From parades to parties to fireworks to dining, we’ve rounded up some fun ways to celebrate Independence Day in San Diego.
“Glow Ball” at The Loma Club
July 2. When the sun sets, the golf course at The Loma Club will begin to glow in an eye-popping way. Kick off Independence Day weekend with the property’s first “Glow Ball” golf tournament of the summer. The fun includes a welcome beer from veteran-owned Protector Brewery; as well as beer tastings on the course—all while you play nine holes along the specially illuminated course. Participants must be age 21 or older. 8 p.m. shotgun start. (Check-in begins at 7 p.m.) $40 per person. 2960 Truxtun Road, Liberty Station.
InterContinental San Diego’s “Celebrate Independence” Package
July 2-4. This all-inclusive, stay-and-play package features the hotel’s coveted waterfront suites—which offer unobstructed views of San Diego Bay, Point Loma and Coronado. Booking requires a three-night minimum stay (see website for pricing), during which guests can view the “Big Bay Boom” fireworks show; as well as fireworks in Coronado and at SeaWorld. The package includes three nights of parking for one vehicle; as well as a $400 food/beverage credit to be used at the hotel’s three restaurants and in-room dining. 901 Bayfront Court, downtown, 619.501.9400.
Gaslamp Laser Show and Silent Disco Block Party
July 3. As part of its “The New Normal is Now” campaign, the Gaslamp Quarter Association presents an action-packed Saturday night filled with an Independence Day-themed laser show; a multi-block, silent disco party; celebrations at participating restaurants and bars; accessible parking options; and more. See website for details and pricing. 6 p.m.-midnight (laser show at 9:30 p.m.). Along Fourth and Fifth avenues, Gaslamp Quarter.
Independence Day Parade in Coronado
July 3. Don some festive red, white and blue and head to Coronado to celebrate the return of this community tradition. The family-friendly event features live music, decorated military vehicles, food vendors, kids’ activities and more. 10 a.m. Along Orange Avenue, Coronado.
“Big Bay Boom” Fireworks Show
July 4. Presented by the Port of San Diego, it’s the largest fireworks show in California. Set to a musical simulcast on 101.5 KGB-FM radio, the 20-minute spectacular spans all of San Diego Bay—visible from Shelter Island, Harbor Island, Spanish Landing, North Embarcadero, South Embarcadero, Cesar E. Chavez Park, Coronado Ferry Landing and Coronado Tidelands Park. 9 p.m. See website for details on viewing locations and addresses.
“Lights Over the Cove” Fireworks Viewing Party
July 4. La Jolla Cove’s annual fireworks show, presented by the La Jolla Community Fireworks Association, is back with a bang. To celebrate, La Jolla Cove Suites is hosting a party on its top-floor deck directly overlooking the cove, guaranteeing the best seats for viewing—complete with a chef-prepared barbecue dinner, cocktails by Snake Oil and music. 6-10 p.m. (9 p.m. fireworks show). $100 per person. 1155 Coast Blvd., La Jolla.
Main Street Parade in Julian
July 4. Make a field trip to this quaint rural town to celebrate “Julian 150 Years +1,” a special Independence Day celebration featuring marching bands, antique cars, vintage tractors, veterans and dignitaries, and an appearance by the Marine Color Guard. Festivities begin at 10 a.m.; parade starts at noon. Along Main Street, Julian.
“Over the Top” at Top of the Hyatt
July 4. For an experience that is truly over the top, join Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego—the tallest waterfront hotel on the West Coast—at the property’s Top of the Hyatt lounge to celebrate Independence Day from 40 stories above San Diego Bay. Tickets include unparalleled views of the “Big Bay Boom” fireworks show; plus unlimited beer, wine and premium libations; and a themed dinner buffet. 6-10 p.m. Tickets start at $195 per person. One Market Place, downtown, 619.232.1234.
San Diego County Fair
July 4. It’s a patriotic celebration all day at the Del Mar Fairgrounds—also marking the last official day of the 2021 San Diego County Fair. Guests are encouraged to wear stars and stripes and enjoy the fair’s exhibits and festivities during the day—including indulging in treats such as apple funnel cake—and stay for the fireworks finale in the evening. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. $10 admission. 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar.
July 2-4. The Gaslamp hotspot is hosting a weekend-long menu of Top Gun-themed dishes and drinks. Highlights include the International Relations plate with chorizo, Cotija cheese aioli, pickled jalapeños and sweet-corn-black-bean-salsa—all on a sweet bread bun with a side of red potato salad. Themed cocktails include the Maverick made with Jack Daniels Honey whiskey, ginger syrup and ginger beer; Goose with Jack Daniels, bitters and smoked sugar; Iceman with Jack Daniels, chai and lemon; and Viper with Jack Daniels, DropKick Horchata cold brew and brown sugar. $1 from each cocktail sold will be donated to Save a Bullie, a local bulldog rescue. See website for hours. 600 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.255.7373.
The Gluten Free Baking Co.
July 2-4. The bakery has dreamt up several specials in honor of Independence Day, including boozy cupcakes; no-bake cheesecake topped with cherries, and themed treats from cupcakes to doughnuts—all gluten-free and decorated in red, white and blue. The shop will also offer the usual assortment of sweets and provisions—including cookies, bagels and breads—available first come, first serve. Call ahead for special orders. Tu-Su beginning at 11 a.m. 4594 30th St., North Park, 858.270.9863.
“Boardwalk Boom” at Sally’s Fish House
July 4. A prime viewing spot for the “Big Bay Boom” fireworks show over San Diego Bay, this marina-front restaurant is hosting a family-friendly affair along its embarcadero boardwalk. Each ticket includes a reserved seat (either indoors or outside), a themed dinner buffet and unlimited premium beer, wine and cocktails. 6-10 p.m. (9 p.m. fireworks show). Tickets start at $80. One Market Place, downtown.
July 4. InterContinental San Diego’s rooftop Sardinian-inspired restaurant, which overlooks San Diego Bay, will be offering a special three-course menu to celebrate the holiday. Feast on Sardinian and Sicilian cheeses, charcuterie, olives and crudité to start; followed by a choice of a grilled lamb tomahawk, grilled lobster, a rosemary-brushed pork porterhouse, lorighettas (pasta) with Baja prawns, or seared scallops; and gelato and cheesecake for dessert. Or book a cocktail table for two and enjoy light bites and libations. Reservations required (see website for hours). $50-$125 per person. 901 Bayfront Court, Suite 1, downtown, 619.436.1081.
Serea Coastal Cuisine
July 4. Enjoy a sea-to-table experience on the expansive patio overlooking Coronado Beach, prepared by executive chef JoJo Ruiz. In honor of Independence Day, the restaurant is offering several themed specialty cocktails—including the Purity made cachaça, coconut and lime; and Valor with Aperol, strawberry and prosecco. Reservations recommended. Br 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m.; D 5-9 p.m. 1500 Orange Ave., Coronado, 619.435.6611.
Photo credits: “Big Bay Boom” opening photo by Rinus Baak. “Big Bay Boom” second photo courtesy of Port of San Diego. Garibaldi by Diana Rose. Other photos are courtesy of the venues featured.