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Jonathan Stull | 07.01.2016

The Fourth of July is a time to gather friends and family together for that most American of pastimes: watching things explode. It may take some time for us to work out our proclivity for things that boom, and there’s no better place to reflect on human nature with a beer and a buddy than some windswept pinnacle or an inner-city, outdoor outpost with a view of the city skyline and the spectacle that occurs every year when we celebrate our independence from tyranny. We Americans take our independence very seriously, and the West’s biggest cities are no exception. Here are some of the best places to relax and catch the show.

Every year, the City of San Francisco launches their fireworks display from the water just north of Fisherman’s Wharf. The show begins at 9:30 p.m., and there are a multitude of spectacular options to see the show.

  • The Marin Headlands, with the Golden Gate Bridge in the foreground, might be one of the most spectacular Independence Day vistas on the West Coast.
  • The Golden Gate Bridge itself, with unobstructed views west, is a fantastic option as well.
  • Angel Island is best oriented for a view of the fireworks with a backdrop of the beautiful San Francisco skyline. Plan for a ferry trip!
  • Buena Vista Park offers views of San Francisco in every direction. Being central to the downtown area, plan for crowds.


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