It’s about to be 4th of July in Long Beach! (as we all know because of the fireworks we’ve been hearing since Memorial Day… and also the calendar.). Whether you decide to attend a 4th of July event at a restaurant or bar, or post up at the park with friends, here are some tips to make sure this is your best 4th ever. Don’t forget to follow @ExploreLongBeach and @HelloLongBeach on instagram for more fun events, activities, and local businesses!
Let’s do first things first: Where are the fireworks?
This year, there will be 2 big firework shows on 4th of July weekend. They will be in Alamitos Bay on July 3rd for Big Bang on the Bay, and at Shoreline Waterfront on July 4th. Both are scheduled for 9 pm.
How can I attend these events?
The obvious places would be to attend ‘Big Bang on the Bay’ on the 3rd, at ‘Boathouse on the Bay’ (advance tickets required); or go to Shoreline Village on the 4th. While I’ve never personally attended ‘Big Bang on the Bay’, everyone who has attended it raves about it. It’s definitely an event I want to attend in the coming years when my kids are older. I have been to Shoreline for their firework events in the past, and it’s always a great time. There are so many options for restaurants, bars, and activities.
If I don’t want to attend an event, where can I see fireworks on these nights?
Okay, this is where it gets tricky. The Alamitos Bay firework show is a pretty big one, but you won’t be able to see these fireworks from just anywhere in Long Beach. If you want to catch a glimpse, your best bet is to watch nearby from the coast. A few notable spots to watch from are: Horny Corner, almost anywhere on the peninsula, on the water in Alamitos Bay, or along the beach between Granada and the Peninsula. You can kind of see the fireworks between Granada and the Pier, but once you get past the pier, you’re far enough that you won’t get the full experience.
For the Shoreline Village fireworks, you will be able to watch from almost anywhere on the coast. The view of Shoreline area is unobstructed for most of coastal LB, but the best spots will be: closer to Shoreline Village (obviously), on the water between Belmont Pier and Shoreline, or on the beach or bluff.
How do I maximize my experience?
If you are going to watch from a park or beach (which is what we typically do), here are some do’s and don’ts to make it the best 4th ever.
- Arrive early. Depending on the spot you choose, this may mean you can put out your blanket/tent/chairs to stake your claim and leave for a few hours before you return for the show, or in some areas, you may have to stay and commit so you don’t get inched into a smaller area. We typically put up our tent around noon and arrive with all of our picnic foods to post up for the day around 2 pm.
- Come prepared. Bring sunscreen, hats, a shade tent if you have one, water, food, a blanket or chairs, warm clothes for when the sun goes down, bug spray, and your cell phone so you can take pictures and videos of fireworks and never look at them again. (I know some of you are rolling your eyes at the simplicity of this list, and some of you are taking notes because you want to remember the essentials. With 2 little kids, I’ve learned to be prepared because if someone isn’t having a good time, no one is having a good time. And also being comfortable makes the whole experience more enjoyable for adults too.)
- Take an uber/lyft, walk, bike, scooter, etc, to get to your event or viewing place.
- Figure out a bathroom plan. The city typically puts out some porta-potties but you don’t always know where they’ll be, and they can get pretty gross, pretty quickly. I recommend a backup plan if possible, and bringing some toilet paper in your pocket in case the porta-potty is out.
- Don’t forget a cooler/ice if you’re bringing food. No one wants to wake up with food poisoning after a 3 day weekend.
- Do not bring fireworks of your own. They are illegal in Long Beach. Every year we see people set them off, and the police roll up out of seemingly thin air, and give tickets. You will probably get caught.
- Drink and drive.
- Litter. If you bring it with you, bring it home or throw it out. This also applies to confetti, poppers, etc.