Entertainment & Events

4th of July Events in San Diego

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San Diego is a tourist destination all year long, but the 4th of July brings out some major crowds. Southern California really knows how to celebrate the 4th and there’s never a shortage of great events for this patriotic holiday. We’re a city by the water, which makes for some epic fireworks shows (there’s nothing quite like fireworks reflecting off the ocean). We have a heavy Navy presence, which means that we love patriotic holidays. And we’re known for our blissful summers, so celebrating the 4th is something we know how to do well. Here’s look at some of San Diego’s most epic 4th of July events:

No matter where you are in San Diego, be sure you don’t miss out on the largest display of fireworks in the city. Fireworks are launched simultaneously from four barges strategically located throughout San Diego’s North Bay starting just after 9 PM. Orchestrated to originally produced music selections, broadcast by The Walrus 105.7FM, the fireworks show can be seen and heard from anywhere along the waterfront. Pack a picnic, grab your lounge chairs, and head over to one of these top places to watch the show:

Shelter Island: This intimate spot, located on the small strip on land on Point Loma’s bay front, offers some great views. Be sure to get there before 1:00 pm, when it typically reaches capacity (get there earlier to scope out the best spot!). It’s strongly advised that you walk or take the free shuttle, and make sure to have your lawn chair and a picnic basket in tow.


Harbor Island: This peninsula situated between downtown San Diego and Shelter Island offers a stunning view of the fireworks with the skyline in the background. The small “island” has limited parking, so you may want to take advantage of the free shuttle service offered by the Port of San Diego.

Seaport Village: This iconic waterfront shopping and dining complex is another popular spot to watch the fireworks. Head there for dinner and drink at a restaurant with a bay view and then stay for the show.


Coronado Ferry Landing: Head over to Coronado for unique views of the Big Bay Boom fireworks. Coronado Island also has a 4th of July celebration of its own, including a parade, a concert, and fireworks over Glorietta Bay.

If you want a unique view of the fireworks shows, harbor cruises are a really fun and exciting way to spend the holiday. Check out Hornblower Cruise Line’s special 4th of July Fireworks Dinner Cruise. Included with the price of admission is a dinner buffet and some killer views of beautiful downtown San Diego.

For those looking to mix in a bit of history on this historic holiday, Old Town will be hosting a free, old-fashioned Fourth of July celebration where guests can relive the excitement of an 1800s Independence Day party. The all-day event starts at 10am and includes activities and games for all ages. Guests are encouraged to participate in the parade around the plaza with music, animals, banners, and people in historical costumes.

We hope you catch a good fireworks show and enjoy yourself this 4th of July!

Lauren lives in OB with her French bulldog, Elvis Presley. She loves laughter and the great outdoors. You can contact her at lauren@sdentertainer.com.

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