Written By: Melissa Sims
The 4th of July is the ‘unofficial start of summer’ – the smell of barbecue, the sounds of waves at the beach and fireworks somehow signal that summer has begun. Orange County has so much to offer on this patriotic holiday – there’s just about something for everyone. It was hard to narrow down, but here are my best picks for watching fireworks in the OC. And if you think I’ve missed a great spot, let me know! I’d love to add to this list for reference in the future! Wherever you enjoy your holiday, remember to be safe, and have fun!
Dana Point Harbor
Watch the skies over Dana Point Harbor for a spectacular show beginning at 9:00 pm. Presented by the City of Dana Point, this is an annual show that draws large crowds – and it’s well worth it! Doheny State Beach is a great vantage point, but you’ll need to make a day of it – forget trying to get a parking spot after 10:00am. Not interested in a full-day affair? You can watch from along the cliffs of Blue Lantern Park or Heritage Park, or even book a dinner at the Laguna Cliffs Marriott for terrific views of the fireworks as they light up the night’s sky. Or, if you’re feeling really adventurous, book a dinner cruise and watch from the water. Visit http://bit.ly/DanaPointFireworks for more info.
Ladera Ranch – Founders Park
The Fireworks Spectacular in Ladera Ranch is just that – absolutely spectacular. It has long been a favorite in South Orange County, and this year, the city is hosting a 5k/10k run, with proceeds to benefit Laura’s House & the Ladera Ranch Education Foundation. Registration for the run begins at 6:00am and the 10k race starts at 7:00am. This day is chock-full of activities, ranging from parades, to teen zone entertainment, to live music. Get there early to snag a spot, it will definitely be a full house. Fireworks begin at ‘dark’ – usually 9:15 – at Founders Park. Visit http://bit.ly/LaderaFireworks for more info.
Newport Beach 4th of July Celebration
Disco AND Fireworks? How can you go wrong??? This year, KC and the Sunshine Band will be headlining the Newport Beach Independence Day on the Back Bay extravaganza. In addition to great music, the event will offer great dining options and lots of great activities for the kids. The event is a bit on the pricey side, so if you’d like to take advantage of the fireworks show without having to open your wallet, just snag a spot in Newport Beach with a great view of Back Bay and you’ll be just fine. Visit http://bit.ly/NewportDunesFireworks for more info.
Lake Mission Viejo
A long-standing tradition in Mission Viejo, the 4th of July Street Faire and Fireworks Spectacular is a safe, fun-filled, patriotic celebration that includes food, game booths and live music. Festival begins at noon and the fireworks begin at 9:00pm. Admission is free, as well as a free shuttle service operating from 1-8:00 pm surrounding Lake Mission Viejo. Visit http://bit.ly/MVFireworks for more information.
Honorable Mentions: Disneyland and Anaheim Stadium
If you are lucky enough to have tickets to either attraction this Friday, you are in for a special treat. Disneyland puts on a special version of their nightly fireworks display at 9:25pm. Best places to see the fireworks are from main street, right in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. The Angels will be playing against the Houston Astros this Friday night at 5:15pm, with a special fireworks display immediately following the game.