Holiday Guide: Best Places to Celebrate Fourth of July in Orange County

4th of July Parade & Pier Festival photo by Jeff Gritchen

Get in the patriotic spirit at Huntington Beach’s annual Fourth of July parade and pier festival.

From fireworks shows and parades to barbecue buffets, cruises and more, find the best places to celebrate Fourth of July in Orange County.

Edited by Whitney Lauren Han.

Almost Fourth of July Party
July 1. Start the Independence Day family-friendly festivities a few days early at Golden Road Brewing Anaheim for fresh brews, mini golf and boozy slushies (21+). Expect live music from California artists—including Meg DeLacy, The Junglecats, Dylan Dunlap and Restavrant—plus 40 rotating taps, indoor and outdoor bars, an expansive beer garden with hammocks and lawn games. Furry companions are welcome to come. 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Free. 2210 E. Orangewood Ave., Anaheim, 714.912.4015. Info


4th of July Parade and Pier Festival
July 1-4. Enjoy four days of live entertainment, exhibitors, food vendors and family activities at this year’s festival themed “United We Stand” in Huntington Beach. Enjoy breakfast at Lake Park (7-10 a.m.), cheer on participants in the Surf City 5K run, visit pier plaza for entertainment and much more. End the day with a spectacular fireworks show over the ocean. See website for full schedule of events and locations. Fireworks on Fourth of July only at 9 p.m. Free admission; $10-$20 for bleacher and VIP seating; $5 breakfast. Huntington Beach Pier, Pacific Coast Highway and Main Street, 325 Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach, 714.536.5486.


The Bungalow in Huntington Beach
July 3-4. Get in the patriotic spirit with The Bungalow’s new festive Stars and Stripes cocktail made with Tropical Red Bull, Grey Goose Vodka, lemonade and Grenadine with a blue Pixy Stick rim. Come Tuesday to dance to tunes spun by DJ Morty tunes or Wednesday for tunes by DJ Tommy Marini. Tu 5 p.m.-2 a.m., W noon-10 p.m. 21058 Pacific Coast Hwy., Suite 240, Huntington Beach, 714.374.0399.


4th of July Fireworks Spectacular
July 4. Hosted by Cypress, Los Alamitos and Seal Beach, guests can look forward to family activities, entertainment, food court, vendor booths and fireworks at 9 p.m. Make sure to bring lawn chairs and blankets. Anyone older than 16 must show photo ID. 4-9:30 p.m. Free. Joint Forces Training Base, 11206 Lexington Dr., Los Alamitos, 562.430.1073.


4th of July “Land of the Free” Celebration
July 4.
Come early to grab a seat on the bleachers to start your Fourth of July celebration with a live performance by The Silverados. During the event, Tustin High Boosters will be selling drinks, snacks and barbecue, plus Operation Warm Wishes will be collecting nonperishable food items for homeless veterans. 6:30-9:30 p.m., fireworks at 9 p.m. Free. Tustin High School Stadium, 1171 El Camino Real, Tustin, 714.573.3326.


Concert on the Green and Fireworks Festival photo by Irvine Police Association

Grab a front row seat to Concert on the Green and Fireworks Festival in Irvine.

34th Annual Concert on the Green and Fireworks Festival
July 4. Witness a musical sky concert and fireworks extravaganza by Pyro Spectaculars in celebration of Fourth of July. Hosted by the Irvine Police Association, attendees can look forward to gourmet food trucks, live music by the Derek Bordeaux Group, professional field entertainers, field games and activities, bounce houses, raffles and more. Gates open at 3 p.m., fireworks at 9 p.m. $15 adults; $10 children ages 2-12 and seniors 60+; free for kids under 2. Irvine High School stadium, 4321 Walnut Ave., Irvine.


