This July 4 expected to be busiest for travel in 8 years


If you're heading to the lakes to celebrate the Fourth of July, you might experience a longer wait on the roads than usual.

" target="_blank">AAA estimates the number of Americans traveling over the holiday weekend will hit the highest level seen since 2007, with 41.9 million planning getaways.

Considering that 84.7 percent of these – 35.5 million people – plan on traveling by road, there will inevitably be some holdups on the state's main arteries.

According to USA Today, the reason for this is partly due to cheaper gas, which is expected to be at its lowest levels since at least 2010 with average gas prices currently standing at $2.78 per gallon, 88 cents less than last year.

"Independence Day gas prices are expected to be the lowest in at least five years, a welcome sign for the 35.5 million people planning a holiday road trip," AAA president Marshall Doney, though the newspaper did point out the average cost of hotel rooms will be at least 6 percent higher than last year.

CBS adds wages nationally have been rising thanks to "a strengthening job market," which coupled with lower gas costs is enabling Americans to take a break from paying off debts and saving in order to splurge a little on a holiday getaway.

Minneapolis top place to celebrate July 4

Although the holiday exodus from the Twin Cities is tradition for July 4, there are plenty of reasons to stay within the metro area.

Such festivities have helped Minneapolis earn its spot as the No. 1 place to celebrate the Fourth of July, according to WalletHub, with St. Paul at No. 3. The publication looked at the 100 biggest cities in the country, comparing things like the durations of fireworks shows, number of festivals being held, and weather forecasts.

Minneapolis topped the table for "Attraction and Activities" held over the holiday weekend, and based on early forecasts is set to have the second-best weather in the country when July 4 rolls around – behind St. Paul.

The Minneapolis City Council website has a list of events taking place in and around the city on the big day, which includes the TC Half Marathon, as well as live music, activities and food trucks at the Father Hennepin Bandshell and Mill Ruins Park.

It also has a list of the best vantage points to watch the spectacular "Red, White and Boom" fireworks display.

St. Paul's fireworks festivities will be held at the recently-opened CHS Field, home of the St. Paul Saints, and will start following the end of the Saints' Saturday night game against the Fargo Moorhead Redhawks.

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