Best local San Diego Fourth of July Ideas, Activities and Fireworks views

Marshmallow fights, fun on the sea, 16 passenger bicycles…

in San Diego the possiblities are endless.

Here are some good unique ideas from a San Diego local:

1) Join the largest Marshmallow fight in the West.

It’s an Ocean Beach tradition that after the Fireworks display on Fourth of July, a huge display of hurtling marshmallows follows by the OB pier. It’s a tradition that’s been going on since 1985 which started with two rival families who hosted 4th of July parties. One year one of the families decided to take the marshmallows they were about to roast over the BBQ and go Rambo on the other family’s party. The next year, the other family got revenge and every year afterwards its become a huger and huger marshmallow fight.

Read more about the origins of the fight…

2) Rent a boat.

The best fireworks show I ever saw was the year my family and I decided to rent a 12 passenger boat for four hours to watch the fireworks. We paid probably around $50 each. You don’t need any special license to drive it, just a drivers license. We picked up the boat from Seaport Village around 4pm and cruised around the bay for awhile and ate the pizza and drinks we brought on board. Around 9pm, the sky lit up around us with a 360 degree view of fireworks since we were simultaneously watching fireworks from the San Diego Harbor to the east, Coronado to the west, Imperial Beach in the South and SeaWorld from the North. It was spectacular! We tuned in our portable radio to FM channel 105.7 to catch the patriotic music synchronized to the Big Bay Boom Fireworks show.

You can also rent boats at Mission Bay, Coronado and La Jolla Shores.


Book now.

Bring food onboard. Driver of boat cannot drink alcohol. It is considered a DUI.

Dress warmly.

Mind the wake zones (we didn’t know what they were and we sped by making large waves and people on the houseboats got really mad at us..)

Park away from Seaport Village and take the trolley in.

Get there early. The area is jammed with people, parking is difficult and public transportation is packed.

3) Take a Cruise / (Booze) Cruise

There are several cruises around town. Some with alcohol and some without.

  • The Hornblower hosts the “Rock the Boat Independence Day Cruise” which is pretty pricey but includes:

– Open Bar
– Complimentary Champagne
– Complimentary snacks
– A gorgeous sunset
– Top 40/House music DJ
– Dance floor
– Impeccable view of Firework show
– Perfect for Couples or friends alike.

  • My favorite is the Bahia Belle Sternwheeler on Mission Bay. It costs $15 and you can get on and off at it’s two ports at either the Bahia Hotel near Mission Beach or the Catamaran near Pacific Beach. From the top deck, you get an amazing view of the Sea World fireworks. There’s a bar and live music on the second deck. All ages welcome except on the second floor…
  • At the Bahia Hotel, there is a more formal cruise aboard the William D Evans sternwheeler kicking off at 8 p.m and ends at midnight. $30 will get you 2 DJs, cash bars, two dance floors, and three decks from which to view the night’s fireworks. 21+ only. Living social has a deal right now for half off.

4) Rent a bike

Social Cycle San Diego  has really cool 16 passenger bikes where you can do a bike tour and drink beer together. Read the next blog entry for a better idea of  what the social cycle is like..

5) Find a great view:

  • Porto Vista Hotel’s rooftop and also their restaurant The Glass Door have great views of the Harbor.
  • Fiesta Island
  • All along Crown Point are great views of Mission Bay fireworks
  • Bird Rock Park
  • All the hotels around Seaport Village and Gaslamp are good bets: Hard Rock, IVY, Stingaree all have rooftop areas. The Hyatt and Marriott Convention Center also have good viewing.
  • Tidelands Park Coronado
  • Shelter Island, Harbor Island, Point Loma, Spanish Landing, Embarcadero Marina Parks North and South,with free shuttles to and from parking lots

Most crowded places:

All the Beaches, Seaport Village, Coronado.

San Diego Fourth of July Fireworks schedule and locations:


Family Friendly activities|62|64|68|70/july-4th-celebration-in-pioneer-park.html

Old Town $5 Family Jazz BBQ

Don’t forget:

No alcohol is permitted on any beaches. Don’t try to hide them in other containers, the police have a scanner that they can use to detect if there is alcohol in the container.

