Best Local: Fourth Of July 2012

God Bless America… And Fireworks And Live Music And Boat Cruises

Courtesy of Chicago Now

Independence Day is the time to indulge in all the America pride you can handle. And by pride, of course we mean patriotism. …But we’re also talking hot dogs. And parades. And fireworks. And boat rides. And small puppies in little flag bandannas. The Fourth of July is always a summer highlight, so go ahead and go big. Do it for America.


If You’re Staying At Columbus Plaza:

Sometimes you want to celebrate in style. And there’s nothing wrong with that. The way to do that downtown is the Mystic Blue Independence Day Fireworks Dinner Cruise. You’ll get a front-seat view of the fireworks show from the water, plus tasty grub and a DJ. (The cruise kicks off  from Navy Pier, but you won’t have to stick around that touristy peninsula too long, we promise.)

Courtesy of Mystic Blue

Get There: Hop on the 12 Bus toward Navy Pier at Columbus (Mid) & E. Wacker. Get off at Navy Pier Terminal. Commute Time: 12 minutes


If You’re Staying At City View At The Highlands in Lombard:

Play it a little more low-key and really blend in with the locals at the Lombard Jaycee’s Taste of Lombard. Carnival staples, fireworks, live music, food and, of course, your Lombard neighbors. The fireworks show syncs up with music from a local station for the ultimate America experience.

Get There: Head north on S. Highland Ave. and turn left onto E. Roosevelt Rd. Turn right down S. Main St. and another right onto E. Madison St. Commute Time: 10 minutes


If You’re Staying At 400 N. LaSalle:

Like the idea of watching fireworks from the water, but aren’t crazy about the swank factor of a dinner cruise? Try out the Shoreline Sightseeing Independence Day Lake Fireworks Cruise. See the Museum Campus, the John Hancock and more—ahem, the fireworks—from the Chicago River. Plus, these start at less than $50 a pop.

Courtesy of Shoreline Sightseeing

Get There: Get on the 29 Bus headed toward Navy Pier at State & Madison. Hop off at Navy Pier Terminal. Commute Time: 20 minutes


If You’re Staying At The Iroquois Club in Naperville:

Consider this the Fourth of July pregame. Naperville’s renowned Ribfest starts Friday, June 29, and last through Tuesday, July 3 in Naperville’s Knoch Park. This isn’t your everyday suburban block party. They’ve got ZZ Top, Joe Walsh, Steve Miller Band and more for the tunes plus everything else a street fest could ask for (including 16 rib vendors). The feel-good factor: All proceeds go toward to elimination of child abuse and domestic violence.

Courtesy of Triblocal

Get There: Turn right down E. Ogden Ave. and take a left down N. Washington St. Turn right onto Aurora Ave. and left onto S. West At. Commute Time: 10 minutes


Three cheers for the red, white and blue! And all else that makes Fourth of July the U.S.A. bash of the year. Are you proud to be an American yet? If you’re still unsure, hop on a fireworks boat cruise and get back to us.