10. Milpitas Sports Center
Every year, Milpitas shows the rest of the valley how it’s done with a huge city celebration and fireworks. Admission is $2.
9. Community Park in Morgan Hill
The City of Morgan Hill puts on a parade during daylight hours, but the fireworks show after the sun goes is worth staying for. Community Park offers a grand view of the show—the perfect location for viewing from a folding chair.
8. Freeway Overpass
This is the ultimate urban watch spot for those who don’t want to contend with downtown crowds.
7. Shoreline Park
Though Shoreline Amphitheatre’s fireworks show is big enough to be seen for miles, the adjacent Shoreline Park is a great place to get close to the action without paying admission at the venue.
6. Cupertino Foothills
The foothills that hem in Cupertino offer a window onto pyro shows all over the Bay. However, it is a residential area, so celebrations should be quiet, lest ye get chased out of the neighborhood by a suspicious homeowner.
5. Great America
Great America’s has put on one of the biggest fireworks displays in the Bay Area for years. The immaculately-manicured lawns of the tech company offices that surround the park are excellent open areas to watch the show.
4. Central Park in Santa Clara
The City of Santa Clara puts on a near-legendary Independence Day rager that goes from sunup to sundown. It starts in the morning with a pancake breakfast and ends hours later with a fireworks display.
3. Ohlone College
Ohlone College is situated in the foothills outside of Fremont, not too far from where the sloughs meet the waters of the Bay. Find a high point on the campus and set up a few chairs—if it’s clear, and if you rank at least 20/20, you’ll be able to see fireworks all across the Bay.
2. Kelley Park
This is the longtime favorite spot for residents from all over San Jose to gather and watch the show that’s set off across the street at Municipal Stadium. Folding chairs are allowed, but no booze.
1. Downtown San Jose
Downtown denizens have it made. The proximity of downtown to Municipal Stadium makes anywhere there’s room to put down a blanket a fine viewing spot. Discovery Meadow is a nice open expanse to set up a blanket or anywhere more then a few stories high.