If you love fireworks, then you must celebrate the 4th of July in San Diego. The Port of San Diego’s Big Bay BOOM is one of the largest firework spectaculars in California. Shooting off from four barges positioned throughout the San Diego Bay, the skies glow with a dazzling display of lights. Big Bay BOOM benefits Armed Services YMCA, a very worthwhile charity. The firework show begins at 9:00 pm with a musical simulcast available on 101.5 KGB. Read on for recommendations on where to view this legendary show.
Experience 4th of July in San Diego from the Water
One of the ultimate vantage points to see the fireworks is from the water. If you don’t own a boat, don’t worry. Eco Boat Rentals has you covered with two fantastic options.
For a more intimate experience, book one of their colorful Glow Boats, available on July 4th from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm. With illuminated lights inside and out, they make the perfect setting for a romantic date night. Each comes equipped with a Bluetooth speaker to catch the live firework musical simulcast or play your own patriotic playlist. Easy to pedal, their crew will point you to the best viewing spots in the bay. Reservations are required.
Pink Party Boat Cruise
If you don’t like big crowds but still want to party, a Pink Party Boat Cruise is for you. Eco Boat Rentals is offering three-hour cruises from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm on Independence Day. Each of their two Duffy boats comes equipped with a captain to keep you safely on course and can accommodate up to 8 people. Bring your favorite beverages and snacks (please, no red drinks or food), dress in your best red, white and blue, blast some tunes from the Bluetooth speaker system and get ready to watch the firework show.
Enjoy 4th of July in San Diego at a Waterfront Restaurant
For those who prefer to stay on land, a table at one of San Diego’s waterfront restaurants offers panoramic views of the Big Boom show.
Portside Pier Restaurants
Find Brigantine’s Seafood and Oyster Bar, Ketch Brewing Tasting Deck, Topsail and Miguel’s Cocina at Portside Pier, all giving you a terrific seat to watch the big show. Be sure to make a reservation to guarantee a spot. Ketch Brewing Tasting Deck is hosting Red, White and Brews with a delicious BBQ. A prepaid food and beverage minimum is required at Brigantine’s and Miguel’s. A flat fee ensures your seat at Topsail.
Savor a special preset menu at Island Prime on July 4th. Served from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm, this three-course dinner features scrumptious entrees including Snake River Farms “Eye of the Ribeye”, Lobster, Seared Blackened Tuna and Chicken Under a Brick. Enjoy dessert as the fireworks kick off.
Celebrate 4th of July in San Diego at a Museum
The Maritime Museum of San Diego is hosting a July 4th Picnic & Fireworks Viewing from 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm. Step aboard the Berkeley, an 1898 historic steam ferryboat, for fun and fireworks. Tickets are just $25 with the option of purchasing a picnic box for just $15 per person (while supplies last). A no-host bar for beverages will be available.
Explore the historic fleet at the museum earlier in the day. Self-guided walking tours will be held from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm before the party with the last entry at 4:00 pm.
The USS Midway Museum also hosts a 4th of July viewing party on the Flight Deck of the Midway. This event sells out very quickly. If you miss this year, make sure to mark your calendars for 2024.
Shake Your Booty on the 4th of July!
How about a dance party to start off your holiday? C&C Music Factory is Gonna Make You Sweat at the Rady Shell at Jacobs Park starting at 7:00 pm on July 4th. Get your groove on to the 90’s hip-hop sensation with opening act DJ Prince Hakim. All ticket holders are invited to stay at the Shell for the Big Boom Firework Show following the concert.
There’s Daytime Fun to Be Had on 4th of July in San Diego
July 4th enjoyment does not just have to happen at night. There is plenty to do in the daylight to make for an awesome Independence Day.
Pedal Boats from Eco Boat Rentals
A Pedal Boat from Eco Boat Rentals is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and take in the breathtaking city views. Each vessel can hold up to three adults and is easy to maneuver. You can even bring your pup along for the ride as they are dog friendly. Start your day off with a little exercise and fresh air!
San Diego County Fair
July 4th is the last day to visit this year’s San Diego County Fair. Held at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, experience everything from a Rock N Rolling Piano, a Hypnotist, a Dog Show and much, much more. Munch on tasty fair food and take a spin on one of the thrilling rides. The day caps off with a firework show at 9:00 pm.
Who Doesn’t Love a Parade?
Head on over to Coronado for their 74th Annual Independence Day Parade starting at 10:00 am. The route is on Orange Avenue and runs from 1st Street to Churchhill Place. Get there early to snag your spot. Pre-parade entertainment begins at 7:30 am. Stay after the parade for live music, a Navy Leap Frogs Aerial Demonstration and of course, fireworks at 9:00 pm.
Hit the Beach
Take in the sun and sand at one of San Diego’s beautiful beaches on Independence Day. Pack a picnic, slather on the sunscreen and spend the holiday playing in the waves. Fido can even take part at the famous Dog Beach in Ocean Beach.
Where is your favorite spot in San Diego to celebrate Independence Day? Tell us in the comment section below.