Big Bay Boom 2022: Where to Watch Tonight, How to Get There

Here’s what you need to know about this year's fireworks spectacular

Getty Images/Sam Antonio Photography

San Diego’s longtime Fourth of July tradition, the Big Bay Boom, returns next week.

The Fourth of July event typically draws about 500,000 spectators who line up their chairs and blankets along the waterfront hours before the fireworks show.

The show starts at 9 p.m. The show will be synced up to music broadcast live on KGB 101.5 FM radio.

Here’s what you need to know about this year's fireworks spectacular:

Prime Viewing Locations:

  • Shelter Island:
    • Parking along San Diego Bay fills up quickly and Shelter Island is usually full by 1 p.m. Once all parking is taken there, the Harbor Police will close it. 
  • Harbor Island:
    • Parking is very limited on Harbor Island and will be full by the early afternoon.
  • North Embarcadero:
    • The area from Grape Street to Broadway including the B Street Pier and Broadway Pier is available for viewing. 
  • Marina District:
    • The area from Broadway to the Headquarters “Old Police Station” complex has viewing possibilities.
  • Coronado Ferry Landing:
    • On the Coronado Island side, the Coronado Ferry Landing shopping area has viewing options with parking not only in the shopping center but also on the public street in the general vicinity. 
  • Boating/On The Water:
    • With four locations there are plenty of options for where you can see the fireworks from your boat on San Diego Bay. Big Bay Boom is asking all boaters to observe the 1,000 feet safety zones around the barges.

Parking and Getting to Big Bay Boom

Parking fills up quickly along the San Diego Bay so make sure to arrive early.

MTS Bus and Trolley:

The Metropolitan Transit Center will be operating on a Sunday schedule on Monday, July 4.

Because it is a holiday, the "Friends Ride Free" promotion is in effect, meaning a friend may ride free with a fare-paying customer on all MTS routes.

Prime viewing locations are near the following stations, MTS says:

  • County Center / Little Italy
  • Santa Fe Depot
  • America Plaza
  • Seaport Village
  • Convention Center
  • Gaslamp Quarter
Prime viewing locations are near the following stations

There is free parking offered at some MTS transit centers. Here are more details about transit station parking.

Parking at San Diego Bay

If you are looking for a guaranteed parking spot along the bay, the Big Bay Boom website recommends using parking reservations apps like SpotHero.

All metered parking on the streets will be free on July 4th. Payboxes will be enforced at the Embarcadero, Shelter Island and Spanish Landing.

The San Diego Convention Center and the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel also offer parking garages.

By the way, remember when the Big Bay Boom turned into the “Big Bay Bust” in 2012? That year, all the fireworks accidentally went off at once. Take a look back at that moment in this video from the NBC 7 archives.

If you’re not planning on heading to the downtown or San Diego Bay areas to catch this big show, there are some other 2022 fireworks displays returning to the sky across the county this Sunday. Check out our guide on where to watch fireworks in San Diego.

Are Fireworks Illegal in San Diego? Carlsbad? Chula Vista? Anywhere?

Fireworks of any kind — sparklers, firecrackers, cherry bombs, poppers and bottle rockets — are all illegal in the city and county of San Diego.

This holiday weekend, officials are urging San Diego County residents to leave the pyrotechnics to the professionals.

For more details, click here.

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