Layover in US coinciding with Fourth of July?
January 23, 2019 3:48 AM   Subscribe

A friend and I will have an opportunity for a 1-2 day layover in the US on the way to Central America - Dallas (we’ve never been) or LA. Should we time our flights to be in town on the Fourth of July?

Depending on the flights we choose, our layover day could be Independence Day. Do you know if either of these cities would be worth visiting on a public holiday or do the touristy things (museums, parks, shops, public transport) shut down significantly?
posted by Naanwhal to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total)
 
I don't know much about what will be open on that day in those cities, but what I can speak to is that flying at night on the 4th of July in the US is one of the most beautiful things I've ever experienced. I flew from Minneapolis/St Paul to Boston one July 4th and there were fireworks all the way. I highly, highly recommend it.
posted by wellred at 5:32 AM on January 23 [4 favorites]


I would look up both of those city's 4th of July events. Museums will likely be closed (but I'm not sure, America is weird and lots of stuff stays open on holidays). Public transport will be open but most likely operating on a Sunday/holiday schedule. you'll likely have more luck with Uber anyway. Your best bet is to pick the city that has the coolest "event" stuff to do that matches up with the time you'll be there. Make sure you check the fireworks schedule if you can stay overnight. Some places do fireworks on the 4th, other places do them the day before or on the closest weekend. I think you'll be in good shape with a big city though. If you can check out a parade, they're pretty fun. An hour of fire trucks going by. For a non-American who's not used to it, you'll probably find it hilarious!
Without looking up anything, I am assuming Dallas would be better than LA, just because LA is HUGE and hard to get around. Dallas has the whole ''Murrica Texas thing going on, so it's probably a neat place to celebrate the 4th.
posted by katypickle at 5:46 AM on January 23


I can’t speak to the situation on the ground in Dallas or LA. But flying just after sunset on the Fourth of July you will see lots of fireworks from the air. (At least if your flight is over fairly populated US territory - the one time I did this was Philadelphia to Atlanta. Your mileage may vary.)
posted by madcaptenor at 6:14 AM on January 23 [1 favorite]


You could pick a high-rise hotel in either city on the Fourth (bonus: see if they have a roof/penthouse bar, you'll probably need reservations or to buy a ticket) and see a hell of a show. The nice thing about fireworks is you don't really have to go TO them, just have some clear line of sight to the sky.

I've lived both places, I don't think either one has any specific event-thing that is better than the other. My sentimental favorite place is Sundance Square in Fort Worth, and you could either hang out there or go to the Stockyards and eat barbecue and undoubtedly see fireworks somewhere in the nearby sky, without dealing with the much larger traffic snarl of Dallas. The Gaylord Texan Resort probably will also have some kind of massive party. But there are similar places in LA.
posted by Lyn Never at 6:35 AM on January 23 [2 favorites]


Unless you are coming from a real honest-to-God tropical area or just really like sweating, you will very probably find Dallas on 4 July to be too hot to do much of anything outdoors. Average highs for that date are 35C, lows only 25C, and there's a very strong possibility of seeing 40C or higher. And while it's not actively humid like, say, Houston is, it is very much not the "dry heat" you'd find in the desert southwest.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 6:55 AM on January 23


Unless you are coming from a real honest-to-God tropical area or just really like sweating, you will very probably find Dallas on 4 July to be too hot to do much of anything outdoors.

I'm not sure LA will be any better in this regard, though.
posted by tobascodagama at 7:44 AM on January 23


I am a NYer who was in LA for the 4th last year. Weather is fine. Watched fireworks at the Santa Monica pier. had a great time. Went to dinner afterwards. Walked along the beach during the day. I would do LA if I were you.
posted by AugustWest at 7:53 AM on January 23


Unless you are coming from a real honest-to-God tropical area or just really like sweating, you will very probably find Dallas on 4 July to be too hot to do much of anything outdoors.

I'm not sure LA will be any better in this regard, though.


LA and Dallas don't really have the same climate. LA is way less humid in July, has less precipitation (July average of 1 mm rain vs. 55 mm in Dallas), and is noticeably cooler -- average highs/lows in downtown LA are 28/18 C, vs. 36/25 C in Dallas. If you are closer to the ocean, like at Santa Monica, it's even cooler; average July temps there are 20/17 C.

Of course you could always get unlucky and encounter a summer heat wave. But even then, it will likely still be dry, if very hot, and those heat waves (for now) are the exception, not the rule.
posted by andrewesque at 8:49 AM on January 23


July 4th in Los Angeles is statistically likely to be perfect BBQ weather during the day - between 80 and 90, less than 20% humidity, light breeze - and either it will only cool at night into the upper 70s if the weather's being weird or it could be 65. It does usually snap hot one week between July 1 and August 15, but our real heat doesn't come until September. It's always at least 10 degrees cooler at the ocean, so worst case scenario you could go to Santa Monica or Malibu, I'm sure someone will set off a visible firework or two.

DFW will be a goddamn armpit, pack shorts. It makes cold beer taste real good though. There is something to be said for a hot night sitting on a blanket in a park, just grateful the sun has set.
posted by Lyn Never at 6:42 PM on January 23


The best thing about DFW on the 4th of July is the fireworks show at Reunion Tower. You could do an overnight layover at a hotel overlooking it (but you'd need to book like now!) or if you time it right, you could fly out during it, which would be amazing. Really, flying at night anytime on New Years or 4th of July would be great just because of all the fireworks from the air.
posted by BlueBear at 9:31 AM on January 24


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