Independence Day Illuminations: Where to Watch the July 4th Fireworks in the Bay Area

June 13th, 2023

As Independence Day approaches, cities across the country gear up to celebrate America’s independence with parties, barbecues, and spectacular fireworks displays. The fireworks shows in San Francisco will begin around 9:30pm, or when the skies grow dark enough to appreciate the colorful spectacle, but there is plenty to do all day in the city. Start your holiday early and fill your morning and afternoon with fun to ensure your Independence Day isn’t ruined by Karl the Fog.

Pier 39 Fireworks

Pier 39

Pier 39 is a popular tourist spot in San Francisco, and it’s also a great place to watch the fireworks on the Fourth of July. The pier offers a fantastic view of the fireworks over the bay, and there are also many restaurants and shops to enjoy before the show. If you plan ahead, you might get lucky by booking a reservation at one of the restaurants with a view to get a comfortable seat and guarantee drink in hand when the show starts.

Aquatic Park Fireworks

Aquatic Park

Head to Aquatic Park near Fisherman’s Wharf early with a picnic blanket and a lunch to guarantee your spot. Walk around and enjoy the food, music and festivities before basking in the views of the fireworks over the Golden Gate Bridge.

Coit Tower Fireworks

Coit Tower

To hear the “Oohs” and “Aahs” with an elevated view of the fireworks, head to Coit Tower. The tower offers a panoramic view of the city and the bay, making it an ideal spot to watch the Fourth of July fireworks.

Treasure Island Fireworks

Treasure Island

Located between San Francisco and Oakland, Treasure Island offers the best of both words with views of the city skyline, the Bay Bridge, and the sparkling fireworks display. Head over early to indulge in some delicious food before soaking in the light show over the bay.

Fireworks Cruises on the Bay

Jack London Square 4th of July Fireworks Cruise

For an unforgettable party on the bay, board this fireworks cruise departing from Jack London Square. Your ticket includes two all-inclusive bars with snacks available for purchase. For the ultimate experience, tickets are available for the VIP section.

Angel Island – Tiburon Ferry

Set sail from Tiburon and experience the show in style with fireworks falling so close it feels like you can catch them while aboard a fireworks cruise. Reserve your tickets before this event sells out! Snacks and drinks are available for purchase on board.

Immerse yourself in patriotic spirit in the city at one of these fun events, but don’t forget to dress in layers and bring a blanket to snuggle up under the bright sky. Have a fantastic (and safe!) time in the city as you celebrate the land of the free and the home of the brave.

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