(Editor's note: This originally appeared on the San Diego Convention & Visitor's Bureau website.)
Whether you're traveling with friends or family, San Diego is everyone's first choice for 4th of July celebrations. Even locals can't think of anything better than relaxing with loved ones on a long stretch of sand and watching an extraordinary show of lights in the sky. Below is a list of our favorite stretches of sand, spectacular fireworks shows around and places to watch the fireworks in San Diego.
Please note, firework displays and events are subject to change and cancellation.
- Annual Big Bay Boom July 4 Fireworks Show
Location: Multiple Locations along San Diego Bay
Time: 9:00 PM
Take in the largest display in the county, with fireworks launched from four barges strategically placed around North San Diego Bay, they can be seen from Shelter Island, Harbor Island, the Embarcadero area and Seaport Village/Coronado Landing. Just find a place along the bay and you will not be disappointed. Music from 105.7 "The Walrus" FM radio.
- SeaWorld San Diego
Location: SeaWorld San Diego
Time: Fireworks at 9:30 PM
Extended fireworks show, Into the Blue, set to patriotic music. The park will stay open late until 11:00 PM.
- Ocean Beach
Location: Ocean Beach Pier at the end of Newport Ave.
Time: 9:00 PM
Spend the day picnicking, swimming in the ocean, walking and playing in the sand and shopping along Newport Ave. Then bundle up as the sun sets and pull up a blanket for a really spectacular fireworks show launched from the OB Pier.
- Old Town 4th of July
Location: Old Town State Historic Park
Time: 11:30 AM to 4:00 PM
Parade, crafts and activities of early San Diego recreate an old fashioned Independence Day celebrated on the frontier. (no fireworks)
- 4th of July Celebration in Coronado
Location: Various Locations on Coronado
Time: 10:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Celebrate the 4th of July in the Crown City with a parade down Orange Avenue at 10:00 AM, a concert in Spreckels Park at 4:00 PM and fireworks over Glorietta Bay at 9:00 PM.
North County Coastal
- San Diego County Fair 4th of July Celebration
Location: Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Boulevard, Del Mar
Date: July 4, 2013
Time: Starts at 9:30 AM, Fireworks at 9:00 PM
Start off the day at the Fair with a patriotic opening ceremony at 9:30 AM, then enjoy the Hometown Heroes Parade at 7:00 PM, a concert provided by the Navy Band Southwest followed by a spectacular fireworks display.
- La Jolla Cove 4th of July
Location: Ellen Browning Scripps Park, 1180 Coast Boulevard, La Jolla
Time: 9:00 PM
After a day on the beautiful beaches of La Jolla, take in a spectacular set of fireworks with a picturesque background.
- Red, White and BOOM!
Location: LEGOLAND California, One Legoland Drive, Carlsbad
Time: Fireworks at 8:30 PM
Take the whole family and spend the day enjoying over 60 rides, shows and attractions along with some all-American picnic games like burlap races and water-balloon tosses and then top it off with an awe-inspiring fireworks display set to patriotic music.
- Oceanside Freedom Days Parade
Location:North on N Coast Hwy 101 from Wisconsin Ave to Civic Center Drive (just past City Hall
Date: June 29, 2013
Time: 10:00 AM
Come see floats, bands, walking groups, cool cars and much more. The theme this year is "The Spirit of Freedom." (no fireworks)
- Camp Pendelton Beach Bash
Location: Del Mar Beach on Camp Pendelton
Date: July 4, 2013
Military members and their families enjoy an explosive fireworks show, live bands, a video tribute, sun, surf, patriotism and Esprit de Corps all in one day at the 4th of July Beach Bash!
North County Inland
- Independence Day Celebration
Location: Grape Day Park, 321 North Broadway, Escondido
Time: 4:00 to 9:00 PM
Pack a picnic, and grab a blanket to enjoy a day full of music, magicians, baton twirlers, kid-friendly activities, contests and fireworks.
- Grand Tradition July 4th
Location: Grand Tradition, 1602 South Mission Road, Fallbrook
Time: Starts at 4:00 PM, Fireworks at 8:45 PM
Enjoy a day of live entertainment, dancing, kid friendly activities, Quack-Up Suck Race, Rubber Raft Regatta, food and drink, and fireworks! Tickets include admission and tickets which can be used for food, beverages and activities.
- Mira Mesa Fourth of July Celebration
Location: Mira Mesa Community Park, Mira Mesa Boulevard and New Salem Street, Mira Mesa
Time: Fireworks at 9:00 PM
Come early for the parade and family friendly activities and stay late for the fireworks.
- 4th of July Celebration and Fireworks
Location: Poway High School Stadium, 15500 Espola Road, Poway
Time: 7:00 to 10:00 PM
Following the Poway Old-Fashioned Fourth of July celebration at Old Poway Park (10:00 AM to 4:00 PM), head to Poway High School for music, more food, glow sticks and fireworks.
- Rancho Bernardo's The Spirit of the Fourth
Location: Webb Park
Time: 7:00 AM to 9:30 PM
It's a whole day of fun in Rancho Bernardo with a pancake breakfast; a festival with food, music and games; a parade; and fireworks!
- Rancho Santa Fe's Independence Day Concert on the Green
Time: 1:00 PM
Pack a few blankets and chairs for a free patriotic concert performed by the Coastal Communities Concert Band.
- San Marcos 4th of July Celebration
Location: Bradley Park, Rancho Sante Fe Road and Linda Vista Drive, San Marcos
Time: 6:00 to 9:00 PM
Carnival games, jumpers, food and fireworks!
- Scripps Ranch 4th of July Parade and Festival
Location: Scripps Ranch Hoyt Park (Festival)
Time: 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM
After the community parade, enjoy fun, food, music and games at the free festival. (no fireworks)
- Red White and Boom! Celebration
Location: Moonlight Amphitheatre, 1200 Vale Terrace Drive, Vista
Time: 1:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Celebrate Independence Day Vista Style with live music, the Light up the Night Dinner ($40 for kids 10 and under and $60 for adults) and fireworks. Admission is $5 (kids 5 and under are free). Parking is $5 at Vista High School with shuttles from 1:00 - 11:00 pm and $15 at Brengle Terrace Park.
- El Cajon 4th of July Celebration
Location: Kennedy Park, 1675 East Madison Avenue
Time: 12:00 to 9:00 PM
Enjoy a picnic in sunny San Diego East County and stay for a spectacular fireworks show.
- Julian 4th of July Parade
Location: Along Main Street from Julian High School to Frank Lane Park
Time: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Julian presents a homegrown event that celebrates the town's gold rush era history, the dedication of veterans and active duty military who serve our country, and local residents who cherish the special qualities of the little town tucked into the Cuyamaca Mountains east of San Diego.
- Ramona's Annual Fourth of July Celebration
Location: Olive Pierce Middle School, 1521 Hanson Lane, Ramona
Time: 5:00 to 9:00 PM
Join the Romana Kiwanis and Rotary clubs for food, fun and fireworks.
- Santee Salutes
Location: Town Center Community Park East, 550 Park Center Drive, Santee
Time: 3:30 to 9:30 PM
Rock out with 80z All Stars playing hits from the 80s, a patriotic ceremony by the HMH-462 Color Guard, inflatable zone, food trucks and fireworks. Parking is $5 for regular and $15 for preferred. Free parking is available at the nearby Costco and Rio Seco School.
- National City Carnival
Location: Kimball Park
The Carnival excitement starts on Friday with games rides food and drinks. The party continues until the 4th of July with fireworks to cap off a long weekend of fun!