WHERE CAN I SEE FIREWORKS ON
JULY 4TH, 2014?


Half Moon Bay and surrounding communities will not have a fireworks display this year, however the "Old Fashioned Half Moon Bay July 4th" parade will go on as usual.  The celebration goes from 11am to 12pm and features dozens of homemade floats, bands, horses, classic cars and decorated bikes.


Fireworks at Pillar Point RV Park are strictly prohibited.

There are many places you can go to find fireworks and other celebrations for the 4th!

SAN FRANCISCO
Every year, San Francisco holds a large fireworks display over the bay. There are two sets of fireworks.  One set is near the Marina Green. The other one is closer to Fishermans Wharf. 

From the north side of the city, best bets to see fireworks are Marina Green, Aquatic Park and Chrissy Field.


If you are heading to the wharf, remember that a lot of the waterfront will be closed to
traffic at that time.   Best bet is to get there early using public transportation.

The fireworks display starts shortly before 9:30pm (or once it's dark enough to start) and lasts around 30 minutes.

VIEW FIREWORKS FROM A BOAT

The best views of the fireworks are from a cruise on the bay.  The cruises leave the Fisherman's Wharf neighborhood about an hour or more before the fireworks start.

Blue & Gold Fleet: 3 Cruises

Red and White Fleet: 4 Cruises

  • All depart from SF's Pier 43 1/2 in Fisherman's Wharf
  • Enjoy a complimentary beverage on board (beer, wine or soda)
  • Additional snacks and beverages available for purchase during the cruise
  • Boats #1 and #2 leave at 7:45pm
  • Boats #3 and #4 leave at 8:15pm
  • Boarding starts 30 minutes before departure so arrive early to secure your spot on the cruise
  • No outside food and drink allowed
  • $70 general admission tickets per person
  • Buy tickets for any of these four cruises on the Red and White Fleet

Hornblower's Buffet Dinner Cruise

  • Three and a half hour cruise, boards at 6pm and leaves at 7pm
  • Buffet dinner with cruise style tables, where you can share the fun with 8 to 18 other people
  • Hosted wine and beer bar
  • Cocktails available at the cash bar
  • DJ will spin tracks including a special mix during the fireworks show
  • Full Price: $185.71 | Goldstar Price: $111.42*
  • Buy your tickets here

Hornblower's Premier Fourth of July Dinner Cruise

  • Four hour cruise, boards at 6:30pm and leaves at 7:00pm
  • Four-course seated meal
  • Premium cocktail bar with Champagne and after dinner liquors
  • Live entertainment
  • Business casual attire recommended
  • Tickets start at $248.50 per person (includes taxes, service charge & landing fees)
  • Buy tickets for this dinner cruise on Hornblower

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According to redtricycle.com, here are some great not so common places to watch the fireworks in SF...

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San Francisco Art Institute
The kiddos might not like the idea of heading back to school on a Friday night, but the view will be worth it. Located at the top of Chestnut between Jones and Leavenworth streets, this private art college has always allowed visitors to roam its halls and enjoy its Diego Rivera murals. The outdoor courtyard is the ideal secret spot to take in the explosions over the Bay.

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Coit Tower
Follow a big pasta dinner in North Beach with a hike up to Coit Tower, where the view of the Bay is panoramic. This spot also has a small parking lot, so driving to the top is an option. The area is well lit, there’s a public bathroom, and you can claim a seat along the retaining wall surrounding the lot. Find directions and more info at sfrecpark.org.

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Alta Plaza Park
This is the perfect pick for the playground-age set. This quiet neighborhood park is perched atop Jackson and Steiner streets, and just received a major facelift last year. There’s plenty of grass to sit on, a handful of benches, a colorful new play structure and even decent bathrooms.  The grand staircase can be accessed from Pierce Street and is the easiest route to the top.

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Land’s End Trail
Trade wild crowds for wild grasses, trees and shrubs (and maybe a few critters) by spending the evening at Land’s End. Park at the Legion of Honor and follow the trail towards Sea Cliff. Pretty much anywhere along that stretch will afford you and the fam can find an unobstructed view of the Bay and the lightshow. Bring blankets and a flashlight. Check out trail maps at nps.gov.

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Tank Hill
This park is so small that it doesn’t even appear on some SF maps, but it’s easy enough to find at the intersection of 17th Street and Twin Peaks Boulevard, and parking in the surrounding neighborhood shouldn’t be a problem. The hill was named for a water tank that was removed nearly 20 years ago, and all the remains is a concrete cylinder on the hill’s peak—the perfect platform for setting up camp chairs, snuggling up with a thermos full of hot chocolate and watching the show.

