The 4th of July is a great time to take a trip. The weather is warm, the kids are out of school for the summer, many of us have a day or two off work and everyone is in a festive mood. If you’re interested in taking in the sights and sounds of new place for the holiday, here are some of our favorite cities for a getaway:

  1. Philadelphia, PA: It’s fitting that the city famous for hosting the signing of the Declaration of Independence is one of the best 4th of July destinations in the nation. With several free concerts, parades, fireworks shows and a big patriotic block party, Philly really knows how to celebrate Independence Day.
  2. San Antonio, TX: San Antonio celebrates July 4th with a free all-day festival at Woodlawn Lake Park complete with games, food, and musical entertainment.
  3. Charleston, SC: Enjoy Charleston’s best food, drinks and music at any of their many outdoor events over the holiday. You can watch fireworks on the U.S.S. Yorktown, catch a country music concert at Boone Hall Plantation and even enjoy a patriotic soiree at the South Carolina Aquarium’s Sea Stars and Stripes party.
  4. Williamsburg, VA: Travel back in time when you visit Colonial Williamsburg, where you’ll witness a reading of the Declaration of Independence by the Founding Fathers, live music with a fife and drum corps, colonial games and even musket and cannon firings.
  5. Gatlinburg, TN: Gatlinburg hosts a midnight 4th of July parade, starting at 12:01 a.m. on the dot. The festivities continue with a River Raft Regatta that awards prizes for the most creative boats and a free concert from the Army band.
  6. Jackson Hole, WY: Whether it’s a rodeo or a downtown parade, this idyllic mountain town is a great place to celebrate Independence Day weekend.
  7. San Diego, CA: The military presence is strong in San Diego, making the city’s 4th of July events particularly patriotic. Take in fireworks displays from the best seat in the house — on the water. Many boats in town offer dinner cruises for those who want to enjoy the perfect weather while watching the night’s sky light up all around them.

Each of these celebrations, while completely unique, shares the need for materials and products produced with the help of natural gas and oil to keep their events running smoothly. For starters, travel to all of these locales requires the assistance of natural gas and oil. Car tires, airplane seats, paved roads, safety equipment and seat belts are all made of materials created from natural gas and oil production processes, not to mention the fact that fuel derived from natural gas and oil power most modes of travel.

Food vendors are an important part of any big event, and they use natural gas and oil to cook and serve their dishes. And if you plan on enjoying fireworks or any other water activities out on a boat over the 4th, know that many modern boats are made of light composites such as fiberglass. Natural gas and oil also help make safety equipment on boats, like life jackets, personal floatation devices and flares.