Fireworks and hot dogs are going to occur on the Fourth of July whether you’re partying or not, but Orange County has plenty of places to enjoy Independence Day. Whether you’re looking to join the massive party or get away from the crowd, there are plenty of places to check out with friends and family. From watching the explosions in the sky on the water or at the happiest place on Earth, one thing that Fourth of July usually brings is a sense of camaraderie amongst citizens. This part of the country is known for its intense fireworks celebrations, so keep your cell phone down and eyes peeled on the sky for something you won’t soon forget.
Huntington Beach 4th of July Celebration
Main & Pacific Coast Highway/Huntington Beach Pier
325 Pacific Coast Highway
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Huntington Beach has been celebrating the Fourth of July for more than 100 years, something not taken for granted in this part of Orange County. The city throws a parade in the afternoon, preceded by a breakfast in the park and coinciding with a 5K run around town. There is a festival starting on the July 4 and running until the July 7, but it’s really all about the fireworks over the ocean that start at 9 p.m. This city-run event is planning for a 23-minute fireworks display, covering more than 1,300 rounds and finishing with a 40-second finale.
1530 S. Disneyland Drive
Anaheim, CA 92802
Disneyland is already known for its spectacular fireworks show on a weekly basis, but the Fourth of July is an even more dazzling spectacle. Bringing the sights and sounds of America’s history, Anaheim gets lit up like a Christmas tree more so than any other night. Prepare to feel uber-patriotic once the red, white and blue stars and stripes streak across the Magical Kingdom’s expansive skyline. There are only a few things better than sitting atop a massive Ferris wheel during an amazing light show.
Fourth of July Fireworks Cruise
34675 Golden Lantern
Dana Point, CA 92629
Being on land during a fireworks display is for those afraid to live on the edge, so take the party to the high seas with a cruise from Dana Wharf Sportfishing off of the Dana Point Harbor. The city of Dana Point puts on one massive display every year, something made even more enjoyable when wine, food and relaxation is added to the mix. Seeing the bright lights fill up the sky while on a 63- to 95-foot boat is truly something to experience once in your lifetime. Bring the kids for a special treat or a date for a night to remember, but do not delay buying your tickets for this special treat.
1870 Harbor Blvd.
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
Why spend Independence Day with friends, family and children when you could be dancing the night away with a top-tier DJ in Orange County? Element Thursdays, provided by Insomniac, brings a brand new electronic musician to Costa Mesa every Thursday, where the stage has been graced by all-stars Krewella, R3HAB and Paul Oakenfold. The nearby free parking and intense dance floor should make for a fun night with the best ambassadors for dance in the world. Bring some friends and party all night long, making your own fireworks in the process.
July 4 Extravaganza – Music of Neil Diamond
Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
8808 Irvine Center Drive
Irvine, CA 92618
There is something special about seeing a live orchestra and the Pacific Symphony delivers in a once-in-a-lifetime event on the Fourth of July. This year, a Neil Diamond tribute is being held in Irvine at the spacious Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, allowing those who want to chill out on the grass the same experience as those willing to spend the big bucks to sit up close. You can bring your own food and drinks, so make a date night or picnic out of it before enjoying some classic American music and enjoy some far-off fireworks sure to be exploding over the sky. Neil Diamond has a songbook unlike any other American performer and with a substantially large group of musicians replicating his hits, there will not be a boring moment all night.
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Jesse Seilhan is a writer, editor and photographer from the California Bay Area. After moving to Long Beach, Jesse continues his passion for writing and music by covering concerts, interviewing top artists, and giving a dose of wisdom in a crazy, mixed-up musical world. His work can be found at Examiner.com.