Last Second 4th of July Getaways

Trying to avoid the same old fireworks shows? These spots are perfect for changing up your annual celebration.

Steel kettle drummers
The St. John Festival runs for an entire month, but the best partying takes place on July 4, with a parade and fireworks.St. John Festival

With July 4 right around the corner, chances are you already made your plans for watching (or escaping) a local fireworks extravaganza. Maybe you're heading to an outdoor concert and BBQ, watching a neighbor entertain everyone with a loud, colorful show of his own, or booking a room at a nearby resort to avoid that neighbor. Perhaps you're taking the boat to watch the festivities from your favorite offshore spot. If your bases are covered, enjoy the show.

But with the holiday falling on a Thursday this year, there’s still a great opportunity to turn this 4th of July into a special trip. Here are some quick ideas for a last second getaway that will deliver fireworks and so much more.

The 65th St. John Festival

St. John Festival kicked off on June 1 with Festival Pan-O-Rama 2019 and has been going ever since. But it's not too late to head down to the U.S. Virgin Islands for the biggest nights of the festival and carnival season. Emancipation Day celebrations take place on July 3, and the festival wraps up on July 4 with a parade and fireworks show in Carnival Village.

Rooms are still available at local hotels like the Westin St. John Resort Villas and Hotel Cruz Bay, among others, but options are limited.

Baha Mar's Privilege 4th of July BBQ

Remember Nelly? The rapper behind some of the biggest hits of the 00s will be performing those songs and more for a 4th of July BBQ at Baha Mar in Nassau. The event is being hosted at the resort's adults-only Privilege Pool, where "the party never stops." At $250 a ticket, it's a pricy affair, too, but between the food and fireworks the experience will be worth it, especially if you bookend your trip with a round at the Royal Blue golf course and a visit to the marine life at The Sanctuary.

Red, White and Bahamas

If adults-only doesn't cut it for your family plans, Atlantis Paradise Island is always a quick and simple destination. This year's Red, White and Bahamas event is perfect for the whole family, beginning at 6 pm at the Royal Deck and concluding with a fireworks show, all before 10:30 pm, so the kids can head off to bed and the parent that draws the long straw can hit the casino.

In addition to fireworks, guests can enjoy a carnival with games and food, arts and crafts and a special Junkanoo celebration. There’s also a food eating contest, but that is not recommended for anyone who plans on eating dinner at Carmine’s before Red, White and Bahamas begins.

Westin Grand Cayman July 4 Beach BBQ and Bonfire

The recently renovated Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort & Spa is hosting the BBQ and Bonfire as a way to combine classic 4th of July food and fireworks with the island's signature flair. Sticklers for sticky fingers will enjoy BBQ ribs and other holiday favorites, while the resort will also be dishing out fish tacos on top of a full clambake. Running from 6-9 pm, the event will culminate in a fireworks show followed by S'mores on the beach.

Grand Cayman is an advantageous destination for last second travelers, with direct flights from major cities like Miami, Dallas, New York and more.

Hilton Head HarbourFest

Leave the passport in the safe and stick to a U.S. island by heading to South Carolina for HarbourFest on Hilton Head. Sure, there are fireworks shows on Hilton Head Island all the time, but this is the mother of all occasions and it’s especially perfect for families with young children. In addition to fireworks, the Shannon Tanner’s family will perform a special patriotic edition of their local show, and Cappy the Clown headlines an evening of train rides and bounce houses that kids are sure to enjoy.

Rooms are already scarce for July 4, but Beach House Hilton Head not only still has openings, but there's also an all-day party at the resort featuring four bands.