Top 10 Ways to Celebrate Fourth of July in San Diego 2024

“Big Bay Boom” fireworks views from Sally’s Fish House & Bar

From parades to fireworks displays to a yacht party along the bay, we’ve rounded up 10 fun ways to celebrate Independence Day in San Diego this year.

Fireworks at SeaWorld San Diego
1. “Summer Spectacular” at SeaWorld

Through Sept. 2. SeaWorld San Diego’s themed, family-friendly summertime experience makes your visit particularly magical. Just before sunset, the park comes alive with special shows, live concerts, fireworks and more. New entertainment this year includes the “So Much More to SEA” parade; the “Shamu and Crew: Together Again” live performance character show; the “BMX Blast!” stunt show; the Summer Concert Series featuring the likes of Ginuwine, Jesse McCartney and more; and the nightly “Enchanted Wonders” fireworks spectacular. See website for hours and admission info. 500 Sea World Drive, Mission Bay, 619.222.4732

Patriotic fun at the Crown City Classic
2. Crown City Classic 5K & 12K Run

July 4. Get your cardio on at this festive holiday weekend race. The 51st annual Crown City Classic comprises a 5K run and 12K run—in which you’ll essentially be running 7.4 miles to celebrate 7/4! The races take participants along scenic Coronado Bay, starting and finishing at Tidelands Park, and offering views of the Coronado Bridge. The kiddos are welcome to race, too, in the Crown City Half Mile. Runners will receive a commemorative finisher medal and T-shirt. 7 a.m. (5K and 12K); 8:30 a.m. (kids half-mile). See website for all details and to register. 2000 Mullinex Drive, Coronado

Watch the Mission Bay fireworks aboard a turn-of-the-century sternwheeler.
3. Mission Bay Fireworks Show

July 3. This annual summer holiday tradition is presented by Discover Mission Bay San Diego, in partnership with surrounding Mission Bay resorts—including Bahia Resort Hotel, Paradise Point Resort, The Dana on Mission Bay, Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa and Marina, Catamaran Resort Hotel & Spa, and San Diego Mission Bay Resort. The properties, as well as myriad other Mission Bay businesses, each are offering special programming to make it a memorable evening for families. Book a special evening cruise aboard the Bahia and Catamaran’s famous sternwheeler boast, the William D. Evans, to watch the fireworks from the middle of the bay ($40 hotel guests; $51 general admission). See website for more details and public viewing areas to watch the show, which will be set to a festive soundtrack in partnership with 101.5 KGB. 9 p.m. Along Mission Bay

“Big Bay Boom” along San Diego Bay
4. “Big Bay Boom” Independence Day Spectacular 

July 4. There are fireworks. And then there’s the “Big Bay Boom” Independence Day Spectacular. Presented by the Port of San Diego on July 4, Big Bay Boom is the largest fireworks show in California. Displayed from four barges and set to a musical simulcast on 100.7 BIG FM radio, the 20-minute spectacular spans all of San Diego Bay—visible from Shelter Island, Harbor Island, Spanish Landing Park, the North Embarcadero, South Embarcadero, Cesar E. Chavez Park, Coronado Ferry Landing and Coronado Tidelands Park. (Bring lawn chairs and blankets!) See website for all viewing locations and parking tips. Along San Diego Bay

Coronado’s Independence Day Parade along Orange Avenue
5. Coronado Fourth of July

July 4. Don your red, white and blue and head to Coronado to celebrate. Highlights of the day include the 75th annual Independence Day Parade along Orange Avenue, featuring live music, decorated military vehicles and more (10 a.m.); an aerial demonstration by the Navy Leap Frogs (2 p.m.); several concerts throughout the afternoon; and a fireworks show over Glorietta Bay (9 p.m.), viewable from the Coronado Golf Course—complete with a soundtrack by KYXY Radio 96.5 FM. See website for full schedule and all locations. Free. Along Orange Avenue, Coronado

Julian’s Main Street Parade
6. Julian Main Street Parade & Celebrations

July 4. Make a field trip to the quaint rural town of Julian to celebrate its 2024 Fourth of July Parade, with the Julian Union High School District as this year’s Grand Marshal. This special Independence Day celebration is highlighted by its Main Street Parade—featuring marching bands from local schools, floats, antique cars, vintage tractors, veterans and dignitaries; and an appearance by the Marine Color Guard. Festivities also include a flyover of vintage airplanes; live music; a western reenactment by the Julian Doves & Desperados; two pie-eating contests; and more. Festivities begin at 9:30 a.m.; parade starts at noon. Main Street, Julian

“Sallys Boardwalk Boom” at Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego
7. “Sally’s Boardwalk Boom”

July 4. Nab a front row seat to the “Big Bay Boom” fireworks show via this special dinner celebration at marina-side restaurant, Sally’s Fish House & Bar, located at the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego. Reserve a premium patio table to secure unrivaled views; and order from Sally’s menu of locally sourced seafood, fine wines and craft cocktails. Parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis at the hotel’s self-parking garage (validated up to three hours). The ticket price of $100 reserves the table of your choice for up to four guests. A $400 minimum of food and beverage purchases per table is required for each dinner reservation. 8-10 p.m. One Market Place, downtown

Festive fun at LEGOLAND
8. “Red, White & BOOM!” at LEGOLAND

July 4. During the day, the kiddos and grownups alike can enjoy the park’s main attractions, such as the “LEGO® Ferrari Build and Race” experience; as well as meet-and-greets with LEGO characters, special live performances, DJ dance parties, limited-time treats, lawn games and other holiday-themed activities. After sunset, pick one of several designated viewing locations for the “Red, White & BOOM!” fireworks spectacular, complete with pre-show entertainment and special 3D viewing glasses for each guest. See website for hours and admission info. One Legoland Drive, Carlsbad, 888.690.5346

9. San Diego County Fair

July 4. It’s a patriotic celebration all day at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, which presents its 2024 Fireworks Spectacular as part of the San Diego County Fair. Guests are encouraged to wear stars and stripes and enjoy the fair’s exhibits, rides, concerts, food and festivities during the day—including indulging in treats such as apple funnel cake—complete with a fireworks finale, viewable from the Corona Grandstand Stage area (home of the Toyota Summer Concert Series). Fair gates open at 11 a.m.; fireworks show begins at 9 p.m. Free general admission to fireworks show; $20-$25 for reserved seating. 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar 

10. “Pier Pressure” Fourth of July Weekend Yacht Party

July 6. Celebrate Independence Day into the weekend aboard Hornblower’s $10 million “Inspiration” luxury yacht, which has hosted SoCal’s biggest yacht party for 13 years running. The celebration includes live entertainment across the 1,200-person-capacity vessel’s multiple decks and two areas of music—including performances by DJs, including Spitz, Justin Credible, Daughter of Arya and more. Guests can take advantage of several fully stocked and staffed bars (with bottle service and VIP packages available); while dancing and taking in unparalleled San Diego Bay views. 5-8 p.m. (boarding begins at 4 p.m.). See website for ticket pricing (21+). 1800 N. Harbor Drive, downtown

Photo credits: “Big Bay Boom” by Rinus Baak. Other photos are courtesy of the venues featured.


Sign up for FREE to receive our exclusive Weekend Roundup!

Get the best things to do in our favorite SoCal spots delivered to your inbox every week

Los Angeles

Orange County

San Diego