Cue the fireworks. This little North Carolina town with a big heart is the best spot in the USA to celebrate Independence Day. 

By Lauren Phillips
June 30, 2017
Photo: Christopher Shane

Every week from Memorial Day through Labor Day, our readers are voting for the best spots of the summer—and this week’s winner for the Best Seaside Town for Celebrating July Fourth is Southport, North Carolina!

Talk about small but mighty—this harbor town has a little more than 3,000 residents, but its gorgeous Cape Fear River views and proximity to the Atlantic make it a prime coastal destination (plus, it was a 2015 Happiest Seaside Town!). Southport boasts a particularly lively Fourth of July celebration: It plays host to North Carolina’s official celebration with more than a week of festivities, including an art show, a horseshoe tournament, and a naturalization ceremony in addition to the classic parade and fireworks.

Though Bristol, Rhode Island, (home of the nation’s oldest Fourth of July celebration) put up a spirited challenge in this reader poll, Southport’s Southern charm won out in the end. And while this town’s Independence Day bash is a truly unique experience, Southport is also an excellent destination year-round, with easy access to some of North Carolina’s best beaches (Bald Head Island, anyone?) and sweet inns visitors will love.

Congratulations to last week’s winner for Best Shelling Beaches, Sanibel Island, Florida! Click here to see all the winners so far, and don’t forget to vote in this week’s competition: What Is the Best Tiki Bar in America? Keep an eye on our Best of Summer 2017 voting schedule to make sure you don’t miss a single competition!

Congratulations, Southport!

Photo: Christopher Shane