When Nook Realtors match a buyer with their dream home, the only thing as important as architectural style is the neighborhood. Luckily, each neighborhood in our regions has its own distinct flavor, and it won’t be hard to find your perfect match. That’s why we’re bringing you the #NookNeighborhoods series, where every Wednesday you’ll find cool history and culture to make sure you don’t overlook an area that could have the best nook for you.
We know you’re cramming all your work into this week to ensure a restful and celebratory 4th of July. Since Los Angeles is the land of the sprawl, we thought you’d appreciate a comprehensive list of the best places to watch fireworks in Los Angeles - plus some hacks!
Big Bear Lake: The Big Bear Rotary Club hosts an annual fireworks display and barbecue dinner at the Marina Resort. It’s best to reserve a table and enjoy the pre-show games and entertainment for kids. For more info, call the Big Bear Visitors Bureau at (800) 424-4232.
Dodger Stadium has a special Independence Day Ticket Special that gets you a game ticket, post-game fireworks show, and a t-shirt to commemorate the occasion.
The Queen Mary has special events from 2pm all the way to 10pm, with kids 4 and under free. You can enjoy special patriotic shows, historic tours, red, white and blue themed games, activities, then witness a breathtaking fireworks display on the deck.
You really can’t list off fireworks without mentioning Disneyland’s, running July 1-4 at 9:25pm. “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky” is absolutely one of their busiest days of the year, so get there before opening. Disney has actually turned people away on recent busy days.
The City of San Clemente hosts Fireworks on the Pier that you can watch from the surrounding beaches. The entire pier closes on the 4th for preparations. Don’t try to watch from there!
The Rose Bowl Stadium hosts its 91st annual Americafest presented by Honda. Parking lots open at 12pm, with the traditional Military Spouse Day of Pampering starting at 10am. Family Fun Zones, food and music rock the Bowl all day with fireworks at 9pm!
If you’re looking for smaller events that also help the surrounding community, Verdugo Hills High School in Sunland-Tujunga has a Family Festival every year that benefits its Youth Arts and Athletic Programs. Gates open at 5pm for music and food supplied by the event’s generous sponsors. Tickets range from $6-8 and children under 30’’ get in free!
Pacific Palisades High hosts a Palisades Rocks the Fourth Concert and Fireworks, and this year local band High Tide Rolling Review headlines. All proceeds from the concert go to benefit local organizations. Although only nine years old, even their event logo has a rich history.
For a sober holiday, the 4th of July at Shepherd Church in Porter Ranch has all the food tastings, free kid’s games and community feel but without the alcohol. Bring your own chairs, blankets, coolers and sunscreen; doors open at 4:30pm!
For a combination of a small town fair and huge celebration, check out the Huntington Beach’s 4th of July Celebration - this year it spans three entire days!
Of course, one year I watched neighbors duel over their fireworks displays from a friend’s yard in Cypress Park, and another time we saw everything from the Hollywood Bowl show to Long Beach fireworks on the rooftop of a Hollywood and Highland building. Thanks to friends, I found some other 4th of July fireworks watching hacks:
Take a hike up to Mount Hollywood via Griffith Park early in the day and stay for sunset. Bring plenty of provisions and a blanket for later, because you know you aren’t the first person to think of that trail!
In Irvine, there’s a hill in University Hills “where you can see 270 degrees of fireworks. Everything from Long Beach all the way east and south,” says Composer and Designer Vincent Olivieri.
From Colorado Bridge in Pasadena, you can watch The Rose Bowl display without the crowds. I’m told there is a ridge in the nearby neighborhood where you can also sneak a peek.
Echo Park enthusiast and Creative Director Kelly Erickson suggested watching her neighbors duel it out as well. These aren’t little poppers in the street; some residents invest quite a lot into their annual tradition.
Sometimes, the best way to enjoy the 4th of July in Los Angeles is to simply be in Los Angeles. Sound designer John Zalewski related this story to me: “A couple of years ago I had to drive from the westside to the east on the 105 just after sundown on the 4th. As I drove, I was enveloped in a tunnel of fireworks pretty much all the way down the freeway…”
It doesn’t get more L.A. than that.