Celebrate July 4th Blue Ridge style with history, high adventures on the water or in the trees, special events and, of course, fireworks!
July 4th Blue Ridge Heritage
Monticello Independence Day Celebration & Naturalization Ceremony: What better way to start the 4th of July than a trip to the home of Thomas Jefferson. Just outside of Charlottesville, Monticello serves as backdrop to 75 new American citizens. There are also tours of the first floor of Monticello, patriotic music, and old fashioned root beer floats. After Monticello, drive over to Carter Mountain Orchard. Enjoy family-friendly games, hayrides, and live music. Stick around after dark and view area fireworks from the mountaintop.
Frontier Culture Museum: Just over Afton Mountain is Staunton, home to the Frontier Culture Museum. Living history interpreters show how a diverse group of people and cultures formed an American way of life. Bring a picnic lunch or enjoy something from local food vendors, including delicious Smiley’s Ice Cream. When you’re done, head to Gypsy Hill Park for the 50th annual Happy Birthday America. The afternoon and evening feature a “duck derby” for charity, live entertainment, and fireworks.
July 4th Blue Ridge Adventure
Harpers Ferry Adventure Center: Stay cool on the water this July 4th with white watering rafting, tubing and kayaking. Or fly through the trees on zip lines. Once you’ve had your fun in the sun, take a short trip to small town/big charm Purcellville for dinner at Magnolia’s at the Mill and then fireworks at Franklin Park.
Bears Den: Feel like taking a hike? Then meander along the three trails at Bears Den Center on the Appalachian Trail in Bluemont. Rather take two wheels? You’ll find nearby bike trails and remote country roads. At the end of the day, make your way to Bluemont Vineyard for a mountaintop view of fireworks across the Loudoun Valley.
Skyline Laser Tag: Looking for something different? Just put together a group for a round of laser tag and step into the arena! Or try the walk-on rate of $5 for 15 minutes. Keep the fun going with the July 4th celebration at Sherando Park in nearby Stephens City. The pool’s open ’til 8 so bring your float. Fireworks are set for dusk.
July 4th Blue Ridge Resort Activities
With so much to see and do, consider extending your holiday. Located on Route 522 just north of I-66, Holiday Inn Blue Ridge Shadows in Front Royal provides a centrally located “home base.” And if you love golf, stick around for the Red, White & Blue outing on July 6th at the course next door to the hotel. Or consider staying at one of these beautiful mountain resorts.
Wintergreen Resort: This four-season resort on the eastern slopes of the Blue Ridge south of Charlottesville is hosting a July 4th Jubilee, Thursday – Sunday. Each day is filled with special events and activities. Catch the breeze and enjoy the view via the chair lift. Then watch the sky light up over the mountain Independence Day.
Massanutten Resort: Come out to this Harrisonburg resort a day early and take part in Summer Jam on July 3rd. Held at the base of Massanutten Mountain, the festival offers live music, local food trucks and kids activities, along with one of the best fireworks displays in the Shenandoah Valley. All proceeds benefit the Rockingham/Harrisonburg SPCA.
Bryce Resort: What’s summer in the Blue Ridge without BryceFest? Wrapping up the long July 4th weekend, Bryce will play host to musicians, magicians, food and fireworks on Saturday, July 6th. The event is free and open to the public. And you might want to try out the resort’s first class mountain biking trails.
July 4th Backyard Style
Sometimes the best holiday memories are the ones made at home. Nothing says 4th of July like a backyard bar-b-que. Make it a memorable one with nutritious beef from Audley Farm and delicious pork from Spring House Farm. Round out your meal with fresh produce from West Oaks Farm Market and make a tasty dessert with goodness from Mackintosh Fruit Farm. Then find a nearby fireworks celebration.
These are just a few of the experiences you’ll find in the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah Valley. For more fun ideas and family adventures, check out the newly expanded Virginia Kids Trail.