Barbeques, beer, fireworks and friends— Fourth of July is the time when America gives one collective shout of freedom. If you’re ready to party, break out your American flag swimsuit and pay tribute to our independence at one of San Diego’s top parties.
This year, Fourth of July falls on a Wednesday. Talk about a happy hump day! Take a break from the work-week and get to groovin’ at some of the hottest spots in town. Top destinations? We’ll see you raging with LA Riots at Wavehouse, at the six-day bash at Bar West, or maybe just munching on fried foods with the fireworks at the San Diego County Fair.
Discover our party picks for 2012 Fourth of July in San Diego. And if you're looking for family-friendly celebrations, scroll down for San Diego's best firework displays!
Saturday, June 30th & Sunday, July 1st
Intervention Saturday with DJ Skribble & Intervention Sunday with The Crystal Method
Every Sunday, the Hard Rock Hotel’s fourth floor deck is filled with locals eager to take over the cabanas, day beds, umbrellas, and island-inspired décor for Intervention. As DJs make the crowd go crazy, party-goers stir up the dance floor, hang in the pool, lounge in the day beds, or strip down, tour about and show off their goods to the A-List elite of San Diego. Prepare for the Fourth of July by starting early at the weekend Intervention lineup: two days of top DJs heating up the pool. On Saturday, June 30th dance to the beats of DJ Skribble, and on Sunday, July 1st, get lost in the sounds of The Crystal Method.
Sunday, July 1st
Fortune’s 4th of July Pool Party ft. Andy Caldwell
Fortune’s 4th of July Pool Party is taking over the Ivy Rooftop for a full day of sunshine, house music, fashion, dancing, poolside lounging and all of your favorite San Diego locals that you want to party with! The all-day pool party will feature favorite local DJs on the tables including Andy Caldwell, Theron & DeVoy, Brady Spear, Deone, J-Sin, Flesch, Chris Liosi & Sean Wilson, Fishfonics, Huy Believe and more.
Tuesday, July 3rd
EDM ft. Sander Van Doorn at FLUXX
You can party your way into America’s big day on Tuesday, July 3rd with an EDM night at FLUXX. They’re bringing in the big guns for this one, as Dutch trance DJ Sander Van Doorn creates an unforgettable dance experience. Sander’s number-one records, sold-out gigs and club hits have made him a top DJ not to be missed. Get FLUXX’d up just in time for the Fourth of July!
Vokab Kompany vs. Crush Effect at Stingaree
Just before the Fourth of July, head to Stingaree to experience a battle of some epic sound-makers in San Diego. You’ll catch Vokab Kompany’s MC’s vs. Crush Effect, plus DJ Scooter ft. Beefam inside Guesthouse. Head up to the Rooftop Oasis for Gabe Vega, Erick Diaz, Adam Salter and Blancnoire Chamberlin.
Wednesday, July 4th
LED Presents LA Riots at Wavehouse
Usually, we only get our Wavehouse fix on Sundays. But for Fourth of July, Wednesday is the new best thing with LA Riots headlining the pool party that puts everyone in an LED daze. Surrounding the Fourth of July holiday, you can also catch Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike on Sunday, July 1st and Chuckie on Saturday, July 7th.
Bar West Survival of the Fittest
Bar West doesn’t settle for one day of celebrating our nation’s greatness. They are planning six-days of partying, giving San Diego an Independence Day marathon of sorts. The party starts on Tuesday, July 3rd with Sid Vicious, then celebrates Wednesday, July 4th with Bamboozle, Thursday, July 5th with Mikey Beats, Friday, July 6th with Kyle Kaotik, Saturday, July 7th with Brett Bodley and Sunday, July 8th with Crooked.
Hi-Dive Pool Party at The Lafayette Hotel
Head to hipster-central this Fourth of July for the Hi-Dive Pool Party taking over Lafayette Hotel from 12-6pm. Vintage swimwear is the only acceptable dress code here, as guests get down to the sounds of Ese and Zain, Adam Salter, Gabe Vega, Saul Q, Mike Cooper and a secret live performance. Plus, capture your fun with photos by James Norton.
