Illinois, an up-and-coming tourist destination, is the perfect place to spend the 4th of July with your family. Choose from exciting cities like Chicago, quaint small towns, and peaceful, nature-filled escapes along Lake Michigan. Let the flexibility and convenience of a vacation rental help you maximize the fun on your family vacation.

1. Chicago

fireworks above the sea
Source: Flickr / joevain

Enjoy a wide variety of festivals and activities throughout the city in the days approaching 4th of July. Whatever your interests are, you are sure to find an event that matches your family’s interests– everything from the Windy City RibFest to Chicago SummerDance takes place around the first week of July. In Millennium Park, the annual Grant Park Music Festival takes place for visitors of all ages. Once the sun goes down, make your way to the Navy Pier for a spectacular fireworks show. Let a vacation rental on Tripping.com get you close to the action with a downtown condo or provide you a quiet reprieve from all the celebrations.

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2. Ottawa

vintage vending machine
Source: Flickr / Joy Castello

Ottawa, a charming small town bisected by the Illinois River and the Fox River, promises fun and exciting 4th of July celebrations for visitors of all ages. Visitors gather on the Ottawa High School bleachers to watch precision skydivers leap from planes overhead and stay for a fireworks show with a view of the rivers. Additionally, guests can view the fireworks show from a boat! Search for a vacation rental with a garage to store your kayaks or boats when you’re busy exploring the charming shops and historical sites of Ottawa.

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3. Aurora

sunrise over the town
Source: Flickr / ap0013

River Edge Park, in the city of Aurora, offers a wide variety of patriotic events that the whole family is sure to enjoy. Start by listening to the local American Legion Band, which plays American favorites, as well as the Fox Valley Orchestra. Explore the culinary scene by checking out local food vendors, and visitors are free to bring their own coolers to the park (though no alcohol is allowed). The park provides inflatables for the kids and fireworks show once the sun goes down. Choose the perfect vacation rental on Tripping.com, whether that’s a multiple bedroom town house or a single room near the river, to maximize the fun and convenience of your Aurora vacation.

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4. Peoria

colorful fireworks
Source: Flickr / Kevin Palmer

Each year, Peoria hosts the Red White & Boom event, advertised as the largest fireworks celebration in Illinois. It starts with live music from the well-known Eagles tribute band Heartache Tonight, which plays America’s best rock hits from four decades of music. Jammsammich, another local band, will be playing what they call “party music.” The big attraction is, of course, fireworks shown with music on 93.3 FM. This celebration is 30 years in the making and a true Peoria legacy!

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5. Rockford

people watching at the park
Source: Flickr / Tom Clabough

On the northern border of Illinois, Rockford hosts a yearly celebration that spans several days. Visitors can expect outdoor patriotic concerts, art exhibitions, local vendors, and more. Additionally, the Annual Rockford 4th of July Parade takes place in the evening– a tradition that spans over 50 years! The highlight of the festival is a fireworks show with thousands of shells bursting over the downtown area, which visitors can view from Davis Park, on the bank of the Rock River. Many vacation rentals are available on near I-90, giving visitors easy access to the many events throughout Rockford on the 4th of July.

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6. Goreville

firework show at night
Source: thesouthern.com

This small town in southern Illinois features a wide enough variety of events to satisfy all types of visitors. Freedom Fest, which attracts over 3,000 visitors every year, kicks off with a 5k run and fun run for kids as well as a bike race which loans bikes to those who need one. A parade marches down Broadway, and local musicians play free live music. Look for the Kids Fun Zone, a Cornhole tournament, local food vendors, and more. Fireworks cap off the evening, signifying the end of a tradition that has spanned over 30 years. Charming waterfront vacation rentals create the perfect environment for your family to relax, swim, and explore during your Goreville vacation!

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7. Kewanee

house made of bricks
Source: Flickr / Curt J

The Francis Park 4th of July Celebration, in Kewanee, Illinois, is all about celebrating culture. Food vendors from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds gather to create a melting pot of cultures and cuisines. Start your day at the annual pancake breakfast, and stay to enjoy the vintage tractor show, kid’s tractor pull, and arts and crafts. Tours of Woodland Palace are sure to entertain visitors of all ages as well. At sundown, Northeast Park launches a fireworks show.

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8. Rock Island

city lights
Source: Flickr / Kevin Casey Fleming

Rock Island, a small community on the Mississippi River, celebrates America’s birthday with an annual party. Restaurants and pubs are a short walk away from Schwiebert Riverfront Park, where live music plays throughout the day and live food vendors sell street cuisine. At dusk, exciting fireworks show bursts over the magnificent Mississippi River. Complete your Americana vacation by renting a charming waterfront home from Tripping.com.

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Want to explore Illinois a little further? Check out other places you can stay.