By JASON CAMPBELL
Fireworks shows are awesome.
But have you ever seen four or five of them at the same time?
Then you’ve never staked out the appropriate place in the East Bay hills to make sure that when the sun goes down, all of the fireworks shows in the Bay Area are at your immediate disposal – taking in not only the sweeping views of California’s most beautiful populated area but the exploding bombast that comes with the holiday.
As long as it isn’t foggy – and there is no guarantee that it won’t be during the summer – there are a multitude of places to watch fireworks displays from places like San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley.
If you’re tired of the same-old celebrations, then there are a multitude of places in the Bay Area where you can watch more than one display and marvel at the beauty and the solitude that each place provides.
Here are a few worth checking out:
Indian Rock Point, Berkeley Hills – Right smack-dab in the middle of a Berkeley Hills neighborhood sits an 11-million-year-old volcanic formation that allows those willing to climb to a good viewing spot panoramic views of the entire Bay Area. This place is popular with those that know about, and Fourth of July makes it even more so. But if it’s a view that you’re craving, then this is the place to be. To get there take I-580 to I-80 East and get off on University Avenue. Continue to Shattuck Avenue and turn left. The Road will eventually become Sutter Street. Follow it around the roundabout going almost straight through and the park will be straight ahead. Get there early and be careful not to park in a spot that blocks anyone’s driveway as vehicles get towed here frequently.
Grizzly Peak, Berkeley Hills – Another Berkeley landmark, this picturesque lookout will provide just as many, if not more, viewing opportunities that Indian Rock Point does. From here, on a clear night, you can see all the way out into San Jose and out across the entire Bay and over into Sausalito where another excellent fireworks show takes place. To get there take I-580 to I-680 North take the CA-24 exit across through Lafayette, and stay on the highway for nearly 6 miles. Take exit 7A onto Fish Ranch Road and turn right, and continue on to turn right on Grizzly Peak Boulevard. The views are all over the place up here. Make sure you block a driveway or you very likely get towed, and make sure to arrive early enough to find a place to park unless you enjoy the hiking.
Twin Peaks, San Francisco – You know that big ugly red-and-white tower that extends high above San Francisco? That’s near Twin Peaks, and for the most part it’s an untouched resource when it comes to finding places inside of San Francisco to enjoy fireworks shows on the nights that the fog permits. A handful of other San Francisco destination parks on to the west side of town draw more of the crowds, so if you’re looking for sweeping views of the Jewel of Northern California, then this is the place. Directions to get here vary, so your best bet is to print them out from Mapquest before you go.
Marin Headlands, Marin County – These are million-dollar views of the Golden Gate bridge, the City of San Francisco, the bay and the ocean. And like any place that offers that, it draws people. So if you’re planning on heading there you might as well pack a picnic dinner and arrive early enough to find a safe place to park and watch the shows. Hiking around here can be dangerous if you don’t know where you’re going, and wet conditions can magnify that so caution is urged. To get there take the Golden Gate Bridge out of San Francisco and get off at the next exit. Follow the signs for the Marin Headlands and drive until you find a place to park and take in the sweeping views.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 209.249.3544.