Grateful Dead concert puts Chicago at the top of July 4th Destination List

CHICAGO, IL - Fourth of July week will be twice as busy for travel compared to any other week in the summer.

Grateful Dead concert puts Chicago at the top of July 4th Destination List

CHICAGO, IL – Fourth of July week will be twice as busy for travel compared to any other week in the summer. According to the Orbitz Insider Index, Chicago is the unlikely number one destination for this year’s holiday – spurred by the Grateful Dead reunion show with cult-favorite band Phish. Additionally, airfare costs across the board are down by 4 percent, offering great savings for travelers regardless of their holiday plans. The latest Index also indicates Thursday, July 2, as the busiest travel day and Sunday, July 5, as the most expensive.

“For patriotic travelers looking to skip long lines and save on airfare, avoiding travel on July 2 and July 5 offers the best bets,” said Jeanenne Tornatore, senior editor of “Considering alternative locales to the most popular destinations can also provide the same splash of American culture or the beach retreat that many travelers envision, with less cost and hassle.”

Chicago seems to be this year’s savings exception: with the concert commemorating the 20-year anniversary of the Dead’s final shows in the Windy City, the city is seeing a 122 percent year-over-year increase in hotel bookings and 77 percent year-over-year increase in hotel prices for July 3, 4 and 5.

Highlights from the Fourth of July Insider Index

• Airfare is down (-4 percent) on average year-over-year with the biggest decreases noted for Las Vegas (-14 percent) and Los Angeles (-19 percent).

• Rising from number five in 2014 to become the top travel destination in 2015, consumer demand for travel to Chicago is stronger than ever. Hotel prices are up 77 percent for the holiday weekend.

• For travelers on a budget, Orlando continues to be the best deal for families with affordable hotel rates at $129 per night and airfare at $330 on average, the least expensive of the entire top 10 list.

• New York (-10 percent), Las Vegas (-8 percent), and San Francisco (-8 percent) hotels are experiencing a drop in year-over-year- hotel rates, pointing to great Fourth of July deals.

Top 10 Fourth of July U.S. Destinations

Rank Destination Avg.
2015 YOY
Change Hotel Avg.
Daily Rate
2015 YOY

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1 Chicago, Ill. $ 396 -3 % $ 340 +77 %
2 Los Angeles, Calif. $ 428 -9 % $ 193 +6 %
3 New York, N.Y. $ 460 -1 % $ 242 -10 %
4 Las Vegas, Nev. $ 350 -14 % $ 114 -8 %
5 Seattle, Wash. $ 429 -8 % $ 229 +5 %
6 Orlando, Fla. $ 330 -8 % $ 129 +5 %
7 San Francisco, Calif. $ 492 -2 % $ 260 -8 %
8 Denver, Colo. $ 342 +3 % $ 158 -6 %
9 Washington, DC $ 392 -4 % $ 204 +13 %
10 Boston, Mass. $ 431 +3 % $ 299 +14 %

Top Five Great American Getaways

For Americans looking for fireworks, holiday festivities and more without the crowds, Tornatore suggests the following destinations to experience this year, each offering an authentic and unique great American getaway with historical value and patriotic appeal:

Mackinac Island, Mich. provides a beautiful escape back to a simpler time where horse-drawn carriages and bicycles are the only way to traverse the island. Enjoy Mackinac Island’s Star Spangled Fourth to see solider demonstrations, canon firing and more from one of only two remaining all-original Revolutionary War Forts in America.

Charlottesville, VA. is home to Thomas Jefferson’s legacy, nestled along the foothills of the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains. Toast to Independence Day at a celebration and naturalization ceremony at Jefferson’s summer home, Monticello, or at one of more than 30 local orchards and vineyards.

St. Augustine, Fla. finds visitors exploring classic hotels and intimate restaurants in a luxurious romantic setting, as the oldest European settlement in the U.S. Taste the waters of the Fountain of Youth Archeological Park where Ponce De Leon may have landed to turn back the clock or enjoy beautiful vantage points of Matanzas Bay.

Cooperstown, N.Y. is the perfect place to celebrate America’s favorite pastime and the nation’s independence as the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. There’s no time like summertime in Cooperstown with concerts and festival events for everyone.

Cody, Wyo. beckons visitors to roll up their sleeves, dive in to western adventure and explore Buffalo Bill’s town in Yellowstone country. Experience the Cody Stampede which features music, parades, street fairs, fireworks, and rodeos during the first week of July, or go wildlife watching to sight majestic mountain creatures.

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