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Last Minute July 4th Adventures that Won't Break the Bank

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About 43 million Americans will travel for the Fourth of July holiday. This is a new record, according to AAA's annual July 4th annual holiday survey, and an increase of 1.3 percent over last year.

Most people, approximately 84 percent or 36 million, will be taking a road trip, a true American pastime for the most patriotic holiday of the year. The lowest gas prices since 2005 have a lot to do with their choice.

Lake Powell, Utah
Lake Powell is a great location for a relaxed and lighthearted vacation year-round. Locals and tourists go there for the many boating, tubing and wake-boarding opportunities. The reservoir is not far from Las Vegas and Phoenix. You can enjoy two inexpensive expeditions during one holiday trip. Some houseboating specials for two include staying at Lake Powell Resort for $299 for two nights, including breakfast and lunch. You can also go fishing, hiking, golfing, jet skiing, and camping. Photo Credit: ShutterstockClick Here to See July 4th Adventures that Won’t Break the Bank
Monument Valley, Arizona-Utah border
The spectacular scenery of Monument Valley, at 5,200 feet in elevation, is fascinating every day because of the sandstone formations which have imaginary names like Mittens, Elephant Butte, Totem Pole, and North Window. Many facilities offer campgrounds so you can be close to some of the most iconic impressive 400- to 1,000-foot towers of the southwest. Trails outside of the Tribal Park are unmarked and considered backcountry, requiring a $5 day-use permit from the visitor center. Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Black Hills, South Dakota
Being at Mount Rushmore for Independence Day is one of the best places to celebrate America’s birthday. Spending the weekend in Black Hills, a family-friendly, small mountain range, where you can enjoy Badlands National Park, will also save you money. If you love backcountry camping and hiking, Badlands National Park is the perfect park for you. Go camping and drive the Badlands Highway 240 Loop Road for the ultimate experience. Also, go bird watching, hiking and auto touring. There are still lodgings available for around $90 per night. Photo Credit: ShutterstockClick Here to See July 4th Adventures that Won’t Break the Bank
Jekyll Island, Georgia
You can find family packages for about $690 for a 3-day stay in Jekyll Island, an iconic place to celebrate Independence Day. The price includes activities and accommodations for everyone – golfing (compete for the longest drive from the tee-box), horseback riding, a holiday cookout, beach-side fireworks show, and shuttle services. Exploring the island on wheels is a must-do, and visiting the Summer Waves Water Park is the best way to beat the heat. Photo Credit: Shutterstock
South Padre Island, Texas
If you didn’t get a chance to go to this iconic Spring Break destination, head to South Padre Island. It’ll be much cheaper. You can still find hotel rates ranging between $100 and $150 a night. Enjoy a vacation filled with a family fun, and beach adventures such as surfing, flyboarding and diving. Nightlife at South Padre Island is all about live music and dance. You will not miss a fireworks extravaganza on July 4. Enjoy the show on the beach starting at 8 p.m. Click Here to See July 4th Adventures that Won’t Break the BankPhoto Credit: Flickr / Paul Jordan / CC BY 4.0

The legendary 2,400 miles from Chicago to Santa Monica, commonly known as Route 66, is the ultimate drive, but Alaska's Seward Highway is unique in its own way.

Booking a last-minute vacation has a lot to do with luck. Hotels often offer discounts and special packages to lure people. Some of them are in year-round hot spot destinations such as Las Vegas and Lake Powell in Utah, but others are in lesser-known towns that are just as fun and patriotic.

Explore Monument Valley, Asheville and Albuquerque if, in addition to fireworks and parades, you're looking for hiking in the desert, going on a hot air balloon ride, or camping under the stars.

The top five most popular Fourth of July destinations are Chicago, Las Vegas, Washington, Orlando and San Diego, according to WalletHub. The average household is expected to spend $370.75 in celebration.

- Hristina Byrnes The Active Times