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Where to Get Your Fireworks On Outside of the City

Katy Quigg | July 3, 2013 | Story Travel

San Francisco will be flooded with urban dwellers celebrating the 4th by kicking off the much-anticipated America’s Cup, so ditch the city chaos and sport your most patriotic red, white, and blue elsewhere around the bay.

Tahoe Weekend: Music lovers head to North Star for the 6th annual Beerfest and Bluegrass Festival on Saturday, July 6th where favorite Bluegrass bands Melody Walker and No Lonesome and Nora Jane Struthers & The Party Line will perform while local breweries like 21st Amendment, Anchor Brewing Co., and Lagunitas Brewing Co. will be pouring some tasty brews. Start a day early at the Brew Master dinner featuring seasonal ingredients partnered with seasonal beers on Friday. Tickets for the festival are $30 in advance or $38 at the door.

Resort Weekend: Use the holiday as an excuse for a relaxing weekend and drive down the coast to the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay. The resort will be celebrating the 4th with jazz music, barbecues, outdoor movies, and special spa treatments. After enjoying a classic 4th of July buffet lunch of corn on the cob, sliders, and warm apple pie, settle on the Gazebo Lawn where pro surfers Adam Replogle and Peter Mel will introduce the movie of choice, ‘Chasing Mavericks,’ a biographical film on life of American surfer Jay Moriarity.

Santa Cruz Weekend: The 4th of July is not all about fireworks and Budweiser. For the more athletically inclined, Santa Cruz is hosting its annual Firecracker 10k, which begins at Harvey West Park. The best part of the race? Runners are rewarded with a free pancake breakfast after the awards ceremony. Parades on the 4th of July seem endless, but after enjoying bottomless pancakes witness the world’s shortest parade in Aptos that spans a whole 2 city blocks.

Mendocino Weekend: While Santa Cruz will be hosting the world's shortest parade, Mendocino will be grilling up salmon at the world's largest salmon barbecue at Fort Bragg. The menu includes salmon, of course, as well as an American classic: corn on the cob. Nearby, channel your inner cowboy at Willits Frontier Days, California's oldest continuous rodeo, where there will be a horse show, a rodeo, and a Cutest Little Cowboy & Cowgirl contest for the kids.

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