All-American BBQ Buffet
July 4. Join Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa for firework viewing, live entertainment and a barbecue complete with an ocean view. Enjoy an array of salads, specialty items from the grill, the gourmet mac ‘n’ cheese station and delicious desserts. Take in breathtaking views from the lawn or the patio—you will have the best seat in town for the Dana Point Harbor fireworks show. 5-8:30 p.m., fireworks show 9 p.m. $89 adults; $40 children ages 6-12; free for kids 5 and under. Price includes tax, gratuity and valet. Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa, 25135 Park Lantern, Dana Point, 949.487.7516.


Annual Yacht Party Fourth of July Brunch Cruise
July 4. Make the most of your Independence Day by hopping on board a three-hour luxury yacht cruise through Newport Harbor. Indulge on classic American cuisine while sipping summertime cocktails and enjoying the best seat in town for the Old Glory Boat Parade. Boarding 10:30 a.m., 11 a.m.-2 p.m. $87.54 adults; $54 children ages 4-12; free for ages 3 and under. Ambassador Yacht, 2901 W. Coast Hwy., Newport Beach, 714.485.6543.


City of Fullerton
July 4.
Come one, come all to City of Fullerton’s 29th annual Independence Day festival featuring family activities, kids rides, live music by Deke Dickerson and the Ecofonics, food vendors and more. 5-9:30 p.m., fireworks at 9 p.m. Free admission, free parking. Fullerton Union High School softball field, on Lemon between Berkeley and Chapman, 714.738.6545.


City of Mission Viejo Street Fair and Fireworks Spectacular
July 4. Get ready to celebrate our nation’s independence Mission Viejo style at the annual street fair and fireworks show. The fun kicks off with live entertainment on the Main Stage and youth bands jamming on the Freedom Stage. Expect food and game booths by local service groups along with 40+ vendors offering cool craft and gift ideas. Hop on a free shuttle that runs from 1-8 p.m. with 12 convenient stops around Lake Mission Viejo. Begins at noon, fireworks at 9 p.m. Free admission, tickets available for games and rides. On Olympiad between Marguerite and Melinda, Mission Viejo, 949.830.7066.


City of Santa Ana
July 4.
Don your best patriotic attire and head over to Santa Ana’s 8th annual celebration with live music, delicious food, youth sports activities, kids jump zone, face painting and more. Children will have a chance to meet important figures from American history at the annual History Walk and witness a Civil War cannon display. To end the festivities, a 20-minute firework finale will light up the night sky at 9 p.m. 4-9:30 p.m. Free. Centennial Park, 3000 W. Edinger Ave., Santa Ana.


City of Yorba Linda
July 4.
Celebrate our Nation’s independence at the City of Yorba Linda’s annual Fourth of July firework spectacular. The event will feature a live band, family activities, food and information vendors, a kids fun zone and more. 5 p.m. Veterans Sports Park, 4756 Valley View Ave., Yorba Linda, 714.961.7100.


Dinner and Fireworks Cruise with Dana Wharf Sportfishing photo by Dana Wharf Wahle Watching and Sportfishing

Hop aboard the Dana Pride for a barbecue buffet dinner and a perfect view of the fireworks.

Dana Wharf Whale Watching and Sportfishing
 Dinner and Fireworks Cruise
July 4. Board the Dana Pride dinner cruise for top fireworks viewing and a scrumptious barbecue buffet dinner feast. Choose from items like hand carved smoked tri tip, chicken breast, mac ‘n’ cheese and more. If you’re looking to just view the fireworks, sign up for the Display Cruise. There’s also the Schooner Curlew Fireworks Cruise for a more romantic and adventurous sailing trip that features complimentary champagne and hors d’oeuvres. Dinner cruise 7:30-9:30 p.m.; display cruise 8:30-9 p.m.; Schooner curlew fireworks cruise 6-9:30 p.m. See website for prices. 34675 Golden Lantern, Dana Point, 949.496.5794.


Independence Day on the Back Bay
July 4. Come down to the Back Bay for the annual Fourth of July celebration at Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina. Enjoy a jam-packed day of live music from some of the nation’s top tribute bands, an inflatable aquatic park, food trucks and a fireworks display to end the evening. Gates open at 8 a.m., fireworks show starts at 9 p.m. Entrance fee is $50 per car, street parking available. Free GA, $60 VIP tickets include table seating near the stage. 1131 Back Bay Dr., Newport Beach, 800.765.7661.


