How to Celebrate the Fourth of July on the California Coast

Many would say that summer’s crowning celebration is marked by the red, white and blue that paints the night sky in honor of America’s National Independence Day. From San Diego to San Francisco, the Fourth of July festivities are abundant. To help you choose, we’ve created a list of the California coast’s best and brightest Independence Day celebrations:

San Diego

For those who want an impressive fireworks show, San Diego is the place to be. Known as 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 for their spectacular presentation.

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, the newly renovated Blue Sea Beach Hotel 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

Known as one of the top places to view fireworks in Los Angeles, Marina del Rey offers a variety of locations from which to picnic and watch the sky light up. 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)
**This location will have speakers set-up near the Helmsman statue, allowing spectators to watch the display and  listen to synchronized music on KXLU 88.9 FM
• Marina Beach (Mother’s Beach), 4101 Admiralty Way (1 block south of Washington Blvd.)

burton-chace-park_dad-with-son-in-wagonWhat witnesses will experience is a 20-minute fireworks display that dances above the water while Classical station KXLU 88.9FM blasts a synchronized musical playlist. 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! The first 500 people who stop by the Marina del Rey Visitors Center between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. can snag some patriotic giveaways like flags, necklaces and pinwheels.

For more information and additional details, visit:

The conveniently located Hilton Garden Inn Marina del Rey and Jamaica Bay Inn are both perfectly situated to give travelers an up-close view of the celebration. 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

It doesn’t get more classic California than in Pismo Beach, which offers a full day of Fourth of July festivities. Bringing locals and visitors together, the celebration includes a day of music, food, crafts, art, and a fireworks display from the town’s famous 1,200 foot pier. General admission is free.

fireworks2To settle in and enjoy festivities, the newly remodeled beachfront Sandcastle Inn, 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.


In one of America’s most charming beach communities, travelers can partake in a full day of Fourth of July events alongside the locals. 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. – 1:00 p.m.: Live Music by “Stellar”

1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.: Greatest Waiter & Waitress Tray Balancing Relay Race

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.: Linn’s Messy Pie Eating Contest

3:00 p.m. – Raffle Drawings Including $1,000 Grand Prize

3:15 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.: Live Music by “Ransom,” (Country Rock, Rock & Roll, Dance Music).

5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.: Live Music by “Rough House,” (Rock, Country & Classic Rock).

9:00 p.m. – Fireworks

In addition to the programmed events, families can enjoy the pool which opens at 1:00 p.m, 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 ,  Fireside Inn and Cambria Landing Inn & Suites are ideal for couples seeking some romance or families in need of a relaxing getaway during the holiday weekend. For reservations call 800.720.0223.

Half Moon Bay

The coastal town just outside San Francisco celebrates Independence Day with classic small town spirit at the Ol’ Fashioned 4th of July Parade down historic Main Street. Starting at noon, the festival, fronted by the San Mateo County Sheriffs and CalFire, honors the holiday with floats, marching bands, community service groups, classically cool cars, decorated bikes, “Pooches on Parade”, youth sports teams, dance and theatre troupes, a Color Guard by the American Legion, and local dignitaries and celebrities. Legendary comedian and political satirist, Will Durst, will serve as parade grand marshal.

Following the parade, Fourth of July fans can gather for the town picnic, which features food, music and family entertainment. Event starts at 1 p.m. at the American Legion Coastside Post.

Additionally, the Half Moon Bay Lions Club will host its annual 4th of July Pancake Breakfast at Mac Dutra Park beginning at 8 a.m.

Interested in spending the weekend exploring this unique coastal community? Half Moon Bay Lodge offers recently renovated accommodations and access to a variety of activities, including golf at one of the premier courses in the world. For reservations call 800.720.0223.

Golf Course



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