When it comes to planning a trip—whether it’s a weekend getaway to a neighboring town or a monthslong sabbatical overseas—there are generally two types of travelers: the ones that break out the multi-tab spreadsheets, highly detailed itineraries, and pages-long packing lists, and the ones who’d rather wing it. For those who fall into the latter category, last-minute plans are the name of the game, and this year’s Fourth of July trip is hardly an exception.
It may be getting down to the wire, but there are plenty of haute hotels with suites, cottages, and rooms still up for grabs. From a Four Seasons resort along the Mississippi River in the heart of St. Louis to a glamorous haven in the Florida Keys, these unique places to stay (with perfectly on-theme programming) are making a serious case for skipping this year’s backyard barbecue in lieu of a stylish escape.
Topping Rose House
The Hamptons have been New Yorkers’ refuge from the city’s unforgiving heat for ages—especially during summer holidays from Memorial Day until Labor Day. Though Montauk, Sag Harbor, and Bay Point all boast their fair share of chic lodgings, Topping Rose House in Bridgehampton is a uniquely special place. For starters, the guest rooms are housed in a 19th-century mansion that, courtesy of an expertly executed restoration and thoughtful design, combines traditional design and contemporary luxury. Secondly, the farm-to-table Jean-Georges resident restaurant that serves seasonal delicacies is reason enough to pay the historic spot a visit.
For the Fourth, Topping Rose House is throwing an Independence Day Veuve Clicquot soirée by the glimmering swimming pool where bubbles will most definitely be flowing.
Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis
Dinners by James Beard Award–winning chefs don’t typically come in barbecue form, but at the Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis’ Fourth of July celebration, Cinder House’s Gerard Craft is making an exception. In addition to the regular delectable menu, Craft will be whipping up elevated versions of typical Fourth of July fare, including a house-smoked brisket sandwich, aged cheddar mac and cheese, and watermelon salad. Come nightfall, the epic Sky Terrace offers prime views of the fireworks over the Mississippi River. The sparkling show in the sky may be the only competition for the iconic Gateway Arch.
The Tides Luxury Beach Residences
When Hurlbutt Designs and Maine-based designer Krista Stokes added the newly opened Tides Luxury Beach Residences to their portfolios, they promised interiors inspired by salty breezes, tall blades of beach grass, cloudless blue skies, and mesmerizing sunsets. Once the residences were unveiled in June of this year, it became clear that the design duo delivered. The three charming multi-bedroom beachfront cottages all boast the same luxe amenities as any renowned resort but in the comfort and privacy of guests’ own space. Plus, is there anything more festive than celebrating the Fourth of July on a private beach in New England?
Isla Bella Beach Resort
White sand looks even brighter against turquoise water, and the 24 oceanfront acres on Isla Bella are proof. Just two hours south of Miami, the Art Deco–inspired white stucco façade makes for a glamorous introduction to the resort that lies beneath a colorful canopy of native plants and cloudless skies. Though there’s plenty to do on any given day, the resort is going all out for the Fourth with live DJ sets, private excursions on Isla Bella’s bespoke tiki boat, and, of course, an elaborate fireworks display, which guests can enjoy from any of the five pools.
Few destinations offer an authentic Fourth of July celebration like the one in the nation’s capital at the century-old Hamilton Hotel. What this historic haunt in D.C. lacks in charm, it makes up for in soaring ceilings, sophisticated interiors, and proximity to the National Mall. Not to mention: The reimagined modern osteria, Via Sophia, boasts some of the most decadent Italian fare the city has to offer. Though classic menu items range from Neapolitan pizza (cooked to perfection in a wood-burning oven) to cavatelli pasta with pesto, zucchini, squash, and pecorino, the chef will be whipping up a few more traditional July Fourth–friendly dishes for the occasion. Hint: barbecue.
Because hardly any fireworks show can compete with the annual one on the National Mall, the hotel won’t be putting on its own display, but it’s certainly bringing the vibes with carefully curated picnic baskets packed with charcuterie classics and delectable wine options.
One of the longest-standing hotels in Downtown Los Angeles, Hotel Figueroa—perhaps most famous for its coffin-shaped pool—has been gearing up for an exciting Fourth of July for quite some time. In fact, its two new eateries, La Casita and Driftwood Pool & Sundeck, swung open their doors just in time for the festivities. The former, a two-story Spanish-style villa whose Mediterranean influence lends itself to nearly every detail of the charming spot, including the coastal-inspired menu of organic plates and sophisticated cocktails backed by an extensive agave program. The latter offers a more casual setting to improve your tan, enjoy a relaxed meal, or recharge. Both dining options will feature a DJ from noon until two in the morning on the Fourth of July.
The Amelia Hotel
Surrounded by English gardens, the Amelia Hotel, a restored 19th-century Queen Anne–style house in the Hudson Valley with eight quietly luxurious guest rooms, is reason enough to escape the city. Gear up for the celebrations ahead with a day of utter tranquility: sipping a piping hot coffee on the porch, flipping through the pages of a novel in the cozy library, or diving into the dark-bottomed pool. When the day is done, head into town, where the festivities kick off.
With four two-bedroom and four four-bedroom suites—as well as a design-forward lobby lounge, two dining concepts, and spa—Caldera House in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is the ultimate western retreat. Plus, each Commune Design–outfitted suite boasts a sizeable open-format kitchen (which the concierge team can fully pre-stock), a sprawling dining room, home theater, soaking tub, and patio with a fire pit.
For the holiday weekend, Caldera House will be lighting up not one but two night skies with fireworks set against the majestic backdrop of Grand Teton National Park. The pyrotechnics, which guests can enjoy from their suites or the infinity plunge pool, will be accompanied by live music, specialty cocktails, and an inspired menu of local ingredients.
El Encanto, A Belmond Hotel, Santa Barbara
If the U.S. had its own Riviera, it would be along the southern coast of California, where Belmond’s El Encanto is perched within the Santa Barbara hills in its own secluded sanctuary. With rooms, suites, and cottages, El Encanto’s light and airy interiors, which feature locally carved furnishings, masterfully echo the hotel’s surrounding tranquility. Book one of the bungalows with a private terrace to toast America with a themed cocktail while taking in the annual Santa Barbara fireworks show.
Dunton River Camp
Dunton River Camp, a former 19th-century Colorado cattle ranch situated on 500 acres of fields, meadows, and forests, is for those looking to try something a little different. Think nights in one of eight safari-style tents, each of which on its own 640-square-foot wooden platform that’s anchored to the bedrock beneath it. This spot may technically be a camp, but guests are hardly camping because the tents boast all of the luxe amenities they’d find in a hotel. For instance, each en-suite bathroom is complete with six-foot-deep soaking tubs, double vanities, and even towel warmers.
From June 30 to July 3, Dunton is debuting a special celebration dubbed Wine on the Fly, which combines unique wines and fly-fishing, an unexpected mix that somehow works in the ultra-scenic landscape. The weekend wraps up with a cookout featuring all the traditional Fourth of July fixings.
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