We landlubbers love our fireworks, don't we? Whether we're in a back yard lawn chair, or pushing the kids up a ladder to the roof, or being wowed by a sky full of flare and color at the local pier, we don't want to miss this very American 4th of July custom. Well, if you think the view from the shore is stunning, try witnessing the spectacle from a boat. That's a holiday memory your kiddos won't soon forget! Several small cruise boats set sail this Independence Day, with 2-3 hour tours to delight you and your first mates. Snuggle on deck under a blanket and watch the sky come alive as the water sparkles below. Read on to find a boat leaving a port near you.
4th of July Cruise - Ventura
1691 Spinnaker Dr. #105-B
Ventura, CA 93001
Set sail along the coast in a lovely 64' catamaran before gliding into Oxnard for the fireworks show.
July 4th Fireworks Cruises - Marina Del Rey
13755 Fiji Way
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
Choose from a 4-course dinner, wine and dancing (on the Dinner Cruise) or hors d'oeuvres and champagne (on the Observation Cruise). Either way, same great marina and coastal vistas, and same great view of the Marina Del Rey fireworks show.
Photo courtesy of Hornblower Cruises & Events
Harbor Cruises - Long Beach
Harbor Breeze Cruises
100 Aquarium Way, Dock #2
Long Beach, CA 90802
Spots on this cruise boat do sell out, so call and make your reservations soon. The cruise lasts about 2.5 hours.
Parade & Firework Cruises - Newport Beach
Cruise Newport Beach
400 Main St.
Newport Beach, CA 92661
Set sail in daylight and see other majestic harbor boats, views of Corona Del Mar and Laguna Beach, perhaps even some dolphins or other animals friends. And once darkness falls, join in on the "Oohs" and "Aahs" as the sky lights up above you. Afternoon cruises (minus the fireworks) are also available. See Reservations for more details.
Photo courtesy of Cruise Newport Beach
4th of July Fireworks Cruise - Dana Point
Dana Wharf Sightseeing Cruises
Dana Point Harbor Dr. & Golden Lanter St. (exact meeting location will be provided upon purchase of tickets)
Dana Point, CA
Let the cruise do the cooking and enjoy a barbecue onboard. Or eat before you go. Either cruise offers front row seats to the Dana Point Fireworks extravaganza.
Ocean Institute 4th of July Fireworks Cruise
24200 Dana Point Harbor Dr.
Dana Point, CA 92629
Tel: (949) 496-2274
Even Dana Point's Ocean Institute gets in on the Independence Day action with its new sunset cruise on the holiday. Families can enjoy the view with wine and light snacks. The venue strongly suggests using the Dana Point Trolley system to get there, as the small parking lot is likely to be overwhelmed, but be warned: the cruise returns after the trolley stops running.
Miss Liberty Paddlewheel Tour Boat - Big Bear Lake
439 Pine Knot Ave.
Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
Sodas and hors d'oeuvres are served aboard this 65' paddlewheel boat (picture Tom Sawyer and the Mississippi River) that will take you cruising around Big Bear Lake, and offer you front row seats to a dazzling fireworks display. Reservations required. Call to reserve your space, or for more information.
Lake Arrowhead Queen - Lake Arrowhead
28200 Hwy 189, Bldg. C-100
Lake Arrowhead, CA 92352
Only 25 lucky passengers get the this experience of a lifetime. Catch the sites and sounds of holiday lake life as you tool around the water before kicking back and watching the glorious night sky display. Call for reservations.
Top photo via Bigstock
Originally published on June 24, 2012