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Bernal Heights Park
Make the little ones work for their entertainment by tackling the long, slow grade up to the top of Bernal Hill. Just take Folsom Street to its southern end and you’ll be at the base of the hill. The crowds, made up of mostly locals, have grown over the years, and the single bench is usually claimed by 5:30, but the site is still tamer than Twin Peaks. Although you can see three, sometimes four, fireworks shows from this spot, legend has it that the noise is muffled enough that even dogs and skittish tots can enjoy the spectacle from here. Bring blankets or camp chairs and a flashlight.

Angel Island
This is only the third year that Angel Island is open for visitors during the 4th of July fireworks show. The excitement starts with a boat ride across the Bay (departing Tiburon at 5 p.m. and SF at 5:40 p.m.), before a tram takes guests up to Battery Ledyard for the best view of the action. Pre-fireworks festivities (and food) will be on offer at the Cove Café and Cantina Oyster Bar. Bring flashlights or headlamps for the trek back, as well as camp chairs and blankets. Tickets are limited and range from $25-39. For more info, go to angelisland.com


Treasure Island
Treasure Island, smack in the center of the Bay Bridge, offers an alternative to the madness at Fisherman’s Wharf, but the bridge traffic will still be an epic battle, so leave early and spend some time exploring the old military barracks and staking out a secluded spot.


USS Hornet
Take your troops to watch the show aboard the USS Hornet. This ticketed event ($30) features all-day activities (more details here), including front-row seats for the fireworks, which will be viewed from the flight deck and will be accompanied by music. Kids 5 and under are free, and you can save $5 by buying tickets in advance. For more info, go to uss-hornet.org

 

North Bay

Marin Headlands
Head over the Golden Gate Bridge early and spend the afternoon romping on the beach and tending the barbeque. Head to the top of the hill for sunset, and if the fog stays away, enjoy the fireworks shows from SF, Alameda, Richmond and beyond. For directions and trails routes, go to nps.gov.

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Point Tiburon
If the kiddos are all partied out from a day at Dunphy Park in Sausalito, a quick trip down Paradise Drive will take you to Point Tiburon, where the show goes on, minus the masses.

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McInnis Skate Park
Bring the skateboards and scooters for an afternoon of ollies at McInnis Skate Park in Marin. An easy uphill stroll from the skate park parking lot will take you to the peak, where rangers will be toasting up s’mores at sundown for the crew of little grommets, and the view of the fireworks from the Marin County Fair is spot on. Get directions and more info at marincountyparks.org.

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More 4th of July activities:

Bodega Bay

Fireworks over Bodega Bay on Saturday, July 5. Fireworks start at around 9:30pm.

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Healdsburg

The fireworks display in Healdsburg is on Friday, July 4 over the Healdsburg High School Football Field. Fireworks start at dusk and last for about 40 minutes. Fireworks only, no festival.

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Napa

The Napa County Fair and Fireworks is an all day event with food, fun and fireworks. All events are in Calistoga. The morning starts with a parade in downtown Calistoga at 11am. Festival events start at noon with chefs demonstrations, kids activities and other carnival rides and games. The afternoon BBQ starts at 4pm with some of the best local wines and music by the local Jimmy Smith Band. Live music continues until the fireworks display, which starts around 9:30pm.

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Petaluma

The Petaluma Fourth of July celebration starts at 3pm at the Sonoma Marin Fairgrounds (175 Fairgrounds Drive, Petaluma). Enjoy live music, food and other entertainment until the fireworks show begins at around 9:30pm.  This year's parade starts at 11am on Friday July 4. It is followed by lunch and games on the Ross Common.

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San Rafael

One of the largest North Bay Celebrations is in San Rafael at the Marin County Fair. From July 2 - 6, catch live music, fireworks each night at 9:30pm and more than 35 hands-on games for the entire family. Top performers this year include Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Night Ranger and Huey Lewis and the News. All concerts are free with gate admission. Tickets start at $17 for adults, $15 for senior citizens 65 and older, $15 children 4 to 12 and those under 4 get in free.

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Santa Rosa

Red, White & Boom! 2014 is on Friday, July 4 at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa. This year's events include tasty food from local vendors, a watermelon eating contest, jumpy houses, face painters and fireworks. Gates open at 3:30pm. Fireworks begin around 9:30pm. Admission is $8 for 12+, $6 for veterans, $4 ages 5 - 11 and 4 and under get in free.

