Local’s Guide to 4th of July on the Central Coast
With red tinted sunsets, white sandy beaches, and the deep blue ocean, the Central Coast is a patriotic place to be this Fourth of July. If you’re coming in to visit for this fun packed weekend, don’t miss out on the festivities, and follow these insiders tips to make sure you have a fun, exciting, and safe Fourth of July, whatever you feel like doing!
1. If you want a great spot for fireworks, arrive early!
The Central Coast’s family-friendly picnics, parades, and fireworks shows are very popular, with families from all over California coming into town to enjoy the festivities. If you want to have a warm, fun-filled, sun-soaked day prior to fireworks, go to Pismo Beach or Cayucos, both of which offer daytime parades and nighttime fireworks. Because it can get quite packed, make sure to arrive at your destination early, as early as 5 am, to stake out a great spot for the day.
2. If parking is a concern, bike!
If you’re visiting Avila Beach for the Fourth, it can also be quite crowded because Avila is a bit secluded. But if you park your car further away on the highway between SLO and Avila, you can bike the rest of the way via the beautiful and convenient Bob Jones Trail, which snakes through the hills. This may not be the best idea if you’re with a large group, but if there’s a couple of you that want to have a stress free trip to Avila, biking can take a bit of the stress of finding a parking spot off and is an enjoyable exercise in its own right.
3. Attend Budget-Friendly Community Events
If you’re fearing the massive price tags that can accompany holidays such as the 4th, don’t worry! The Central Coast has many cost-effective ways to celebrate this year, such as the $7 Avila Beach pancake breakfast, the proceeds to which go to charity. And following that breakfast, you can enter your dog in the Avila Beach doggie parade, or just watch the pups proceed through town. Breakfast starts at 8 a.m. and the parade starts at 11 a.m. Learn more here.
4. Don’t resign yourself to only attend events on the Fourth
Feel like a local by catching a SLO Blues Baseball game before the craziness of the holiday sets in. And what’s more American than fireworks in the Fourth? Catch a SLO Blues game at Sinsheimer Park on July 3rd at 6 pm to ring in the holiday. Our tips – buy tickets NOW because they will sell out, and arrive early to get a good spot! The night will end with fireworks and is a popular local event you won’t want to miss.
5. Be Weather-Ready
The weather on the coast can fluctuate. Even a hot day in July in the mid 90’s can turn into a cool night when an evening breeze kicks in, making it feel much colder than it is. That being said, be sure to bring layers, stay hydrated in the hot daytime with plenty of water, wear hats and sunscreen, and make sure you have enough warm clothes and blankets for when the sun goes down at the beach. In more inland communities such as Paso Robles and Atascadero, this still applies. So stay safe and have fun!
7. Only Grill Where It’s Chill
If you’re planning on cooking up chicken, tri-tip, corn, or other traditional snacks this Fourth of July, plan ahead! Some beaches don’t allow grilling and there may be restrictions on place. The Oceano Dunes is a great pick because grilling is allowed and it’s such a big location. Avila Beach does allow grilling, but spots are limited and hard to find sometimes. Again, arriving earlier and setting up is always the best idea!