Fourth of July Celebrations Light Up the California Coast

Travelers in search of Fourth of July fun need look no further than the California Coast. We’ve reviewed the Golden State’s Independence Day celebrations, and are sharing a round-up of the very best.

San Diego

Travelers looking for a truly grand Fourth of July experience should head to San Diego, which is home to one of the largest fireworks displays in the country. The Big Bay Boom July 4th Fireworks event draws hundreds of thousands of visitors and locals every year and consistently lives up to the hype.

Because of San Diego’s unique geographic location, fireworks can be seen from various locations along the waterfront and beyond. With the bright blasts discharged simultaneously from barges placed strategically around the Bay off Shelter Island, Harbor Island, Embarcadero North, Seaport Village, Embarcadero South Marina Park, Coronado Ferry Landing and Imperial Beach, onlookers get quite a show.

The impeccably choreographed display dazzles spectators with a colorful explosion of light and sound for nearly 20 minutes. Fireworks are set to begin at 9 p.m. Extra parking and shuttles will be available. For more information, visit:

For travelers wanting to enjoy San Diego overnight, Blue Sea Lodge and Sommerset Suites offer convenient and comfortable accommodations and easy access to Fourth of July celebrations, as well as the area’s best attractions. For reservations call 800.720.0223.


Marina del Rey

One of LA’s most tranquil beach communities becomes a hot spot on Fourth of July with a 20-minute fireworks display dancing above the water while Classical station KXLU 88.9FM blasts a synchronized musical playlist. Though fireworks can be seen throughout most of the Marina, the most popular viewing spots include:

• Fisherman’s Village, 13755 Fiji Way (2 blocks west of Lincoln Blvd.)
• Burton Chace Park, 13650 Mindanao Way (1 block west of Admiralty Way)
• Marina Beach (Mother’s Beach), 4101 Admiralty Way (1 block south of Washington Blvd.)

While the show doesn’t begin until 9 p.m., the community will be celebrating all day long with dining events, cruises, family activities, a street parade, Venice Beach contests and more!

For a full waterfront experience, spectators can reserve a front-row seat to the fireworks aboard a Hornblower evening cruise. The experience includes:

  • 3-hour yacht cruise
  • 4-course dinner
  • Boarding glass of champagne
  • Wine and cocktails available for purchase
  • Live entertainment and dancing
  • Front row seat to the fireworks display in Marina del Rey

The cruise price starts at $95 per person. Discounts available for seniors, children and members of the military.

The brand new Hilton Garden Inn Marina del Rey and the highly praised Jamaica Bay Inn are both perfectly situated to give travelers an up-close view of the Fourth festivities. With breathtaking views and numerous outdoor areas to choose from, it would be hard to miss the Marina’s fireworks! For reservations call 800.720.0223.

Pismo Beach

The very embodiment of “classic California,” Pismo Beach offers a wonderfully traditional Fourth of July. Bringing locals and visitors together, the celebration includes a day of music, food, and a fireworks display from the town’s famous 1,200 foot pier. General admission is free. For those wanting an up close view, as well as snacks and pier seating, VIP tickets are available for $25 per person.

To settle in and enjoy festivities, the newly remodeled Sandcastle Inn, right on the beach, provides visitors with abundant outdoor seating and easy access to the entertainment. Spyglass Inn and Cottage Inn further up the road and positioned on a bluff also offer majestic views of the activities below and horizon beyond. For reservations call 800.720.0223.


Up the coast in Cambria, one of America’s most charming beach communities, travelers can partake in a full day of Fourth of July events with local flair. Presented by the American Legion Post 432, the oceanfront Shamel Park is the site of the annual celebration from 10 a.m.-10 p.m., which includes family events, music and BBQ. The schedule includes:

11 a.m.: Opening Ceremonies

11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.: Live music

1-6 p.m.: Swimming pool open

1-2 p.m.: Greatest Waiter & Waitress Tray Balancing Relay Race

2-2:30 p.m.: Linn’s Messy Pie Eating Contest

2:30-2:45 p.m.: Prize drawings

2:45-9 p.m.: Live music

9-9:30 p.m.: Fireworks show

In addition to the programmed events, families can enjoy the pool, as well as entertainment for the kids and all-day concessions and food. Parking and admission are free.

Travelers wanting to extend their trip to Cambria have plenty of lodging options along the famous Moonstone Beach. Pelican Inn & Suites, FogCatcher Inn , Best Western PLUS Fireside Inn and Cambria Landing Inn & Suites are ideal for couples seeking some romance or families in need of a relaxed getaway during the holiday weekend. For reservations call 800.720.0223.


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