When the Fourth of July weekend comes around, celebrate with a trip on the train! The Pacific Surfliner can take you to some of the top firework displays in Southern California. Instead of worrying about traffic and finding a parking spot, you’ll start and end your day with a comfortable ride and more time to relax.
Here were some of our favorites for 2019:
Santa Barbara’s Fourth of July Celebration
Independence Day celebrations start as early as 11 a.m. in Santa Barbara, with live music, a parade, great food, face painting and more. The event ends with a 20-minute choreographed fireworks display that can be viewed from the waterfront.
Getting There: The train station in Santa Barbara is a short walk from Stearns Wharf, where most of the holiday activities take place. Show your Pacific Surfliner ticket ride the Santa Barbara MTD electric shuttles for free to the harbor, zoo and other areas.
Insider Tip: Join a harbor cruise to beat the crowds and get one of the best views of the fireworks show!
Downtown Ventura’s Fourth of July Street Fair
The city of Ventura celebrates with a street fair – a decades-old tradition featuring an art showcase, kids zone, parade, live entertainment and more.
Getting There: The festivities are in Downtown Ventura, a short walk from the train station.
Insider Tip: Bring your bike along for the ride and participate in the “Pushem Pullem Parade” in the morning. Learn how to reserve a place on the train for your bike.
July Fourth at the Ballpark
Watch the Dodgers play the Padres and stay after to watch one of the best fireworks shows in Los Angeles.
Getting There: From L.A. Union Station, catch the Dodgers Express Shuttle (free when you show your game ticket), for a short ride to the stadium. Consider booking an overnight trip if you plan to stay later than the last train of the day.
Insider Tip: Get to Los Angeles early and enjoy some time at the Fourth of July Block Party at Grand Park, just one stop from the station on the Metro Red or Purple Lines at the Civic Center/Grand Park stop. This free event features live music, fun activities for kids, and more.
Celebrations at the Disneyland® Resort
Known for amazing fireworks displays, the Disneyland® Resort pulls out all the stops with a special choreographed fireworks show featuring patriotic songs and animated projections on the castle.
Getting There: From the Anaheim Station, show your valid Pacific Surfliner ticket to ride the Anaheim Resort Transit shuttle to the resort area for free! With late-night service down to San Diego or up to LA, it’s possible to have a full day at the park and stay for the fireworks. Or, book your return trip for the next day to have some more time to explore.
Insider Tip: The best places to watch the fireworks are at either ends of Main Street, at the Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse statue, directly in front of the castle or near It’s a Small World.
San Diego’s Big Bay Boom
Downtown San Diego is host to one of the largest fireworks shows in Southern California. With four launching locations across the bay, there are plenty of areas that offer a great view of the choreographed display.
Getting There: Ride to the Santa Fe Depot and either walk or catch the trolley to North Embarcadero, Seaport Village, or South Embarcadero. The last train leaves around 9 p.m., so make it an overnight trip and head home the next day.
Insider Tip: For a truly memorable experience, book a harbor cruise with Hornblower Yachts or Flagship Cruises to watch the fireworks from the water. Or, visit the USS Midway for picnic-style family viewing and more fun.
All Pacific Surfliner trains operated on a holiday/weekend schedule (marked “SaSuHo” on the schedules) on Thursday, July 4 due to the holiday.
Get tips for summer train travel, including expected seating availability by train, on our Tips for Riding at Peak Travel Times article.
Visit pacificsurfliner.com to view schedules, explore trip options.