Colorful display of fireworks

The Realistic Guide to 4th of July in San Diego

For full effect of this following blog post, please cue up Neil Diamonds’ America.

Written by
Adam Della Rocca

As the May Gray gives way to June Gloom, San Diego dusts off its Top Gun Soundtracks, unfurls the red, white and blue bunting, and gets ready to celebrate Independence Day in America’s Finest City.

The Gaslamp is the perfect venue to reflect on the right bollocking[2] we gave those Redcoats after the reading of the Declaration of Independence on the 4th of July, 1776. Just a short walk away from the Keating, is Seaport Village, Front Row to the largest firework display in San Diego County: The Annual Big Bay Boom July 4 Fireworks Show.  Blasting off from four barges located in San Diego Bay, a scored fireworks show will blast off again starting at 9pm (simulcast live on MAX FM 105.7)

Avoid the traffic coming down for the fireworks and use the Keating Hotel as your headquarters for an enjoyable holiday. Conveniently located downtown, you can easily hop on the trolley over to Old Town Historic Park, which will be hosting an old-fashioned celebration of Independence Day from 11am to 4pm complete with a parade, an egg-toss and cherry-pit spitting contests. Think: Disney’s Frontierland, with tacos.

BBQ Ribs

Nothing says America like good ol’fashioned apple pie…but there is no Famous Apple Pie Shop downtown, so you’ll have to settle for another American favorite…BBQ. The Deck at Moonshine Flats can check that box with their menu of Smokehouse favorites from Smothered Brisket Fries to Four Hour Smoked Tri-Tip.  Dance it off downstairs at Moonshine Flats, for some true honky-tonk line-dancing and country and pop music.

In the off-chance that the fireworks leave you underwhelmed[3], head back into the Gaslamp for some late night independence at Trailer Park After Dark. Located stumbling distance from the Keating, Trailer Park is an homage to the uniquely American trailer park experience. With items on the menu such as Tater Tots and TV Dinner Specials, you can satisfy your late night cravings. Wash it down with a ‘Murica Mule, made with American Born Whiskey, or a 40 oz. Old English.  If you want a break from the GNR blasting out of the speakers, step into one of their trailers, complete with Formica tables and the intimacy of vinyl seating and Plexiglas windows.

Vintage camper trailer

Retire back to the Keating and on your way in, if you sing a bar of Neil Diamond’s America to a member of the Keating team, we’ll extend your checkout to 2pm.

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[1] San Diegans can’t bear to admit that the weather in San Diego is not picture perfect year-round and have creatively nicknamed seasonal cloudiness. Collectively, we have also agreed to refer to clouds outside of these months as Marine Layer, which ends up sounding like something to envy. Like, “In Philly, it’s always so cloudy, I wish we could have Marine Layer…”

[2] Just think, that’s the way we would be talking if George Washington and his troops didn’t bring out their Rambo tactics on King George’s tea-drinking cronies. Can you imagine? We’d be clamoring over every detail of a Royal Wedding… wait a minute…

[3] In 2012, in what has become known as the Big Bay Bust, an intended seventeen minute display turned into a massive one-minute display, as the entire array of fireworks went off prematurely.

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