Seems all of Florida will be ablaze for the Fourth as Independence Day sparks celebrations from sea to shining sea. Don your red, white and blue and check out the patriotic festivities state-wide--from parades to pyrotechnics.
America’s Birthday Bash at Miami’s Bayfront Park is the largest of the south Florida holiday parties. Little ones will enjoy the free kids’ zone from 3 to 7pm. Delicious food and drink round out the celebration—topped off by magnificent fireworks over Biscayne Bay at 9pm. The lush 32-acre park features a sandy beach, a recently renovated amphitheater and sculptures by noted artist Isamu Noguchi, not to mention lush greenery and tropical rock gardens. Complete information is available at www.bayfrontparkmiami.com.
Just off the mainland, minutes from the city, Key Biscayne invites you to enjoy your Fourth of July weekend in the great outdoors. Here at the Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park
, you can enjoy biking and hiking, kayaking, fishing or just relaxing on the 1.2 mile beach. Check out the 1825 lighthouse, the oldest building still standing in Miami-Dade County. Pack a picnic and enjoy some quality time with the family. Get info at www.floridastateparks.org/capeflorida.
Of course nothing could be a more fitting celebration of America’s holiday than an evening with America’s Pastime—which the Florida Marlins provide as they take on the Philadelphia Phillies at Sun Life Stadium. The game gets underway at 6:10 pm. Sun Life Stadium, located between Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, has been home to the Miami Dolphins since 1987 and to the Marlins since 1992—and has hosted five Super Bowls, two World Series, four college football National Championships, and countless outdoor concerts. Get tickets and information at florida.marlins.mlb.com
If you’re in northern Florida, get up early for the Celebration 5K in Jacksonville. The race takes off from 1st Place Sports on Baymeadows Road at 7:30am. There’s also a one-mile Fun Run for kids at 8:30 am. Now in its 20th year, the Celebration event features ChampionChip timing, refreshments, awards and prize drawings. Register online at www.1stplacesports.com/cel.html.
Afterwards, head to Jacksonville’s popular Metro Diner, featured on the Food Network’s “Diners, Dives and Drive-Ins.” Now with two locations, the Metro Diner has been serving up breakfast and lunch for nearly 20 years—with unique offerings such as Breakfast Pie, Pound Cake French Toast, fried chicken and waffles and pecan-crusted fish sandwiches. Metro Diner is open from 7am till 2:30 pm; for locations and directions visit www.metrodiner.com.
Whether your idea of the perfect Fourth is a laid-back afternoon on the beach or a morning run in the Florida sun, make plans to party like a patriot. The Sunshine State has all the makings of a great Independence Day.