10 Ways Leverage America’s 250th Birthday in Destination Marketing

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<span>10 Ways Leverage America’s 250th Birthday in Destination Marketing</span>
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Justine Garbarino of Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board shares ten ways to celebrate 2026 in your destination.

On July 4, 2026, America will celebrate a historic milestone – its 250th birthday! This significant occasion presents a unique opportunity for U.S. DMOs to present themselves as a must-visit location during the celebration. Not only is it the perfect opportunity to invite visitors to your destination in 2026, but destinations can use this as an opportunity to inspire visitors to return year after year. 

Not sure where to start? Here are some ideas to leverage the party into your marketing.  

1. History-Themed Travel Packages

Is your destination full of historical attractions? Consider creating a discounted pass or hotel package to include tours of museums or landmarks alongside a great hotel stay.

A couple at Valley Forge National Historical Park

2. Develop Historical Itineraries

Create trails or themed itineraries that showcase historical landmarks or cultural experiences within your destination. Provide visitors with unique collateral, like printed maps or guides, to help them along the way, or publish resources online, in a mobile app or leverage a digital pass.

3. Promote Community Events

Work with community officials to promote events that coincide with America’s 250th birthday. Add festivals, workshops, programs, reenactments or other patriotic celebrations to your online calendar of events. For festivals, consider sponsoring or having another type of activation or presence to promote the destination, such as handing out visitors guides at events. Be sure to also include information for Semiquincentennial events in your newsletters or blogs.

4. Create Kid-Friendly Materials

Reach the youngest members of your audience — and their caregivers — by creating something specifically for them!

Consider creating a coloring book for kids about historical locations in your American destination. Sponsor a series of educational programs, develop a scavenger hunt, or steal this idea: the Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board has a comic book series that teaches kids about the American Revolution.

Valley Forge Tourism – History Comic Book For Kids

5. Developing Social Content

There’s lots of social content that can be created throughout the year for the big celebration. Create a fun and educational video series that teaches visitors about the historical landmarks in your destination. Bring in influencers to showcase events, share user-generated content showing how different visitors are enjoying the destination, and spur engagement by promoting ticket giveaways to events and inviting visitors to share their favorite memories or experiences on social media.

6. Two is Better than One

Partner with local historical attractions and museums on a joint marketing campaign to encourage visitation to local sites. The marketing campaigns can include partnerships with radio stations, billboard creative, email marketing or digital advertising to further their reach among your audiences.

7. Virtual Experiences

Capture historical sites or cultural attractions with virtual tours and share them on social media or in newsletters. Or consider live-streaming events tied to Semiquincentennial celebrations in your area to engage those who are unable to attend at the time, but could be inspired to visit in the future.

8. Create Culinary Experiences

Food will be a huge part of this milestone celebration! Showcase dining in your area that is specifically part of your destination’s history and cultural identity. Highlight historical restaurants, partner with local restaurants or chefs to showcase unique cuisine, or invite breweries to craft special beers for the occasion.

9. Get Outdoors

Promote the great outdoors by encouraging travelers to take advantage of hiking and biking trails, national parks, and other outdoor attractions, specifically any which include national monuments or landmarks. Tie-in the historical itineraries mentioned above to create an active, educational outdoor experience.

Family at Valley Forge National Historical Park 

10. Continue the Party

The celebration doesn’t need to stop after 2026! Think of ways to invite visitors back to your destination the following year and consider memorializing this big celebration with something that will leave a lasting impact on your destination. Consider creating or funding a mural or sculpture somewhere in your destination to commemorate the milestone, plant 250 trees, or create a special souvenir to recognize and reflect on the Semiquincentennial.

As America gears up to celebrate its 250th birthday in 2026, DMOs have a golden opportunity to shine. From historical-themed travel packages and community events, to virtual experiences and culinary delights, there's no shortage of ways to captivate potential visitors and showcase the best of what our destinations have to offer. By working with our communities, we can make sure the party doesn’t end in 2026. Happy planning!

About The Author

Justine Garbarino

Vice President of Marketing, Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board

Justine Garbarino is the Associate Vice President of Marketing at the Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board. She is responsible for leading the Board’s marketing efforts to showcase the area’s rich history and vibrant attractions. She is passionate about travel and delivering dynamic marketing campaigns that resonate with potential visitors.   

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