WASHINGTON – Statistics are great but they don’t always paint the whole picture. And for proof, look no further than WalletHub’s latest Best and Worst Cities list, which found that the nation’s capital is not the best place to celebrate Independence Day.
Instead, the personal finance site ranked D.C. the 18th best city, out of 100 U.S. cities, to enjoy the Fourth of July. Adding insult to injury, D.C. technically tied with Birmingham, Alabama.
The best city to celebrate the stars and strips, apparently, is Minneapolis, Minnesota. It’s sister city St. Paul ranked third. West Coast cities rounded out the top five including Seattle, Portland and San Francisco.
Kate Gibbs with Destination D.C. – the official visitors bureau here – couldn’t disagree more with WalletHub’s analysis.
“We know that we are a spectacular place for the Fourth of July,” says Gibbs.
D.C. is a tourist destination year-round but even more so when the holiday that celebrates the nation’s birth falls on a weekend, Gibbs says. And hotels are set to be busy next weekend.
“There’s no question, to be in Washington, D.C., on the Fourth of July is a bucket list experience for many Americans,” she says. “We’re really hoping people will come for a three-day weekend.”
D.C. scored high for the number of holiday activities offered and the overall popularity of the city’s celebrations. But it scored less well when it came to the price of hotels, the availability of accommodations and food services.
But Gibbs counters that all of the capital’s main holiday attractions are free: the parade along Constitution Avenue, the Folklife Festival, the fireworks display and both the dress rehearsal and concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol.
And there’s plenty more to do. For longtime residents, newcomers or to help schedule events for visiting family and friends, Gibbs suggests checking out Destination D.C.’s full event listing for even more ideas to add some patriotic sparkle to the upcoming holiday weekend.