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Camp, grill, or just find fireworks with the perfect apps for July 4

We generally don’t need an excuse to dip out of work, hang out with friends, crack a beer, and blow up some stuff, but we’ll take one when we get it. The Fourth of July is America’s birthday, and as such, someone has to throw the party. Today, we have technology that our founding fathers could have never imagined, and we think they’d be ashamed if we didn’t utilize the products of American ingenuity to celebrate their hard work. So grab your smartphone or tablet and get ready to celebrate.

Related: Capture the colors of July 4 with these simple tips for photographing fireworks

Find a camp spot and fireworks

The first step in the planning of any successful Fourth of July party is finding the perfect camp spot or the nearest fireworks display. Here are some apps that will help you find the best place for your patriotic celebration.

Camp Finder ($3+)

The Fourth falls on a Monday this year, which means it’s the perfect opportunity to take a three-day weekend. And three days off right in the middle of summer can only mean one thing — it’s time to go camping. Grab your tent and fill your backpack with all the essentials before launching Camp Finder. With more than 19,000 camping sites in its database, it’s the perfect tool for finding where to stake out for the weekend. You can also filter results based on proximity, price, amenities, policies, and activities, so you make sure to land on one that allows you to enjoy the weekend the way you want.

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Amazon iTunes Google play

Foursquare (free)

It isn’t always easy to figure out where the closest fireworks display will be held, and sometimes you want to see fireworks go off more than once. If you’re looking to find out where the Fourth of July celebrations are being held this year, all you have to do is search for fireworks in Foursquare, and you’ll see all the events in your area.

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iTunes Google play Windows Phone Store BlackBerry World

EventBrite (free)

The Fourth of July is a holiday best spent with good company, after all, what’s a birthday without the party? Thankfully, you can see what events are going on around you or put together your own using Eventbrite. It’s a hyper-local app, one that focuses on what’s happening in a small radius surrounding your location. Check out the parties and gatherings planned for the Fourth, see where your friends will be spending the day, then send out invitations to your own shindig. Everything from neighborhood block parties to massive city parades will show up in Eventbrite’s listings.

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iTunes Google play

Liligo (free)

Traveling for the weekend? The Fourth of July falls on a Monday this year, which makes it the perfect time to travel. Unfortunately, traveling can be a real pain. Liligo is here to help, providing you with the quickest, cheapest, and easiest way to get to your destination, whether that involves taking a plane, train, or automobile. You can even let the app suggest destinations for you based on metrics such as temperature, price, and so on.

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iTunes Google play

Find the perfect recipes and drinks

Once you’ve figured out where you’ll be celebrating, it’s time to check out the best recipes and drinks for the Fourth. Here are some of the best grilling and drinking apps to help you plan.

Omaha Steaks Steak Time (free)

Nothing tastes as good as a slab of meat cooked over a fire. If you’re looking to make your tastebuds water this Fourth of July, check out some of the recipes in Omaha Steaks Steak Time. There are more than 150 recipes in the app, each of which will guide you through making the perfect Fourth of July meal. You can also search based on the ingredient, cook, or prep time, so you can make the right meal for you. The app even has a built-in timer, meaning you’re less likely to end up with little more than charcoal. And if you have an iGrill, the app syncs via Bluetooth to give you live alerts based on your grilling activity.

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Amazon iTunes

Drizly (free)

drizly-ios

It can be a real pain to run out of beer on the Fourth of July. There could be any number of reasons you can’t go get some yourself — you’ve already had a few and can’t drive, you need to entertain guests, whatever. In any case, there’s an app that’s designed to fix all that on your behalf. It’s called Drizly, and you guessed it, it’s an alcohol delivery service. The service touts itself as the fastest and most convenient way to get wine, beer, and liquor to your door, and claims that everything costs the same that it would at the liquor store. With Drizly, you’ll never run out of beer!

