What’s the difference between a long summer weekend that’s just another day off from work and a holiday that goes down in the books as one of the most epic weekends of the year?

The answer: Breaking free from the usual suspects—the lifeless backyard barbecue, the run-of-the-mill and totally expected fireworks date, and the same beach trip you’ve taken with the boys every summer since freshman year of college.

Lucky for you, we’ve got the solution—drink recipes, road-trip ideas, dating tips, and everything else you need to make this a holiday weekend you’ll be reminiscing about with your buds for decades to come.