Where to Watch Fireworks on the Fourth of July in LA

Celebrate Independence Day with pyrotechnic spectaculars at open-air concerts, along the Pacific Coast, and from a rooftop movie theater.

Fireworks are majestic, hypnotic, beautiful, and also a bit of a touchy subject around town. They are at once deeply entwined with local culture and a source of stress and anxiety for many Angelenos (and their pets). But there is one time when we can agree that fireworks are unquestionably the right move—gender reveal parties. Nothing ever goes wrong with those.

The Fourth of July comes in a close second on the acceptable fireworks hierarchy, which means there will be epic displays across the city over the long weekend, and we’ve assembled a key guide to find the best option for you. From rooftop movies to fireworks cruises and quaint parades to a major soccer rivalry match, this is where to watch fireworks in LA this year.

La Venta and the coastline
Photo courtesy of La Venta Inn

Tuesday, July 4
Palos Verdes
7 – 10 pm
From their privileged position atop the Palos Verdes Peninsula, guests at the historic La Venta Inn events space can see the entire Santa Monica Bay coastline from Redondo to Malibu. On a normal day, the view is glorious, but on the Fourth of July, it’s particularly breathtaking as the whole coastline explodes with fireworks. This year La Venta is hosting a classic family-friendly cookout with burgers, hot dogs, salads, and drinks, and a slew of activities and games for kids, too.

Tuesday, July 4
Arts District
5 pm party; 6:50 pm movie; 9 pm fireworks
It’s hard to argue with the panoramic view of the city from Rooftop Cinema Club’s 5th-floor terrace at ROW DTLA, and this year they’re taking full advantage of the vista with a Fourth of July party. The evening starts with a catered barbecue plate that includes ribs, tri-tip, smoked salmon, and vegan burgers. There will be live music, a bar, and lawn games until 6:50 when they’re screening the perfectly on-the-nose classic Independence Day. The movie will end right at 9, just as fireworks really start to pop off around the city.

Tuesday, July 4
San Marino
4:45 pm parade; 9 pm fireworks
If you’re looking for a more genteel fireworks experience, head to the ritzy suburb of San Marino and its crown jewel, Lacy Park. Every year they turn one of the most beautiful and well-manicured parks in town into Fourth of July headquarters for the West San Gabriel Valley, hosting a quaint and lovely all-day holiday celebration. The ticketed event includes a full slate of family-friendly activities, with a 5k run, food booths, a family fun zone full of games, a parade, live music, and then a fireworks show after dark.

Tuesday, July 4
Chavez Ravine
Postgame, around 9:30 pm
The Dodgers launch pyrotechnics after every Friday home game, but for the Fourth of July, they’re going for a special display with a fireworks show set to the tune of patriotic anthems and classic songs. The Dodgers will be taking on the Pittsburgh Pirates in the pre-show sporting event, but if you only care about the explosives, you can always drive up to Elysian Park to catch the fireworks for free.

Climb a hill, any hill

Tuesday, July 4, and probably ongoing through Labor Day
Angelenos love setting off illegal backyard fireworks, despite the desperate pleas of firefighters, sound-sensitive citizens, and pet owners. On the Fourth of July, that turns the entire city into a hazy gunpowder-scented launchpad, a battlezone for neighbors to flex on each other with ever-larger and more elaborate fireworks. That means that you can get a breathtaking view of bombs bursting in air from just about any elevation around, whether that’s Debs, Baldwin Hills Overlook, Brace Canyon Park, the roof of a parking garage, or just a random empty lot on top of your nearest hill.

Hollywood Bowl fireworks
Hollywood Bowl

Sunday, July 2–Tuesday, July 4
7:30 pm
Head to the Hollywood Bowl for their essential fireworks spectacular, which features The Beach Boys this year. It’s happening over three days of the extra long holiday weekend, from Sunday the 2nd through the holiday itself on Tuesday. Conductor Thomas Wilkins will lead the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, and John Stamos is set to join the legendary band in what has become something of a tradition. Pack a picnic and enjoy the show at the celebrated venue, and end the evening with one of the finest pyrotechnic displays in town.

Rose Bowl Stadium
Rose Bowl Stadium

Tuesday, July 4
After the match, around 9:30 pm
This year the executives at the Rose Bowl decided to put the long-running AmericaFest celebration on pause. Instead the venue will host a special MLS soccer match, a rescheduled edition of El Tráfico, the freeway match between LA Galaxy and LAFC. The game kicks off at 7:30, and will be followed by the Rose Bowl’s traditional fireworks show, which is always one of the best in town. The size of the fireworks and the Rose Bowl’s location in the Arroyo Seco means it also presents a great opportunity for un-ticketed viewing from the parks and streets nearby—just watch out for the extensive parking and traffic restrictions.

Marina del Rey

Tuesday, July 4
Marina del Rey
9 pm
Head to Marina del Rey’s Burton Chace Park or Fisherman’s Village to watch fireworks shot from a barge off of the Marina’s south jetty, with synchronized music playing over loudspeakers. You’ll want to get there early, though—it’s an extremely popular day, with a ton of visitors from around the county, and road closures begin as early as 1 pm. Alternatively, you can board one of the city’s Dinner Cruises or charter a private yacht to get front-row seats, or make a dinner reservation at any of the waterfront restaurants in Marina del Rey.

Boathouse on the Bay
Boathouse on the Bay

Monday, July 3 – Tuesday, July 4
Long Beach
9 pm
This year the city of Long Beach is really taking advantage of the extra long weekend, hosting celebrations on both Monday the 3rd and on the Fourth of July. On Monday it’s The Big Bang on the Bay, a ticketed block party with catered barbecue that also features an airshow, paragliders, and dancing followed by fireworks. On the Fourth of July itself, it’s the return of the city’s free fireworks show on Queensway Bay. There are lots of viewing options, including Lions Lighthouse for Sight, Shoreline Village, Rainbow Harbor, and Marina Green, among other nearby spots. If you want to get even closer, you can also purchase a ticket for a Fireworks Cruise or to the festivities aboard the Queen Mary.

Tuesday, July 4
Pacific Palisades
2 pm parade; 6 pm show; 9 pm fireworks
Get seriously patriotic at the Pacific Palisades’ Annual Independence Day parade, home decorating contest, and fireworks extravaganza. The parade will feature music, performances, Kids on Bikes, a Patriotic Pups dog walk, and more. The parade route starts at Palisades Elementary school and proceeds down Sunset to Drummond, where it pivots to end at Palisades Park. This year, advance ticket purchases are required for the fireworks show blasting off from the Palisades Charter High School football stadium.

Tuesday, July 4
Universal City
9 pm
If you’ve been looking for an excuse to get back to Universal Studios to check out Super Nintendo World or to return to Hogwarts, the Fourth of July presents a great opportunity. There will be live performances, dances, and fireworks all day, and the park will be covered in holiday-appropriate decor. The whole thing culminates with a full fireworks display at 9 pm, set to music from Universal feature films.


9:30 pm
Put on your Mouse ears and head to Disneyland for a Fourth of July celebration with a Disney twist. Fireworks are back nightly at the happiest place on earth, so expect a Disney-themed show with lasers and fireworks that gets a patriotic boost for the holiday weekend. Or, if you’re in the area and just want to watch the fireworks, head to Downtown Disney or anywhere near the park to watch the show without the accompanying music.

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Ben Mesirow is a Staff Writer at Thrillist.