Have a great time with your loved ones celebrating our freedom!!

Top 5 Outdoor Bachelorette Parties in San Diego

The sun is shining and the smell of summer is in the why not do a non-traditional affair for the bride’s last hurrah?

Here are the top five Bachelorette Party ideas for a bride who likes the outdoors…

1.  A Day on the Waves

Don’t be fooled. The hottest guys are out on the waves.

Pictures by Beach Shoot San Diego

Imagine a day of bonding, laughing and mastering the surfboard. There’s a cool little Women’s Surf School in beautiful La Jolla, CA called Surf Diva that offers a day of surf or paddle board lessons, professional photos on picturesque La Jolla Shores, and a mouth-watering picnic right on the beach after your fun on the waves. All skill levels are welcome and you can request women surf instructors if you like.You can glam it up and also request private cabanas w/private cabana boy serving up delectable chocolates and chilled drinks.

This is a great idea for a co-ed bachelor/bachelorette activity too! Mention BFF and get free party favors for your group…

Afterwards, you can rent a room at the La Jolla Shores hotel right on the beach and jump right into their jacuzzi to rest up before a night on the town. Party bus anyone?

2. Sunset Kayaking

Photo by Beach Shoot San Diego

I would highly recommend the… (Bride’s don’t read this * Spoiler alert* )… ok now that it’s safe.. Message in a Bottle package through Beach Shoot San Diego. They take you out for an unforgettable sunset kayak ride (you don’t need to have experience kayaking.)

They take you through the sea caves (weather permitting) and you get to see amazing wildlife. Then the photographer will strategically toss a message in a bottle onto the waves for the bride to find. The message will be from you and the other bridesmaids, of course, full of tear evoking well wishes. The photographer captures it all on photo and video. It’s a pretty awesome keepsake which can be played at the wedding.

3.  Moonlight Horseback Riding and BBQ Dinner

A day of hiking, camping or moonlight horseback riding may just be up her alley if the bride is stressed out and really wants to get away. Check out Happy Trails San Diego

4. Sports, competitive or teambuilding games

How about a day playing Dodgeball, Sloshball or Kickball or renting tandem bikes? San Diego also has tons of charity events like the San Diego Mud Run or the ROC Race (Ridiculous Obstacle Course-Think WipeOut). Give back to the community while bonding and doing something healthy and fun!

5. Boating, Boating or more Boating

The best part of San Diego is the beautiful ocean. Renting a boat is relatively inexpensive and you don’t need any special license if it’s a small boat. Just a drivers license! We took a boat out on Fourth of July to get a 360 degree view of the fireworks in the San Diego Bay and it was the best fireworks show I have experienced in my life. We each paid about $30 and brought on board some pizza and drinks-the driver of course can’t have any alcohol ;) In Mission Bay you can also rent jet ski’s etc.

It’s a barbecue, a picnic table, and a boat all in one… it’s the BBQ Donut!

If you want to do it a bit more upscale you can rent a small yacht which includes a personal sushi chef from Sushi on a Roll who can cater or even give you a Sushi cooking class while you enjoy sake or wine. Or you can take a traditional dinner cruise.

The best of the boat experiences has to be renting a private Gondola. They can seat up to 16 passengers and a sunset cruise can include wine, cheese, chocolates and even massages :) Wow!

Mention BFFbridesmaid or contact us to see if we can get you any discounts for any of these bachelorette party ideas!

Interesting Wedding customs from around the World: The Korean Squid Facemask

No you’re not imagining things. He is wearing a dried squid on his face.

I’ve been blessed to have taught English internationally and that for the past 9 years I’ve taught at a local San Diego international ESL school. I’m always amazed at the awesome, kirky and sometimes, downright hilarious customs that my students have shared with me over the years.

The Haam ceremony in Korea takes the cake for the best photo ops.

The Groom and his male family, close friends and/or groomsmen get dressed up in their best suits and strap on dried squid masks to their faces. They form a procession to the brides home to announce the grooms intention to marry her through the gift of the ham or gift box with important symbolic items inside like silk and jewelry. The ham or gift box can never touch the floor and must be carried by one of the participants, called the hamjinabi, on their back.

