When you think of Independence Day in Orange County, you tend envision Huntington Beach, which hosts the largest July 4 holiday parade west of the Mississippi, or Anaheim, where the Big A and Disneyland present impressive fireworks spectaculars, or Santa Ana, where you must wear a hardhat to avoid the stray bullets dropping out of the sky. However, none of those cities make the top 10 of a recent survey of "2015's Best Cities for Fourth of July Celebrations."
Yet there is an OC city at No. 6 …
Yes, the uber planned community of cities with planned communities somehow finished ahead of No. 7 San Diego, which has a massive show complete with military ships and daredevils in its bay, in the survey by personal financial website WalletHub.
WalletHubbers say they compared the 100 largest U.S. cities based on how well they balance holiday cost and fun, utilizing 14 key metrics such as the duration of fireworks shows, the average price of three-star hotel, fireworks laws, weather and more. Irvine averaged out so high in the rankings by finishing 82nd in "Entertainment N Food," 13th in "Attractions N Activities" and 7th in "Fourth of July Weather."
Minneapolis is ranked No. 1 in the land. The only other California city in the top 10 is San Francisco, which is just ahead of Irvine at No. 5. Long Beach is No. 30, Santa Ana is 50th (but 8th in weather) and Anaheim is 60th.
WalletHub says the top five most popular Fourth of July destinations are Las Vegas, San Diego, New Orleans, Los Angeles and Chicago.
Two Nevada cities are the worst of the worst: No. 99 Henderson and No. 100 North Las Vegas. They were obviously dragged down by that summer weather that is only slightly cooler than the surface of the sun.