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Marina del Rey fireworks
Photograph: Shutterstock

Where to see 4th of July fireworks in L.A.

Find out where to see the biggest and best 4th of July fireworks shows, no matter where you are in L.A.

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Written by
Michael Juliano
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Whether you intend to or not, you’re going to see some 4th of July fireworks—or at the very least hear them thanks to Angelenos’ summer-long affair with very-much-illegal amateur pyro. But Independence Day itself brings about a whole other tier of patriotically loud, colorful explosions in the night sky thanks to a bunch of professionally-staged 4th of July fireworks shows. After a day at one of the best beaches in L.A., cooling off with the city’s best ice cream and grilling with friends and family, cap things off with a bang. From the Long Beach waterfront to Hollywood, here’s where to see 4th of July fireworks this year.

RECOMMENDED: Find more fun for the 4th of July in L.A.

The best places to see Fourth of July fireworks

  • Things to do
  • Festivals

AmericaFest at the Rose Bowl is an explosive celebration of all things red, white and blue. The fireworks won’t shoot off until 9pm, but the Rose Bowl will open hours earlier for a kid-friendly carnival. If you don’t want to venture into the stadium (i.e. pay money), the show is viewable from the areas around the Arroyo, most easily accessible along the Colorado Street Bridge and the neighborhoods west of the 210, and, somewhat distantly, from parking garage rooftops in Old Pasadena.

  • Things to do

There’s something about watching fireworks over the ocean. Every year in Marina del Rey, fireworks explode over the marina channel and spectators gather all over to watch: at Burton Chace Park or Fisherman’s Village as well as from Marina “Mother’s” Beach, waterfront hotels and restaurants, and on boats. Fireworks start at 9pm and usually last for about 20 minutes, but this year it’ll be a 10-minute show fired off from the south jetty instead of a barge. Arrive early to the area’s county lots.

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  • Things to do

The Queen Mary isn’t quite ready to partake in a fireworks show, but the rest of Long Beach sure is. This Fourth of July, you’ll find pyro over Queensway Bay around 9pm for a free show easily viewable from most of the Long Beach waterfront’s attractions. If you’d rather watch from the water, Harbor Breeze Cruises has three different boats departing from Rainbow Harbor ($50) on the Fourth, as well as a July 3rd cruise ($50) for a 9pm show on the eastern edge of the city over Alamitos Bay.

  • Things to do
  • Festivals

Cruise on up to the Palisades for a beachy Independence Day extravaganza. Things kick off in the afternoon with a 2pm WWII fighter plane flyover to herald the start of the parade. The baton twirlers and marching trombonists will begin their promenade on Sunset Boulevard, between Via de la Paz and Drummond. There’s usually a late-afternoon concert, but that’s not the case this year. You will, however, still find the 9pm fireworks show at Palisades Charter High School (tickets required).

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  • Things to do

Fireworks smack-dab in the middle of the street? Not an uncommon sighting on the Fourth. But at a professional level? Now you have our attention. The City of Glendale is teaming up with Caruso for a fireworks show just outside of the Americana, centered around Harvard Street and Brand Boulevard (that’s near the eastern entrance to the outdoor mall). No tickets are required, and you should be able to catch the show (which starts at 9pm) from anywhere in the area—as long as you don’t have an office tower blocking your view.

  • Things to do

Burbank’s Starlight Bowl is forgoing a 4th of July concert this year, but it’ll still be shooting off fireworks for the holiday around 9pm. Note that there’ll be no access to the amphitheater itself, and the city suggests watching from your own backyard (but if you’re not local, we’d suggest scoping out Castaway just across the canyon, which will be offering fireworks seating and some pretty killer views of the Valley).

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  • Things to do

Make your Fourth of July an all-day blowout by heading down to this legendary, long-running fest at the Huntington Beach Pier. The festivities kick off with a 5K run and fitness expo. Walk the parade route to the beach and then put on your Uncle Sam hat for the three-day Pier Plaza Festival, where you’ll find live entertainment, family activities and all-American eats. Scope out a spot or grab a VIP seat for the fireworks display at 9pm, which ends in an epic 500-round finale.

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  • Things to do
  • Event spaces
  • Anaheim
  • price 3 of 4

Disneyland used to shoot off fireworks practically every night of the year, though at some point that got pared back to weekends. Thankfully, the pyro is back nightly for 2021 with the Independence Day re-debut of the laser and projection-filled “Mickey’s Mix Magic,” which includes fireworks in its bag of tricks. That means you won’t see the red-white-and-blue “Celebrate America” fireworks, but truth be told, we happen to think their Disney-fied shows are more memorable than their patriotic displays. Just a heads up that you currently need a reservation to visit Disneyland (though the fireworks are visible sans music from pretty much anywhere near the park).

  • Things to do
  • Fireworks
  • price 3 of 4

For just the second time, the storied movie studio and theme park will fire off a Fourth of July pyro extravaganza with fireworks synchronized to both Universal-themed music and patriotic standards. There aren’t a ton of details about the show, expect to see fireworks shot off from multiple locations in the park around 9pm on the Fourth (it’ll be included in park admission).

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  • Things to do

Theme parks, fireworks and Coca-Cola—talk about a patriotic trio. Six Flags will shoot off fireworks over three straight nights at its Valencia park. As far as the carbonated sponsorship goes, you’ll be able to slurp town a red Sprite concoction while you’re there, and you can nab half-price park tickets with the promo code COKE (though prices are already pretty jacked up July 2 through 4 to begin with).

Big Bear
Photograph: Courtesy Unsplash/Chris Barrett

Big Bear

We’ll be upfront: Yes, Big Bear fires off some impressive pyro, but you really shouldn’t go if you don’t already have overnight accommodations. The traffic getting into and out of the mountain resort, as well as around the lake, is abysmal over any long weekend. Toss in some fireworks as well and everything around the mountain lake becomes a downright nightmare. If you are going to be there, you’ll find the best visibility for the half-hour show (which fires off between 8:45 and 9:15pm) on the eastern half of the lake, with mostly clear views from the north shore (there’s also a mountaintop party at Snow Summit). But remember, you’ve been warned.

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What about the rest?

This year marks a massive improvement over 2020’s almost entirely virtual shows. But Grand Park won’t be launching fireworks this year but will have an art and light installation all month.

The Coliseum won’t be hosting a community festival, but there will be fireworks following the Glitinis match.

And the Dodgers are out of town on the Fourth, but you can catch fireworks there after every Friday night home game in the summer.

Looking for more ways to celebrate the Fourth of July?

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