000 pounds of fresh produce to Guam for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Coronavirus Farm Assistance Program to support communities impacted by COVID-19. Additionally, with the holiday season here, we anticipate the cargo holds of our aircraft to be full of grocery store replenishments, including staples like turkey and ham, hitting shelves across the globe.

We take pride in our role to make sure perishables and produce arrive on time and at the peak of freshness. These products sustain, feed and nurture the world, and consumers around the globe depend on them every single day.

Since March 19, United has operated nearly 8,000 cargo-only flights, moving over 272 million pounds of cargo on those flights alone. United Cargo is proud of the role we play maintaining the global food supply chain and helping people access commodities from all over the globe.

Bon appetit!

10 travel tips for the holiday season

By The Hub team, November 19, 2020

Whether you haven't flown with us for a while or just need a quick refresher before your holiday travels, read this list of tips to know before your flight and arrive travel-ready:

1. Download the United app for contactless bag check, payments and more

Before your flight, download the United app to view your flight status, check in, sign up for flight notifications, locate departure gates, access our free personal device entertainment when available and more. We've also updated our app with new features that can make your trip a little safer, including contactless bag check and touch-free onboard payments.

2. Read and sign the Ready-to-Fly checklist

Before completing check-in, all United travelers will need to read our Ready-to-Fly checklist and confirm that they understand and agree to our policies. These include:

  • Acknowledging that you haven't had any symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 14 days
  • Agreeing that you will not fly if you have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 21 days
  • Confirming that you will follow all policies regarding face coverings, social distancing and other health and safety measures we've adopted

3. Get familiar with CleanPlus

United CleanPlus℠ is our commitment to delivering industry-leading* cleanliness, plus putting health and safety at the forefront of your experience, in partnership with Clorox and Cleveland Clinic. We've implemented CleanPlus in a number of ways that you'll notice throughout your trip, as well as with some behind-the-scenes enhancements like:

  • Disinfecting high-touch areas on board and in the terminal
  • Using electrostatic spraying, Ultraviolet C lighting wands and more advanced measures to clean aircraft cabins before boarding
  • Redesigning our mobile app to allow for touchless check-in and contactless payment, along with enhanced travel assistance features

Studies show COVID-19 exposure risk is minimal when air filtration systems and masks are in use, so you can rest assured that the steps we've taken to keep you safe truly make a difference.

4. Don't forget essential documents

We've made a list of travel requirements and restrictions for every destination that you can check twice, or as often as you need before your trip. Just visit united.com/travelrequirements to get the details on COVID-19 testing, health documents and other things you may need before you fly.

5. Wear your mask

You may not notice our smile behind our face covering, but you can be sure that we're appreciative of all our travelers who arrive to the airport with their mask on, and continue to wear it over their nose and mouth at all times in the airport and on board. Make sure you review our requirements for face coverings, including what an acceptable face covering looks like. Bonus points if your mask infuses some holiday cheer!

6. A better boarding process for your safety

If you haven't flown with us in a while, you might want to get familiar with our new boarding process. To make boarding even safer, we now have travelers board their aircraft from back to front. At the gate, just listen for your row number to be called – we'll ask a few rows at a time to board, starting with the last row of the plane. This helps everyone maintain a safe distance from each other during boarding without slowing things down. As you step onto the plane, flight attendants will hand each passenger a sanitizing towelette, which you can use to wipe down your seat to ensure it's extra clean.

7. Pack smart

Before packing your bags, check to see what exactly you can carry on and what you should plan to check. You can also copy your confirmation number into our Baggage Calculator tool to learn about the bag allowance included with your reservation, as well as the cost of checking any additional bags.

8. Check your flight status, important notices and weather

Check the United app regularly for the latest updates, weather conditions, flight status, gate and seat assignments. You can also visit our Important Notices page to find essential information and updates about travel waivers, international travel, TSA and security, airports and United Club locations.

9. Arrive early; avoid the stress

Airports can be busy, especially during the holidays. The TSA advises arriving at the airport two hours before your flight for domestic travel and three hours for international travel in anticipation of long security lines. This can help ease the stress when navigating busy check-in areas, security lines and crowded boarding gates.

10. Relax and enjoy your flight

Once you're on board, it's time to sit back and enjoy your flight. Our flight attendants will be happy to help you with anything else you need.

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