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Sausalito

Sausalito's festivities include a morning parade, afternoon festival and a fireworks display at night. This year's parade starts at 10am. Head over to Dunphy Park after the parade for games, live music and more all afternoon. The Sausalito Fireworks celebration is in Gabrielson Park. Listen to live music starting at 6:30pm. Fireworks begin at 9:20pm and last for about 30 minutes. All events are on Friday, July 4.

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Sebastopol

On Thursday, July 3rd, head to Sebastopol's Analy High School for this year's Independence Day Celebration. Festivities start at 5:30pm with live music, dancing and other fun activities. Fireworks are set to start around 9:40pm. General admission is $8 per person, $5 for children 6 to 11, and those 5 and under get in free.

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SONOMA

Festivities this year in Sonoma includes a celebration on the plaza that starts at 9am. It includes food, games and informational booth until 5pm. Their annual parade starts at 10am.  This year's Windsor KABOOM! is on Thursday, July 3rd. This year's event is from 4pm to 10pm and includes a huge Kid Zone with arts & crafts, jumpy houses, clowns and more. Fireworks will be around 9:30pm. Tickets are $5 per person and $3 for kids 7 and under.

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YOUNTVILLE

All Fourth of July activities take place on Friday. From 6pm to 9:30pm, enjoy live music, food, beer and wine at the Veterans Home of California. Fireworks will begin at dark (or around 9:30pm).

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Gilroy

The Gilroy Independence Day Celebration is at Gilroy Gardens. Their all you can eat BBQ is on the South County Pacific Grove. There are two meal times this year, both are first come, first served. The meal is from 12pm to 1pm and the second one is from 1pm to 2pm.  This event lasts from July 4 - 6. You will need to purchase tickets to the park and the BBQ to enjoy this event.

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Half Moon Bay

This year's Old Fashioned Half Moon Bay July 4th celebration starts with a morning parade. The parade is from 11am to 12pm and features dozens of homemade floats, bands, horses, classic cars and decorated bikes.

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Los Gatos

The Los Gatos hometown Fourth of July event is from 11am to 4:30pm at the Los Gatos Civic Center at 110 E. Main Street.  Picnic and games held at the Civic Center run from 11am to 1:30pm.   Music from 1:30-3:30pm at Los Gatos High School Front Lawn.  3:30-4:30pm there's Yankee Doodle Dancing at the Civic Center.

Menlo Park

The Menlo Park annual parade and celebration is Friday, July 4. The parade starts at 11:45am at Chestnut Street and Santa Cruz Avenue. Once you arrive at Burgess Park, you can enjoy music games and food until around 3pm.

Milpitas

The "Red, White & Boom" Concert & Fireworks Show starts at 7pm with the gates opening at 6pm. After the concert is the fireworks show at 9:15pm. Admission is $3 per person.

Monterey

This year, the city of Monterey will once again hold their 4th of July Parade. On Friday, July 4 watch as dozens of floats, musical units, and guest celebrities make their way through downtown Monterey.  Parade starts at 10am and is followed by an admission free

The parade starts at 10am and lasts for about an hour. After the parade, head over to the "Big Little Backyard Bar-B-Que and Entertainment Extravaganza" on the grounds of Colton Hall on Pacific Street.  There will be free  carnival booths, games, face painting and jump houses along with food for purchase. The day wraps up with a free Patriotic Concert at Jacks Ballpark in downtown Monterey. Gates open at 5pm and the concert begins at 7pm.

Mountain View

The place to be in Mountain View on the Fourth of July is the Shoreline Amphitheater. This annual concert by the SF Symphony with an amazing fireworks display is the perfect way to celebrate Independence Day.  Music starts at 8pm with the fireworks starting shortly after dark. The entire program lasts about two hours.

Pacifica

Head to Pacifica on Friday, July 4th for their annual celebration at Frontierland Park. From 11am to 4pm, enjoy fun events such as live music, face painting, free games, food, crafts and more.

Palo Alto

The 33rd Annual Summer Festival and Chili Cook-Off is Friday, July 4th at Mitchell Park (600 East Meadow Drive). This yearly Independence Day event lasts from 12 to 5pm. The Chili Tasting starts at 1:30pm.In addition to chili, you can also listen to live music, enjoy food from other food vendors, get your kids involved in a number of activities and more.

Redwood City

This year's parade theme for Redwood City is "Through the Eyes of a Child." It starts at 10am in downtown Redwood City.  Along Broadway Street, you will also find the annual festival. From 9am to 5pm, enjoy activities in the kids area, arts & crafts booths, food & beverages and informational booths.

