Where to Watch Fireworks in LA for the Fourth of July

Celebrate Independence Days with pyrotechnic spectaculars at open-air concerts, along the Pacific Coast, and from hotel rooftops.

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 we can all agree that there is one time when fireworks are unquestionably the right move—when the Dodgers, Lakers, or Rams win a big game.

The Fourth of July comes in a close second on the acceptable fireworks hierarchy, which means there will be epic displays across the city, and we’ve assembled a key guide for you to find the best option. From WeHo rooftop parties to coastline cruises, and from stadiums with motocross to a cemetery with classic movies, this is where to watch fireworks in LA this year:

Monday, July 4
Chavez Ravine
Postgame, around 10 pm
The Dodgers launch pyrotechnics after every Friday home game, but they’re adding a special display for the Fourth of July with a fireworks show set to the tune of patriotic anthems and classic songs. This year there should be some fireworks on the field too, with two high-powered offenses—the Dodgers and the Rockies—going head to head before the big show. And if you only care about the explosives, you can always drive up into Elysian Park to catch the fireworks for free.

Balboa Bay Resort
Photo courtesy of Balboa Bay Resort

Monday, July 4
Newport Beach
10:30 am parade; 9 pm fireworks
Newport Beach goes as hard as anyone for Independence Day, and this year is no exception. There will be a bike parade, a boat parade, and a marching parade through the day, then a WWII air squadron flyover, and then a Fireworks Extravaganza at Newport Dunes in the back Bay at 9 pm. You can brave the craziness of expensive parking and big crowds, or you can book a table at A+O or even a balcony room at the Balboa Bay Resort to enjoy prime viewing and live music.

Climb a hill, any hill

Monday, July 4, and probably ongoing through Labor Day
Various
Sundown
Angelenos love setting off illegal backyard fireworks, despite the desperate pleas of veterans, firefighters, 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

Saturday, July 2–Monday, July 4
Hollywood
7:30 pm
Head to the Hollywood Bowl for their essential fireworks spectacular, which is hosted by a truly beloved pair this year, comedy legends Steven Martin and Martin Short. It’s happening all three days of the long holiday weekend, with what is sure to be an almost unbearably charming evening of banter, witticisms, and music. Conductor Thomas Wilkins will also lead the LA Philharmonic in a barrage of summertime classics. Pack a picnic and enjoy the show at the celebrated venue (tickets start at $21), and end the evening with one of the finest pyrotechnic displays in town.

Rose Bowl Stadium
Rose Bowl Stadium

Monday, July 4
Pasadena
7 pm
Celebrate America’s birthday at the absurdly named and shockingly long-running 96th Annual AmericaFest celebration at the Rose Bowl. This year, the stadium itself is celebrating its centennial birthday, so they’re going all out with a musical performance by Drake Milligan and a TNT Freestyle Motocross show The parking lot opens at 1 pm, so you’ve got a good six hours to tailgate in the beautiful Arroyo Seco, plenty of time to crush your fine America-themed ales, lagers, and cocktails under the watchful eye of the majestic San Gabriels. The fireworks show is huge, booming off of those mountains for a breathtaking experience.

Marina del Rey
marinadelrey_ca

Monday, 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.

Cinespia fireworks
Cinespia

Saturday, July 2–Monday, July 4
Hollywood
9 pm
Celebrate the Fourth all weekend long with three days of Cinespia screenings followed by pyrotechnic afterparties. This year they’re showing a different outrageously good movie every night, with The Fast And The Furious on Saturday July 2, Purple Rain on Sunday, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off on the nation’s birthday. Arrive early (gates open at 7:15 pm) to snag a prime spot, roll out a blanket, pour a glass of wine, and settle in for a long night of explosive cinema and literal explosives.

Boathouse on the Bay
Boathouse on the Bay

Monday, July 4
Long Beach
9 pm
There are beautiful ocean views from lots of different angles in Long Beach, which is one of the many advantages of a long beach. On the Fourth of July, the city of Long Beach will put those vistas to good use with a fireworks display at Queensway Bay, which can be viewed for free at Lions Lighthouse for Sight, Shoreline Village, Rainbow Harbor, and Marina Green, among other nearby spots. If you want to get even closer, you can purchase a ticket for a Fireworks Cruise to get an oceanfront seat to the action.

Monday, 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. A WWII fighter squadron will kick off the festivities with a flyover to start the parade which will feature a marching band, baton twirlers, and more, between Via de la Paz and Drummond on Sunset Boulevard. Advance ticket purchases are required this year (general admission $10) for the fireworks show blasting off from Palisades High School.

Saturday, July 2–Monday, July 4
Universal City
9 pm
Celebrate America’s independence with a fun-filled day at Universal. Over the Fourth of July weekend, the theme park will be putting on a fireworks show at 9 pm every night. There will be prime viewing available at Universal Plaza and by the Transformers ride for a show full of explosions synched to Universal soundtrack classics, like Harry Potter and Jaws.

Disneyland
Disneyland

Nightly
Anaheim
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.

West Hollywood
8 pm
Expect already-busy LA rooftops to be packed this Fourth of July. The expansive al-fresco restaurant atop the 1 Hotel West Hollywood will host a fireworks party that will provide views of fireworks from the Santa Monica Pier to the Hollywood Bowl and all of the street shows in between, with bumping live DJ beats to match. Bring friends and enjoy their California/Mediterranean menu and craft cocktails. For tables and reservations, email reservations@harrietsrooftop.com.

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Ramona Saviss is an LA native who has a finger on the pulse of everything going on in the city. She loves to have a packed social calendar and is always planning her next adventure; you can find her byline in publications like The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Time Out LA, Fodor’s Travel, Business Insider, Billboard, Los Angeles Confidential and Angeleno.
Ben Mesirow is an Echo Park native who writes TV, fiction, food, and sports. At one time or another, his writing has appeared in The LA TimesLitroMcSweeney’s Internet TendencyLos Angeles Magazine, and scratched into dozens of desks at Walter Reed Middle School.