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iTunes Google play

Weber’s on the grill ($5)

If you’re looking for grill-related recipes and a timer to make sure you don’t burn your steaks, Weber’s On the Grill has you covered. The app comes with 280 Weber recipes, along with 40 dedicated recipes for making great rubs, marinades, and sauces that are sure to take your meal to the next level. You can tag your favorite recipes, or create and share a grocery list, so you’ll never forget the ingredients. There’s a timer within the app, too, so your steak doesn’t become a charred mess.

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iTunes Google play

Untappd (free)

Sam Adams, Coors, and Budweiser may be fine for some red-blooded Americans, but if you’re looking to get more adventurous with your brews, Untappd will help you find some great ones. The apps shows you what your neighbors and friends are drinking, but you can also search for beers based on your individual preferences. All the beers come with ratings, which helps you avoid the ones that are little more than water.

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iTunes Google play Windows Phone Store BlackBerry World

TapHunter (free)

Maybe you’re not into big parties, and you want to hang out at a bar for the Fourth instead. In that case, TapHunter has you covered. The app guides you to great bars near your location and even makes sure they have your favorite drinks. If you’re feeling more adventurous, TapHunter will make some recommendations on what to drink, based on your preferences. The app covers everything from spirits and liquors to beers and wine, so you’re sure to find something appealing.

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iTunes Google play

Take perfect patriotic photos

What would a Fourth of July celebration be without photos to document the event? Just in case you’re the kind of person who Instagrams every meal and tries to take pictures of fireworks every year, here are some great photo apps to use on the Fourth.

iLightningCam ($2)

Best-July-4-apps-iOS-iLightningCam

Every Fourth of July brings a bang, with fireworks being shot off at every opportunity. This usually prompts people to attempt to capture fireworks in the sky. Stop watching the light show through your smartphone screen and trying to time when to snap the photo. Instead, fire up the iLightning Cam and let it do the work. All you have to do is point the camera at the sky and the app will snap photos for you, using your iPhone’s speedy processor to make the split decisions.

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iTunes

Lightning Camera (free)

Best-July-4-apps-Android-Lightning-Camera

Don’t worry, Android users. The Lightning Camera app does the same thing as iLightning Cam, and it will take great pictures of the fireworks for you, too.

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Google play

Freedomizer (free)

Best-July-4-apps-iOS-Freedomizer

If you want to take your Fourth of July pics to the next level, you could always add some patriotic stickers. Freedomizer is an iPhone app that has a bunch of ridiculous stickers you can add to your photos. The sticker assortment includes patriotic sayings, army gear, star-spangled bikinis, and more. Freedomizer is completely free, just like America — or so says the app’s creators — and it promises to increase your freedom by 1,776 percent.

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iTunes

Treat your inner history buff

Now that you’ve got your camping spot, your grill fired up, your beer chilling in the cooler, and you’re all set to take some nice photos, it’s time to brush up on your American history. After all, you don’t want your friends to find out that you don’t know who Paul Revere was.

History Here (free)

There’s no holiday more steeped in history for Americans than the Fourth of July. While our nation is still young compared to much of the world, we have plenty of history all around us. Tap into the roots of the country and check out the historical action all around you with History Here. The app is a must-have if you’re located in any of the original 13 colonies, or simply craving a bit of background regarding your surroundings. History Here functions as an interactive guide to landmarks scattered across the United States, one that will fill you with facts and, on occasion, pride.

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iTunes Google play

American Revolution (free)

American-Revolution-Best-July-4th-apps

Looking to do some reading over the long weekend? Why not take a little refresher course on the events that we celebrate on the Fourth of July? The American Revolution app from the American Revolution Center is an interactive timeline that will walk your through what took place all the way back in the 1700s. With this app, you can check out digital recreations of important artifacts and documents from the days of the Revolutionary War, and find out amazing facts about the people involved in the earliest days of the United States. It’s the best way to remember exactly what the holiday is all about.

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iTunes