Independence Night at Side Bar
Celebrate your independence the right way, at the Industry Wednesday Side Bar bash Independence Night. Join the party with Brett Bodley pumping the beats.
Mentally Prepare Yourself: View our gallery of hot San Diego pool party photos.
12th Annual Big Bay Boom by the Port of San Diego
The 12th Annual Big Bay Boom July 4th Fireworks show is back with a bang. Hovering over San Diego Bay, the fireworks will burst with bright lights around the strategically placed points, including Shelter Island, Harbor Island, Embarcadero North, Seaport Village, Embarcadero South Marina Park, Coronado Ferry Landing and Imperial Beach. Join the biggest display of American pride on July 4th at 9pm.
San Diego County Fair Fireworks Display
Enjoy the last day of the San Diego County Fair with an all-American display of patriotic activities and illuminating fireworks. The day at the fair will kick off with a patriotic Opening Ceremony around 9:30am at the O’Brien Gate. Later in the day, the Grandstand Stage show will fire up with the talented Navy Band Southwest, a 4th of July tradition since 1993. Fireworks will follow at 9pm and “Weird Al" Yankovic will keep the party going for the remainder of the night.
Independence Day Celebration in Coronado
Coronado does it big every year, and this year’s 4th of July is no exception. They’re calling in all patriotic people to join the fun, starting early in the morning. At 7am, the 37th Annual Independence Day 15K Run-5K Run/Walk kicks off with a race. Other events taking place around the island include Art in the Park, the 54th Annual Rough Water Swim, the 64th Annual Independence Day Parade, a concert in Spreckels Park, and final fireworks display over Glorietta Bay at 9pm.
Red, White and BOOM! Celebration at LEGOLAND
For an all-ages good time, LEGOLAND California is your go-to stop to give the kids a 4th of July they’ll remember in years to come. This kick-off to summer brings a dazzling display of fireworks at 8:30pm and blends patriotic music with incredible pyrotechnics. Throughout the day, kids of all ages are invited to enjoy family picnic games such as the water-balloon toss, burlap sack races and paper airplane contests. The kids and adults alike won’t leave the park without hearing some live music.
Independence Day at Old Town
Take a wagon ride into old fashioned times, with a parade, crafts, and activities revisiting the early years of San Diego. Wagon rides, period games, music, food specials, a pie eating contest and much more included all afternoon long. Everyone is bound to enjoy the travel back in time as Old Town reminds San Diego of its roots and gets the entire family involved in the celebration of American independence. Join the fun from 11am to 4pm at the Old Town State Historical Park.
Escondido Independence Day Celebration at Grape Day Park
This annual Fourth of July celebration invites the community for a festive afternoon of picnicking in the park while enjoying live entertainment and family fun. The event will conclude with a dazzling fireworks display in Grape Day Park at approximately 9pm. Enjoy a variety of free fun, including musical performances, magicians, baton twirlers, children's arts projects and old-fashioned contests.
La Jolla Cove Concert and Fireworks
The La Jolla fireworks festivities kick off at 9pm when fireworks will blast off from the nearby La Jolla Cove, just behind the concert bandstand. There are plenty of hot spots along La Jolla to catch a glimpse of the fireworks, including La Jolla Shores, Ellen Browning Scripps Park and Kellogg Park. Make a day of it and enjoy some time in the lavish bends of the La Jolla cove.
Flagship Cruises & Events Fourth of July Cruises
Take a ride on the waters this 4th of July, with a choice of Flagship Cruises & Events for ultimate patriotic celebration. The Fireworks Spectacular Cruise allows for spectacular views of the illuminated sky, along with beer, wine and cocktails. For a more filling experience, hop on board the Star Spangled Dinner Cruise that includes a three-course meal, a live DJ, and complimentary champagne along with the breathtaking views. Plus, you can’t beat the close-up views of the Port of San Diego’s Big Bay Boom fireworks display.
Ocean Beach Fireworks Display
For a more laid back vibe to kick-back and view the light show in, the Ocean Beach fireworks will be launched from the end of Ocean Beach Pier, starting at 9pm. The best spots for ultimate viewing are from the adjacent beach, but you’ll want to get there early to get in before the pier closes to the public at 7pm.
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