6 places to see fireworks in L.A. near public transit stops

You won’t have to worry about traffic or parking your car at these spots.

Michael Juliano
Written by
Michael Juliano
Editor, Los Angeles & Western USA
Rose Bowl fireworks
Photograph: Shutterstock

We love 4th of July fireworks, but sometimes our aversion to traffic and fighting to find parking is enough to keep us away (we’re looking at you, waterfront Westside fireworks shows).

But thanks to our ever-expanding Metro system, you can stay off the road on the 4th of July and forget all about gas prices, overstuffed parking garages and Uber and Lyft surge pricing. We’ve put together some picks for our favorite fireworks shows at Metro-accessible spots (and specifically ones that are within a short walk or a quick shuttle transfer from the station). So ditch your car this Independence Day and scope out one of these transit-friendly fireworks shows. 

Long Beach

You don’t need to board a boat to see Long Beach’s fireworks show; you’ll have a view from nearly anywhere along the waterfront. Follow the throngs of people to ShoreLine Aquatic Park if you want one of the closest (but most crowded) views.

Nearest Metro stop: Downtown Long Beach (A Line) 

Old Pasadena

With Americafest out and the L.A. Galaxy vs. LAFC match once again in, buying a comparatively pricier ticket is the only way to watch the fireworks show from inside the Rose Bowl (and if you do, FYI, the parking shuttle from the Parsons lot will indeed be running). But if you’re simply after fireworks and not footy, we’d suggest sticking to walkable Old Pasadena: Simply find the tallest parking structure with a clear view toward the northwest and you’ll have a distant but serviceable view of the show. If you’re up for a bit of walking, you can try hoofing it into the neighborhoods just above the Arroyo (try the blocks west of the Gamble House) or to the crowded Colorado Street Bridge.

Nearest Metro stops: Memorial Park and Del Mar (A Line)

Hollywood Bowl

Harry Connick Jr. has the distinction this year of playing the Hollywood Bowl’s annual fireworks spectacular over three nights (July 2–4). You’ll find shuttles that depart from a number of nearby locations, including from Ovation (the former Hollywood & Highland)—but if you’re alright with a slight uphill climb on the way there, the mile-or-so walk from the B Line-adjacent Ovation is just as convenient. 

Nearest Metro stop: Hollywood/Highland (B Line)

Universal Studios

The storied movie studio and theme park will fire off a Fourth of July pyro extravaganza synchronized to both Universal-themed music and patriotic standards on July 4. The park says you won’t be able to see the show from CityWalk so you’ll have to splurge on a theme park ticket—but you can still save some cash by avoiding parking fees in favor of taking the Metro and using the free shuttle at the bottom of the hill on the Lankershim side of the park.

Nearest Metro stop: Universal City/Studio City (B Line)

Dodger Stadium

You’ll need to hop on the free (with your game ticket) Dodger Stadium Express at Union Station, but it’s easy enough to catch fireworks from Chavez Ravine without driving. Catch the Dodgers taking on the Arizona Diamondbacks and then—after you’ve gotten your final fill of beer and Dodger Dogs—line up on the field level to watch the postgame fireworks show from the outfield grass.

Nearest Metro stop: Union Station (A/B/D Lines)

South Pasadena

South Pasadena’s annual Festival of Balloons unfortunately involves neither the hot air nor Thanksgiving parade type of balloon. But it does precede a fireworks show at South Pasadena High School, which is less than a 15 minute walk from the Metro.

Nearest Metro stop: South Pasadena (A Line)

What about Grand Park?

Though Metro-adjacent and still recommended, this year’s Fourth of July Block Party will again feature a drone show instead of fireworks, so it technically just misses out on our train-friendly fireworks list for 2024.

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