San Diego Fireworks – Best Places to Watch the Action

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Locals know that San Diego fireworks along the beach are a big part of the city’s 4th of July celebration. It’s a traditional way of celebrating the country and enjoying some of the best that our community has to offer. Instead of fighting their way through the crowds, some people add to the fun with a boat rental. Watching the show from the water is truly a peaceful experience with nothing to get in the way of your view.

There are some other ways to combine fun festivities with the San Diego fireworks show. Every location where pyrotechnics are a regular event offers something a little different. Make it a night of entertainment for the entire family. Create a romantic backdrop for a more intimate evening for two. Below are some of the best sites for a fireworks celebration.


Big Bay Boom

If you take a “Go big, or go home” attitude towards fireworks, you don’t want to miss the city’s biggest 4th of July fireworks show. The Port of San Diego hosts the event, which spans five bay front locations including:

(1) Shelter Island

2018 marks the 61st year of fireworks at Shelter Island, making it a tradition that has transcended generations. The fireworks are 100% funded through tax deductible donations. The show is scheduled for Saturday, July 7, making it convenient to celebrate without worrying about getting to work the next day.

Start the celebration early with the pre-party at The Shipwreck. Festivities include raffles, cold drinks, and music by The Realm. The fireworks last from 9:00 to 9:45. Take advantage of the shuttle service to and from Shelter Island so you don’t miss a thing!

(2) Harbor Island

There’s also free shuttle service to Harbor Island. Parking is expected to fill up early. The fireworks start at 9:00 and last until 9:30. If you can’t make it to Harbor Island, tune in to your local news channels and watch from home. Tourists can also enjoy the show at Harbour Island with great hotels and restaurants nearby.

(3) Embarcadero

Embarcadero is a favorite spot for watching San Diego fireworks with prime viewing spots on both the north and south beaches. On North Embarcadero, go to the area between Grape Street and Broadway. Broadway Pier offers exceptional viewing.

In South Embarcadero, the prime viewing area includes parts of the San Diego Convention Center where parking is also available. You may need to take a short walk to the waterfront from your parking spot so be sure to wear your walking shoes.

(4) Seaport Village/Coronado Ferry Landing

The choice between Seaport Village and the Coronado Ferry Landing sides depends on what you want to do. The Landing includes lots of shopping, including a big shopping center and several shops along the public street. Seaport Village is home to a number of diverse shops, unique eateries and outdoor entertainment that attracts both kids and adults.

(5) Imperial Beach Pier

You can see the fireworks at IB Pier on the beach from Imperial Beach Blvd to Palm Avenue. For added interest, bring a radio and tune it to KYXY Radio 96.5 to listen to a synced playlist to accompany the show. The show doesn’t end with the fireworks, either. There’s music afterwards at Imperial Beach Pier Plaza.

The Big Bay Boom offers boaters a super front row seat. Just make sure you observe the 300-yard safety zones around the barges. Also, keep an eye out for other boaters. Boaters should make safety a priority while enjoying the San Diego fireworks show along with the rest of the viewers.

If you prefer to watch the show by land, some locations offer free shuttle service. Check out the shuttle schedule to make sure you don’t miss your chance to enjoy the fireworks. You can also find transportation and guaranteed parking at the Bay. Just check out the event’s official website to get details.

San Diego Fireworks


SeaWorld is a favorite destination for family fun at any time of year. The destination also tops the list with their “Into the Blue” 4th of July fireworks show. Take the family to spend the day cooling off with a variety of water rides. Spend some time watching the whale and dolphin shows. Stay around for the fireworks show at 9:30 for the perfect finish to a fun-filled day.

San Diego County Fair

Spend the day at the fair and engage in all types of festivities, entertainment, and rides. Join the annual crowd for the fireworks display that starts at 9:00pm. Try to get a seat on the Ferris wheel for a really thrilling show. There’s no end of the activities to try or the treats for your taste buds. See some concerts and enter some contests just for the fun. It’s a great way to spend the fourth.


This is a great place to enjoy an impressive display of San Diego fireworks away from the crowds. The San Diego Hornblower plays host to their “Fireworks Dinner Cruise Celebration” for a more romantic take on the occasion. The event includes a three-hour cruise aboard a grand yacht. Enjoy the gourmet buffet dinner, wine, and cocktails accompanied by live music and dancing. The fireworks show will bring your evening to an end with a bang!

Are Do-It-Yourself Fireworks a Better Way to Celebrate?

If you prefer to avoid the crowds and the hassle of transportation and parking, you might decide to buy your own fireworks. Lots of people make the choice every year to buy and set off fireworks with their families and friends. Before you stock up, there are some things to consider.

The Legal Use of Fireworks in California

You might assume that since you see tents set up where fireworks are sold all over town that it’s perfectly legal to sell and buy them. That isn’t always the case. There are strict laws about which kinds of fireworks you can buy. Even those that are legal can only be shot off in certain areas. Make sure you know the laws before you decide to spend the money on personal fireworks.

San Diego Fireworks

Fireworks Safety

The issue of fireworks safety is a much bigger one to consider. Thanks to the actions of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the fireworks sold to individuals are a lot safer today than they used to be. Still, the number of accidents, including amputations and deaths, that occur each year is staggering. One of the most significant reasons for these accidents is that people just don’t realize the danger. Putting fireworks in the hands of young children can turn to disaster that changes their lives forever.

If you decide to put on your own San Diego fireworks show, don’t ignore the information provided on the labels. This is an important first step in firework safety. Limit small children to those deemed ‘sane and safe’ which don’t actually explode. Otherwise, there’s a good chance they could be one of the thousands of people who end up in the emergency room each year.

Large fireworks shows are presented by people who are licensed in pyrotechnics. The fireworks they use have a different ‘rating’ and are illegal to sell to anyone for personal use. Although accidents involving these fireworks are less frequent, they do occur. Viewing the display from a distance is much safer than those where the show is presented to groups in the immediate area.

When you use fireworks, you become liable for any accidents that occur. Failing to follow the guidelines on the fireworks labels or the laws related to fireworks use makes you liable. If you are injured by fireworks at a public facility or at someone else’s house, they are liable for your injuries.

Manufacturers or the people who sold the fireworks may also be liable. The fireworks might have been made incorrectly. The seller may have sold them illegally to you or someone else. Only buy fireworks with a printed label that includes recommendations for use. Those with solid labels may be illegal.

Although going to the beach or enjoying a day at the fair might seem like a hassle, it’s a safer option than getting your own fireworks. A little patience and planning can end up as a festive celebration of Independence Day with minimal risk of injury.

Experience always goes a long way towards getting something right. The places listed here have been presenting San Diego fireworks shows for years. Unless you have similar experience, you probably can’t expect a flawless fireworks demonstration.

When an accident happens to you or to someone else, someone is responsible. Whether it’s the company that made the fireworks, you, or someone else who didn’t take the necessary precautions, someone is liable.

If you need to talk with an attorney about a fireworks accident or injury, experience matters. Contact Batta Fulkerson to schedule your free consultation. We’re here to help you enjoy the celebration and the rights that you celebrate every 4th of July!