Are you headed to San Diego on the 4th of July? Then you’ve come to the right place! I’m covering all the best things to do this Independence Day in San Diego county. This year seems to be the first year when things are almost back to normal and with that comes lots of exciting events and 4th of July fireworks. In this guide, I’m going to give you all the details so you can make this 4th of July your best one yet!
Central San Diego
Big Bay Boom
The biggest event and in my opinion the best San Diego fireworks is the Big Bay Boom event which takes place along the San Diego bay at 9 pm. They have 4 barges that display fireworks so there is truly not a bad seat in the house as long as you’re near the bay. My best advice would be to take the trolley downtown and watch it from the Hilton Bayfront. Since it’s the biggest show in San Diego the crowds are always present. Below I’ve listed the best viewing areas.
- Shelter Island
- Harbor Island
- North Embarcadero
- Marina District
- Coronado Ferry Landing
- Boating/On The Water
Seaworld San Diego
Seaworld will celebrate Independence Day with a 15-minute firework show starting at 8:50 pm. Another great San Diego attraction for the 4th! A great locals-only viewing spot is Kate Sessions Park. As you can see above it has a 360 view of the bay. More details to come!
Coronado 4th of July
Coronado goes all out for the 4th of July! Starting with a huge parade along Orange Avenue from 10 am – 12:30 pm (people start lining up at 5 am) and ending with two fireworks shows. The Big Bay Boom fireworks at 9 pm are best viewed at the Coronado Ferry Landing or for a local spot consider Bayview Park which has the same great views with fewer crowds. And the Coronado fireworks over Glorietta Bay which also starts at 9 pm. Along with that, there are many other events in Coronado for Independence Day weekend listed below.
Saturday, July 2nd
- 7 am Crown City Classic 12k & 5k
- Tidelands park
- Rough Water Swim
- Central beach 8:10 am
Sunday, July 3rd
- 6 pm concert in the park at Spreckels (one of my fav things to do in Coronado)
Monday, July 4th
- The parade starts at 10 am along Orange Avenue
- At Star Park enjoy an Adrian Empire Demonstration and San Diego Star Wars Society Photo-Op
- 12:30 pm – 2 pm
- Navy Leap Frogs Aerial Demonstration
- 2 pm at the Coronado Golf Course 17th fairway
- Patriotic Concert at Spreckels
- 4 pm
- Kids Concert featuring Disney songs
- 4 pm at Coronado Golf Course 16th fairway
- Coronado Fireworks over Glorietta Bay
- 9 pm locals tip is to watch from the golf course
- Big Bay Boom Fireworks Coronado Ferry Landing
- 9 pm locals tip watch from Bayview Park
Finally, for more information check out the Coronado times website.
Scripps Ranch 4th of July Run & Ride
Every year in Scripps Ranch they host a 10k run on the 4th of July. Not only that but you can also take part in the fun run (only 2 miles) and 4 different styles of bike rides. For more information check out the website. Finally, if you’re not into running Scripps Ranch hosts a 4th of July Parade located at Red Cedar Drive & Aviary Drive starting at 7 am.
North County San Diego
Del Mar Fairs 4th of July Fireworks
Another iconic way to celebrate in San Diego is to attend the famous San Diego County fair on the 4th of July. It’s usually the last day of the fair (this year the last day is July 14th) and they show off with an incredible firework display at 9 pm. You can view the show from most parts of the fairground and its choreographed to a soundtrack played at the Corona Grandstand Stage.
Oceanside Independence Day Parade (June 25th)
The 26th annual Oceanside Independence Day parade will take place on the south coast of Highway 101 from Wisconsin Avenue to Pier View Way. It starts at 10 am and it honors the hometown heroes.
Oceanside Fireworks Show (July 3rd)
This fireworks show is happening at the SoCal soccer complex at El Corazon from 5:30 pm – 10 pm on Sunday, July 3rd. It’s completely free!
Vista Independence Day Celebration
Enjoy Food, Fun, and Fireworks at Brengle Terrace Park and the Moonlight Amphitheatre. This event has live entertainment and the pre-fireworks Fun-Filled 4th dinner. The fireworks start at 9 pm and cost $5 for the entrance. If you would like to purchase the dinner option it’s $65. To purchase tickets click here.
San Marcos Fireworks Extravaganza
Every year at Bradley Park in San Marcos they celebrate with a carnival with games, live music, food, and fireworks. The fireworks show starts at 9 pm.
Escondido Independence Day
Taking place at Grape Day Park the fireworks show will start at 9 pm. Unfortunately, there are no dogs, BBQs, or alcohol allowed.
Rancho Bernardo The Spirit of the 4th
Rancho Bernardo has been celebrating the spirit of the 4th for 50 years! The theme for this year is “Grateful to Celebrate Together Again” because they are returning to a full range of activities this year! You can expect a Community Fair, Independence Day Parade, Wheels of Freedom Motor Show, and an evening program and Fireworks Display at Bernardo Heights Middle School (9 pm showtime).
East County San Diego
An Old Fashioned Fourth of July in Poway
Bring your family and friends to Old Poway Park and they celebrate independence day “turn-of-the-20th-century-style”. This event will feature patriotic entertainment, western re-enactors, model train displays, free crafts, and old-fashioned games. Tasty treats and train rides will be available for a nominal fee. This spot would be perfect for kids from 10 am – 4 pm.
El Cajon Kennedy Park
The fireworks show which is located at Kennedy Park starts at 9 pm.
Santee kicks off its 4th of July celebration at Town Center Community Park starting at 7:30 pm with an 80’s band concert. They also have two simultaneous fireworks shows that will be launched from Town Center Community Park and West Hills Park (starting at 9 pm).
Lake Murray Fireworks and Musicfest
Lake Murray has a community celebration and music fest held at Lake Murray Community Park in San Carlos. You can spend the entire day here as the festival starts at 11 am. Finally, the fireworks can be seen throughout the Navajo community, from La Mesa to Del Cerro and beyond (starting at 9 pm).
South Bay San Diego 4th of July
Chula Vista 4th Fest
Free July 4th fireworks at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center, set to a custom soundtrack heard only on 100.7 BIG FM. Gates to the CVEATC open at 7 p.m. for public viewing. The event is free and all ages. No alcohol is allowed on the CVEATC campus – vehicles and pedestrians will be searched upon entry. Parking is FREE; only 400 parking spots on the CVEATC campus. The firework display begins at 9 p.m.
Independence Day Imperial Beach
Imperial Beach residents will be enjoying fireworks again this Fourth of July! The display, being shot from the IB Pier, will begin around 9 PM to ensure maximum visibility with the benefit of darkness. You can view the fireworks on the beach from Imperial Beach Blvd. to Palm Avenue, facing the end of Portwood Pier, so gather your friends and family, bring a picnic or grab a snack from neighboring businesses, then spread your beach blanket early to claim some space and catch all the action.
Thank you for reading my “Ultimate Guide to San Diego 4th of July events”. Is there anything that you know of that I missed? Please comment below and have a safe and happy holiday friends! Finally, for more of my San Diego guides click here.
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