Things to do for the Fourth of July

Despite Independence Day falling in the middle of the week, there are still plenty of events. Here are places to eat, drink, hang and watch fireworks in San Diego.

Backyard Kitchen & Tap

This Pacific Beach restaurant has two days packed with specials. Start early on July 3 with drink specials and a DJ mixing tracks from 4 p.m. to close. The next day, sip on $7 mimosas and $4 Budwiser drafts during brunch. The party concludes with a BKYD BBQ 2-8 p.m. and music from 1 p.m. to close. 

832 Garnet Ave., Pacific Beach, 858.859.2593,


Beach Bonfire at Mission Bay

Go early to Mission Bay for a bonfire pit at Paradise Point Resort and Spa. Bring a s’mores kit for the fire or purchase one from the resort. Hang out with friends and family before watching the fireworks over the bay or dine at the resort’s restaurant, Tidal. 

1404 Vacation Rd., Mission Bay, 858.240.4913,

Big Bay Boom + fireworks shows around the county

Grab a lawn chair, and prepare for 18 minutes of eye-popping pyrotechnics launched from four barges in the Big Bay during one of the West Coast’s largest Fourth of July fireworks show. For a full list of fireworks shows, go here—Michael Benninger

Viewing areas from Point Loma to Coronado,


Big Bay Boom

SAN DIEGO, July 4, 2016 | With the downtown San Diego skyline in the background, fireworks explode over San Diego Bay during the Port of San Diego 2016 Big Bay Boom fireworks show on Monday. | Photo by Hayne Palmour IV/San Diego Union-Tribune/ZUMA PRESS San Diego Union-Tribune 

(Hayne Palmour IV / San Diego Union-Tribune)

Carnitas’ Snack Shack Embarcadero

Head on over to Carnitas’ Snack Shack’s third annual cookout. Grab a couple of the traditional burgers and hot dogs being served or taste the drinks offered at the mobile outdoor bar cart. There will be live music from 2-8:45 p.m. and cornhole to entertain the crowd. With the Embarcadero Shack located right by the bay, its bound to have great views of the nightime fireworks. 

1004 N. Harbor Dr., downtown, 619.696.7675,

DJ Pauly D at Float pool lounge

Technically not a fourth of July event, this pool party happening June 30 serves as a pre-celebration. DJ Pauly D, also known as Pauly D from Jersey Shore, will mix it up at the Hard Rock Hotel’s rooftop pool. Act fast, tickets are in their last tier. 

207 Fifth Ave., downtown, 619.702.3000,

Hiatus Lounge

Hotel La Jolla’s Hiatus Lounge will open to the public to celebrate the fourth and offer happy hour all day. Draft beers and house wines are available for $5, as well as select bites from the Cusp kitchen. 

7955 La Jolla Shores Dr., La Jolla, 858.551.3600,

Lafayette Red, White & Brew Pool Party

Spend the Fourth poolside with suds flowing from Coronado Brewing and beats from Chug Boat.


2223 El Cajon Blvd., North Park,

Moonshine Beach

Donning American flags and rustic decor year round, Moonshine Flats is ready for the fourth of July. Select beers are $3, select liquors are $4 and buckets are available for $10. The country bar has a large dance floor perfect to boogie down before catching the fireworks on the bay. Doors open at 8 p.m. and there is no cover charge. 

1165 Garnet Ave., Pacific Beach, 858.999.0158,

O’fest Beach Festival

Capping off Oceanside’s Star-Spangled Independence Week, this event will be chock full of food, activities and retail vendors in Pier Plaza and amphitheater parking lot. —Michael Benninger

The Strand from O’side Pier to Tyson Street Park, Oceanside,

O’fest Beach Festival

O’fest Beach Festival will have vendors, food and plenty of activites. 

(Courtesy photo)

Over the Top 4th of July Celebration 2018

Splurge on a VIP firework experience 40 stories high at Top of the Hyatt in downtown. Decked out with seven bars and restaurants, guests can sip on unlimited beer, wine, champagne and premium liquor in addition to the BBQ from the themed buffet dinner. Click here for more event information. 

1 Market Pl., downtown, 619.232.1234,


Red, White and Brews

Eppig Brewing will have an all-day party and release its Independence Pale Ale for the fourth of July food menu. The Point Loma tasting room has a waterfront biergarten, making it an ideal place to watch the fireworks at the bay. Check out the event page for more information. 

2817 Dickens St., Point Loma, 619.756.6825,

Eppig Waterfront Biergarten

Eppig Waterfront Biergarten offers unobstructed views of the bay. 

(Eppig Brewing )

San Diego County Fair

After a month of fried foods, rides and carnival games, the San Diego County Fair will come to a close on July 4. Before saying goodbye, it will go out with a bang. The fair is open from 10 a.m. to midnight and lined up with events and activites— including parades, music, a screening of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and fireworks. 

2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar, 858.755.1161,

San Diego County Fair Final Day
Workers from Dandy Souvenirs blow bubbles while taking part in the Hometown Heroes Parade on the final day of the San Diego County Fair on July 4, 2017. (Photo by K.C. Alfred/The San Diego Union-Tribune)
(K.C. Alfred / San Diego Union-Tribune)


Another bar getting the party started early is Waterbar. On July 3, munch on tacos and wash it down with $7 Don Julio margaritas, $4 Budwiser drafts or $5 Modelo and Pacifico drafts. For the Fourth, come in patriotic gear for a chance to win a surfboard, plus sip on Tito’s slushies or Firecracker Pop-tails. 

4325 Ocean Blvd., Pacific Beach, 858.888.4343,


One of the bars in Waterbar. 

(Howard Lipin / The San Diego-Union-Tribune)

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