San Jose

This year's Rose, White and Blue Parade is set for Friday, July 4. at 10am followed by

Picnic on The Alamed from 11am-2pm. Additional activities include an Antique & Classic Car Show and the opportunity to walk through dozens of arts and crafts booths.

San Mateo

San Mateo's annual celebration is at Central Park (E. 5th Avenue & El Camino Real). This event features a number of classic carnival games, family fun, music and entertainment.

Festivities last from noon to 4pm on Friday, July 4. It's free to enter and food will be available for purchase.

Santa Cruz

The 2014 Santa Cruz Firecracker 10K is on Friday, July 4. Heading into its 29th year, this family friendly event features a 10k, 5k and kids 1k.  It's free swim day at Simpkins Family Swim Center between Noon and 4pm. They will also host a BBQ with proceeds going to the Supporters and Helpers of Arts, Recreation and Parks.

Scotts Valley

This year, Scott's Valley is hosting both a parade and fireworks celebration.  The parade will begin at 3pm.   Live music starts at 6m at Skypark. There will also be games, jump houses, a petting zoo and food. The fireworks display is at 9:15pm. Admission to Skypark is $6 for advance purchases and $8 on the day of the event. Kids 4 and under are free.  All food and games are an additional cost.

Alameda

The annual Alameda Fourth of July Parade starts at 10am on Friday, July 4th. This parade is one of the longest in the US at more than 3 miles. Get there early to find your spot along the route.

Benicia

This year's Picnic in the Park & Fireworks event starts at noon. All day long at Benicia's City Park you can enjoy arts & crafts, hot food, live entertainment and children's activities. Fireworks will start around 9pm.

Berkeley

Head to the Berkeley Marina on Friday, July 4 between noon and 10pm for this year's Berkeley Fourth of July Celebration. During this all day event, you will find live entertainment, food trucks, art booths, crafts for the kids, free dragon boat rowing and more. The fireworks display starts at the Berkeley Pier at 9:30pm.

Concord

This year's first annual 4th of July Festival starts at 4pm at the Mt. Diablo High School. The festival features a carnival, food, arts & crafts vendors and live music. It ends at around 9pm with a fireworks display.

Danville

This year's annual parade in Danville is on Friday, July 4 starting at 9am. It will last approximately two and a half hours.  This year's theme is "Celebrating Our American Freedoms."  No Fireworks.


Fairfield

The annual Independence Day Parade in Fairfield is on Friday, July 4. The parade starts at 10am on Texas Street. All activities last until around 1pm.

Fremont

Fremont will host their Fourth of July parade on Friday starting at 11am.

Livermore

Livermore's Old Fashioned Fourth of July is on Friday, July 4 from 4pm to 10pm. This year's event includes family fun, games, food, drinks and a large fireworks display at around 9:20pm.

Martinez

There's a Pancake Breakfast from 8am to 10am and the annual parade starts at 10am. It begins at Court and Main Streets. No Fireworks Display.

Morgan Hill

The Morgan Hill 4th of July Parade and Freedom Fest is on Friday July 4. Entertainment begins at 9am. The parade is from 9am to 11:30am.  This family-friendly festival is free.

No fireworks display.


Piedmont

The Fourth of July Parade in Piedmont begins at 11am at the corner of Highland Avenue and Park Way. After the parade, a community picnic will be held in the Main Park which includes big band music on the main stage.  No Fireworks display.

Pleasant Hill

The 38th Annual July 4th Celebration in Pleasant Hill includes a parade, fireworks display and a 5k Fun Run.  Fireworks begin at 9pm at College Park.

Pleasanton

For the first time in more than a decade, you will be able to see fireworks in Pleasanton. This year's display is on Friday, July 4 at 9:45pm. The show is at the Alameda County Fairgrounds.

San Pablo

This year's celebration in San Pablo will also take place on Friday, July 4. Activities include live entertainment, kids games and food & drinks.  All events start at 4pm at the El Portal Soccer Field. Admission is free.  The fireworks show will start at dusk.



Suisun City

This year's celebration in Suisun City includes a picnic, music and a large fireworks display over the waterfront. Events start at 11am and last until around 10:30pm. The fireworks display starts at around 9:15pm.

Vallejo

The 161st Annual Vallejo Fourth of July parade is a go with the theme of "Let Freedom Ring!". The parade starts at 10am and will last until around noon.

Head back down to the waterfront that night for the fireworks display that starts at 9:15pm.

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(Thanks to sanfranciscotourismtips.com for the most up to date information)

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