Fourth of July Hornblower Cruises
July 4. Celebrate Fourth of July on the water in Newport Beach. Choose from the Old Glory Boat Parade brunch with free-flowing champagne, a lavish brunch buffet and live entertainment; or a fireworks dinner cruise aboard Wild Goose complete with live entertainment, libations and an all-American buffet. See website for departure times. Fireworks Dinner Cruise: $109.95/pp; Old Glory Boat Parade brunch: $75/pp; Observation Cruise: $72/pp. Hornblower Cruises & Events, 2431 W. Coast Hwy., Newport Beach, 949.650.2412.


Laguna Hills Fourth of July Celebration
July 4. Bring your family and friends together to enjoy the fun, food and festivities at Laguna Hill’s Fourth of July event. Carnival rides and games, live music, patriotic crafts and face painting will all be part of the celebration along with a fireworks show to conclude the evening. Food and drinks will be available for purchase. Seating is not provided, so don’t forget your lawn chairs and umbrellas. 4-10 p.m. Free admission, parking available on Paseo de Valencia and Laguna Hills Drive. Laguna Hills Community Center, 25555 Alicia Pkwy., Laguna Hills, 949.707.2680.


Laguna Niguel 4th of July Summer Concert
July 4. Enjoy a night of music under the stars with the all-female cover band The Suffragettes playing hits from the 1970s and today’s hits at Crown Valley Community Park. Guests can bring lawn chairs and blankets to the outdoor performance, plus grab some food and dessert that will be available for purchase. Park at City Hall (30111 Crown Valley Pkwy.) and take a free shuttle that will transport you to the community park and back from 4:30-10 p.m. The fireworks show will be held at Laguna Niguel Regional Park, less than a mile from the amphitheater at 9 p.m. 6-8 p.m., fireworks begin at 9 p.m. Free. 949.362.4351.


Life Time Athletic Laguna Niguel
July 4. Ditch the grill and take a dip this Independence Day at Life Time Laguna Niguel’s Fourth of July bash. The poolside party will feature live music, barbecue, cocktails and family-friendly activities. Along with hamburgers and hotdogs, a selection of health-conscious appetizers, salads and sandwiches will also be available for purchase from the poolside menu. For guests 21+, the poolside bar will also offer beer, wine, mixed drinks and frozen cocktails for purchase. $30 non-members, free for members. Food priced separately. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. 25600 Rancho Niguel Road, Laguna Beach, 949.238.2719.




Dine and celebrate Fourth of July at Monarch Beach Resort.

Monarch Beach Resort
July 4. Come party and enjoy a fireworks show over the pristine Pacific Ocean at this AAA Five Diamond resort. Dine for dinner at AVEO Table + Bar or 33°North to enjoy beach-vibe music from 5-9 p.m., or have a meal at the new modern American steakhouse, Bourbon Steak, before the fireworks show at 9-9:30 p.m. One Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point, 949.234.3900.


The Queen Mary’s All-American Fourth of July Celebration
July 4. Let freedom ring and celebrate Independence Day aboard the majestic Queen Mary with a full day of family-friendly activities, delicious food, spectacular drinks from multiple bars, carnival games and more. The day-long celebration offers live entertainment from the nation’s top tribute bands including Tom Petty and the Heartshakers, The Long Run (Eagles Tribute band) and DSB (Journey Tribute Band). Strolling performers will be roaming the ship throughout the evening before you enjoy a 15-minute grand finale fireworks show. 2-10 p.m. $24-$109. 1126 Queens Hwy., Long Beach, 877.342.0738.


4th of July Parade Pier Festival photo by Jeff Gritchen. Concert on the Green and Fireworks Festival photo by Irvine Police Association. Dinner and Fireworks Cruise with Dana Wharf Sportfishing photo by Dana Wharf Wahle Watching and Sportfishing. Monarch Beach Resort photo by Monarch Beach Resort.