The Santa Monica Pier July 4 Fireworks have been a thing of the past (sadly) for a couple years now. But that doesn't mean you have to go without a stellar show in the sky if you come to Santa Monica for Fourth of July.
The Marina del Rey fireworks are a spectacular nearby alternative.
The 20-minute fireworks show begins at 9 p.m., with fireworks launched from a barge moored in the main channel of the marina, making them easily viewable from Venice, Santa Monica, and beyond.
If you're like us and want to be really close to the Marina del Rey fireworks action, but without the hassle of driving and paying for parking, plan to bike your way to one of these locations.
You'll not only avoid the traffic jam that lasts for hours after the show, you'll be rewarded with close-up views and the ear-numbing sounds of a truly spectacular 4th of July fireworks display.
We'll be heading over early to Burton Chace Park (13650 Mindanao Way, Marina del Rey), a 10-acre park with harbor view, barbecue grills and tables, riding Breeze bikes, which you'll find at various locations throughout Santa Monica.
A little further south from Santa Monica is Fisherman's Village (13755 Fiji Way), home to several harbor-front restaurants that offer prime fireworks viewing.
To help ease parking in the immediate area, consider these other ways to get to the viewing points at Burton Chace Park and Fisherman’s Village.
The Water Bus will be operating from 11 a.m. till midnight. These boats pick up from 8 stops in the Marina and cost just $1 each trip.
The Beach Shuttle offers free transportation on weekends and holidays on a set loop from Playa Vista, through Marina del Rey, and to the Venice Pier. On July 4, the Beach Shuttle will operate 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., so you’ll need to arrange a ride home after the fireworks.
The Free Ride provides free, on-demand transportation around the Marina daily from noon to 9 p.m., and they’ll run a bit longer on July 4. If you see one of the Free Ride cars, just wave down the driver and hop in. Or, text your pick-up location, destination, and passenger count in advance to 323-435-5000 (no calls, please). The usual 10-15 minute wait for your driver’s arrival may be longer at high-traffic events. Gratuity for your driver is appreciated.
Call your Uber/Lyft driver to a location away from heavy traffic flow. We recommend finding a safe meeting place with a visible landmark, such as a gas station or restaurant, and do not attempt pick-ups along the street.
You can create your own viewing party and forgo the crowds and post-display parking snarls at several prime viewing spots in Santa Monica.
From anywhere on Santa Monica State Beach, on the 17th-floor Penthouse bar and restaurant at the Huntley Hotel, and from the newly revamped Onyx rooftop bar at Hotel Shangri-la, you're in prime viewing territory for the fireworks shows in Pacific Palisades to the north, and the Marina del Rey, Culver City, and Westchester fireworks shows to the south.
A Santa Monica Fourth of July is - in short - a day filled with traditional festivities, and nontraditional ways in which to enjoy them.
Let the 4th of July celebrations begin!