The group would shout merrily and jokingly through the streets to highlight the Groom’s approach, “Buy some Ham” or “Ham for sale.” Some traditions state that money was thrown at their feet in the path of the brides home to encourage them to keep walking

One tradition states that the brides’ family must pay money to the group per step, sing a song for them upon arrival or do a favor for the group members in return for their travel. Then they must be treated to a feast or dinner where the brides’ family will open the ham and examine the gifts.

Weekday Wedding Workshops: Money Saving Tips and WeddingTax Deductions

Our first informational workshop was a night of delicious food, fun games, great info and of course, sushi rolling..

One of our great couples enjoying a sushi bonding experience!Sushi on a Roll graciously hosted our free event for a very small group of brides, grooms and members of the wedding party. It was intimate and we all enjoyed lots of conversation, advice, commiserating and games.

Our guest speaker, Wedding Planner Carmin from, was her usual bubbly self and gave us awesome tips on how to save money and get tax deductions on wedding expenses. The brides really appreciated the one one one Q + A with her and all the free advice, tips and tricks she gave. She stayed well past our end time to answer all questions and to give one particular couple lots of design advice since she is not only a planner but a florist by trade.

Jeff from Sushi on a Roll and Andy from served up some serious sushi, braised short ribs and more. Jeff offered our workshop attendents 15% off of his already affordable catering service or venue booking. Sushi on a Roll is not a restaurant, but a private event venue which is awesome because there aren’t any restrictions like at a normal restaurant. So, you can have your bachelorette party or rehearsal dinner here and it’s completely private with private parking even. You can customize your menu, bring in a cigar bar and even set up the Wii and/or karaoke for the kids so they can enjoy too.

Bachelor Party? They can even get the “Sushi Models” to serve sushi on.

My friend had her bridesmaid/groomsmen luncheon (a thank you to their bridal party) on their yacht which you can rent along with a sushi chef for a day out on the ocean. They can even do the sushi-cooking class on board for you.

SD Street Eats gourmet food truck gave us great ideas for bringing in a private food truck for bachelor parties, for the very end of weddings when everyone who liquored up needs some food in their bellies before going home. They will pretty much travel anywhere and come at all hours of the night. They customize your menu and can do as casual as street tacos to as gourmet as lobster.

Our big prize winner of the night, Khristina, won a beautiful necklace by our sponsor Cocoon Jewelry.Their Facebook contest ends tomorrow May 15th. The winner will receive a customized set of jewelry in the brides wedding colors for the bridal party and cufflinks for the groomsmen.

Enter at

I’m so thankful to our wonderful sponsors and our guest speaker. I had a great time meeting each couple personally and being able to answer all of the questions that have been plaguing them. I cannot recommend Sushi on a Roll enough as a venue. They are such an unknown gem in San Diego.

I’m going to bring my husband there for a sushi rolling class for Father’s Day.. I heard there is a GroupOn for it. Shhh!You didn’t hear that!

Who I Am

I’ve struggled with the tone of my posts on the BFFbridesmaid blog because I wanted to be professional as well as informative. However, looking back on my posts I feel like there isn’t as much of the real me as I’d like. Watching a good friend of mine who is a wedding planner, be able to keep her crazy, quirky, kooky personality and still maintain her professionalism and high level of customer satisfaction convinces me that I can still be who I am while providing you with the best resources for brides and bridesmaids alike.

So from here on out you’ll here my thoughts, my recommendations, my advice and of course, awesome and practical resources…Feel free to agree, disagree, add or just let me know what you think..There will be people reading who are at various stages of wedding or event planning (bridal showers, bachelorette parties) who need to hear what mistakes you’ve made (so they can avoid it), tricks you’ve learned and just how it went in general if you are at the end of your journey. Let them hear you. I know I’m not the only one whose goal is to make this the beautiful bonding experience it should be. Let’s all contribute to getting rid of the stress, uncertainty and just plain drama that can come from wedding or pre-wedding event planning!