July is a busy and exciting time in the United States. Many children are off from school for their summer vacation, and it gets hot in July, so it is a popular time for families to travel to beach vacations along the coasts or lakes. Those who are not fans of hot temperatures head for the northern parts of the country where there are slightly cooler temperatures.
No matter where you choose to visit in July, you're bound to experience an exciting festival, local events, or some delicious summer foods. Be sure to get a few scoops of ice cream from a local shop. The United States does ice cream perfectly and there's no better time for a cone than in the middle of the summer.
The biggest July celebration is the Fourth of July, which celebrates the country's independence from the British in 1776 with fireworks and festivals. Check out which are the largest Fourth of July festivities, some of the major highlights events from big U.S. cities, and the top food-related events in July.
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This is one of the biggest holidays in the U.S. All government offices, banks, and many stores will be closed on this day. Every town in the country will hold some sort of fair, festival, or parade. Many neighborhoods host barbecues and set off fireworks. No matter where you are in the country, it will be festive.
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New York may be known for pizza and bagels, but a good reason many tourists flock to New York year-round is for the world-class dining which features eateries serving dishes from all types of cuisines.
Twice a year, once in the winter and for two weeks from June to July, food lovers have the chance to dine at some of the best restaurants in the city for a bargain prix fixe price. This week is meant to encourage New Yorkers to eat out and enjoy fine dining and it's perfect for anyone visiting the city. If you're a foodie, planning your New York City trip around New York Restaurant Week is a no-brainer.
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Chicago's biggest event is the Taste of Chicago in mid-July. It is a festival featuring food from dozens of the city's restaurants. The festivities take place in Grant Park and include music and other entertainment. Entry is free but the food and drinks are not. Chicago is famous for deep-dish pizza, the traditional Chicago-style hot dog, and Italian beef. This festival allows visitors to explore and taste all of Chicago's favorite foods in one place. If you're still in town in late July, you can check out the rootsy Pitchfork Music Festival.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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The Frontier Days festival in Cheyenne, Wyoming, bills itself as the largest outdoor rodeo and western celebration. Events include the grand parade, rodeos, concerts, professional bull riders, U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, a street fair with crafts and barbecue, a western art show, carnival rides, an Old West Museum, and an Indian village.
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Perhaps nothing is more American than the country's favorite pastime, baseball. In July, the teams take a mid-season break for a week for the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. A different major city hosts the "Midsummer Classic" each year.
The Major League Baseball All-Star Game is a competition between the best players. American League stars square off against the National League's best in an annual rivalry.
The competition includes the Home Run Derby, the All-Star Futures Game starring young players from all over the world, and the All-Star Legends and Celebrity Softball Game featuring a mix of former athletes, musicians, and actors.
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The premier food festival in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S., the Bite of Seattle is like a one-stop party with foods from dozens of local purveyors, beer and wine gardens, and musical entertainment. Seattle specializes in fresh salmon and coffee, and there are many more delicious options from all of Seattle's local vendors.
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Hemingway's Birthday Bash in Key West
Ernest "Papa" Hemingway, the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and adopted poster boy for Key West, Florida, where he resided, is lauded annually around his birthday—July 21. There's a big party at his old haunt the Sloppy Joes bar, a fishing competition, paddleboard races, a 5K run, and the ever-popular lookalike contest. This tropical destination at the southernmost tip of the U.S. comes alive to honor Hemingway.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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Experience 10 days of classical and jazz music, food, wine, and art exhibits held in California's Napa Valley. More than 70 local wineries ranging in size, specialty, and notoriety are represented at Festival Napa Valley—and this event can be celebrated on any budget. Some restaurants feature celebrity chefs preparing exquisite meals while others will offer gourmet take-out options.
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Lebowski Fest in Louisville
Louisville, Kentucky first launched Lebowski Fest in 2002—a bowling-centric celebration of the Coen Brothers’ cult film "The Big Lebowski." This madly successful festival has since popped up at cities all over the country. Typically held over two nights in July, Lebowski Fest features a screening of the film, live music, and a bowling party attended by fans of the movie, many dressed as characters from the film.