Not Just Fireworks: Ways to Spend July 4th in San Diego

Not Just Fireworks: Ways to Spend July 4th in San Diego

Celebrating the Fourth of July means being outdoors and enjoying everything that summer has to offer. And though it may or not be hot during the holiday, Independence Day in San Diego never is unbearably hot and humid like elsehwere in the country. So, San Diegans especially love to celebrate the occasion with family and friends outdoors. And what if it is scorching on July 4th? Well, that's why we have beaches! Besides, when the sun goes down, there are a number of spectacular fireworks displays along the coastal beaches and bays, making the Fourth quintessentially San Diegan.

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See Fireworks

Fireworks for the 4th of July in San Diego
Matt Pasant/Moment/Getty Images

Fireworks are a no brainer -- it's the Fourth of July after all. It's such a fitting way to celebrate our nation's birthday that it seems as if firework displays were created just for the Fourth of July. And what better way to top off a day (or weekend) of gathering with friends, having a picnic and barbecue, hitting the beach or park than a grand fireworks display in California

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Go to the Beach

Surfer at the beach in San Diego

TripSavvy / Ana Alarcon

Hitting the beach on the Fourth of July is about as quintessentially San Diego as anything else. San Diego County has 76 miles of coastline, and most of it is accessible beachfront. While any beach is good in most residents' minds, there are some that are particularly special, whether its for the scenery (both geographic and human), the surf, or the sand. Pick your favorite on July 4. 

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Have a Picnic

Mission Bay Park in San Diego

TripSavvy / Ana Alarcon 

San Diego lends itself perfectly to have a Fourth of July picnic. Let's face it, with the type of climate we have, almost any place outdoors is a good place to have a picnic, maybe even starting with your own backyard or the neighborhood park. San Diego has so many choices for a good picnic setting that picking one is purely a subjective matter of what you feel like: Some place with a playground? The beach? Balboa Park? Here are some suggestions.

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Go Lake Fishing

If competing with crowds isn't really your thing during the July 4th holiday, you might want to grab the fishing pole and head out to one of the many lakes in San Diego County. San Diego has a rich fishing tradition, including a former thriving tuna fleet long gone. While most of us associate fishing here with deep sea fishing, San Diego County has a freshwater system of lakes ideal for all anglers. Although trout can be snagged during the right time, largemouth bass is king here.

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05 of 10

Visit San Diego's Fishing Piers

While you're hitting the beaches during the Fourth of July, you might want to venture out to one of our very cool fishing piers along the coastline. Have you ever strode out along one of San Diego's piers and spotted people fishing from the rails? Have you ever wanted to try it yourself, but have been a bit unsure of this practice? Here are some descriptions and tips about fishing San Diego's piers.

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Go Camping

July 4th is a favorite time for many San Diegans to go camping. And the best part is that you don't even have to leave the immediate area. San Diego's outdoor beauty makes it a perfect region for camping. What makes it even more unique is you don't have to venture any farther than a few minutes from downtown to find yourself enjoying the great outdoors. Whether it's on the picture-perfect beach shoreline or nestled in the foothills within city limits, camping in San Diego can be a very "city" thing to do.

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Go to the Fair

Typically, the San Diego County Fair ends with a bang on July 4th (give or take a day) with a dazzling fireworks show. And the days leading up to Independence Day are the last chances to take in the beloved event, especially since many people have days off around the holiday. So, why not celebrate the 4th doing something about as American as apple pie by hitting the county fair, right?

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Hit the Amusement Parks

Belmont Park, San Diego, CA

TripSavvy / Ana Alarcon 

You might have friends or relatives visiting you over July 4th, so why not show off your city with a visit to one of San Diego's favorite amusement parks? Summertime is a great time to be in San Diego, especially for families. There is no shortage of things to do for both parents and kids to enjoy, whether you're visiting from out of town or if you're an area resident. Whether its the San Diego Zoo, Sea World, or Belmont Park, July 4th is a great time to just play tourist.

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09 of 10

Go Wine Tasting at Local Wineries

When you think of California wine, you naturally think of the Napa wine region in Northern California. Then you think of the Central Coast wine country around Santa Barbara. And when you think of Southern California wine, you think of the nearby Temecula wine country. But did you know San Diego County has it's own community of wineries, making their own lovingly hand-crafted wines? Check them out during the July 4th holiday.

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Find a Way to Stay Cool

Chances are the July 4th weekend will be pretty warm, if not downright hot. So, you might need to find a way to stay cool until the sun goes down and you head out to watch some fireworks. Here are some tried-and-true methods we San Diegans take to stay cool on those hot days.

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