We love the 4th of July fireworks, but sometimes our aversion to traffic and the struggle to find parking is enough to drive us away (we’re looking at you, Westside waterfront fireworks shows).
But thanks to our ever-expanding subway system, you can stay off the road on the 4th of July and forget about gas prices, overcrowded parking lots, and Uber and Lyft surges. We’ve rounded up a few picks for our favorite fireworks shows in places accessible to the metro (and especially those that are a short walk or a quick shuttle ride from the station). So ditch your car this Independence Day and watch one of these transit-friendly fireworks displays.
Crowds are pretty tight in Grand Park, and the fireworks are never as big as people hope – it’s in the middle of downtown LA, after all – but the 4th of July Block Party is by far the most convenient, accessible Metro – Pyrotechnic show.
Nearest subway station: Civic Center/Grand Park (B/D [Red/Purple] Lines)
You don’t need to board a boat to see the Long Beach fireworks; you’ll have a view from almost anywhere along the waterfront. Follow the throngs of people to Shoreline Park if you want one of the closest (but most crowded) views.
Nearest subway station: Downtown Long Beach (A [Blue] Line)
The Rose Bowl shuttle doesn’t run during Americafest, which means enduring parking purgatory or getting on and off the subway to look inside the stadium. Instead, we suggest a new option in walkable Old Pasadena: just find the tallest parking structure with an unobstructed view to the northwest and you’ll have a distant but usable view of the show. If you’re willing to walk a bit, you can try going to the neighborhoods just above the Arroyo near the Gamble House or the crowded Colorado Street Bridge.
Nearest subway stations: Memorial Park and Del Mar (L [Gold] Line)
Comedy legends Steve Martin and Martin Short have the distinction this year of performing the annual Hollywood Bowl fireworks spectacular for three nights. There’s a shuttle that leaves from the old Hollywood & Highland mall (now Ovation), but if you’re ok with a slight climb on the way up, the 1-mile or so walk is just as convenient.
Nearest subway station: Hollywood/Highland (B [Red] Line)
The legendary movie studio and theme park will launch a 4th of July pyro extravaganza synced to both universal themed music and patriotic standards on July 2, 3 and 4. The park tells you won’t to be able to see the show from CityWalk, so you’ll have to splurge on a theme park ticket – but you can still save money by skipping the parking fee in favor of the subway and using the free shuttle at the bottom of the hill on the Lankershim side of the park.
Nearest subway station: Universal City/Studio City (B [Red] Line)
You’ll need to board the free Dodger Stadium Express (with your game ticket) at Union Station, but it’s easy enough to catch fireworks from Chavez Ravine without driving. You’ll have two chances to drink a beer and a Dodger Dog before the fireworks: July 1 against the Padres for Friday Night Fireworks and July 4 against the Rockies for an Independence Day show.
Nearest subway station: Union Station (B/D/L [Red/Purple/Gold] Lines)
The annual South Pasadena Balloon Festival unfortunately involves neither the type of hot air balloon nor the Thanksgiving Parade. But that precedes a fireworks display at South Pasadena High School, which is less than a 15-minute walk from the subway.
Nearest subway station: South Pasadena (L [Gold] Line)