Best Places in SF Bay to See Fireworks by Boat | Modern Sailing

Best Places in SF Bay to See Fireworks by Boat

Published June 21, 2022

Sailors - wouldn't you love to wow friends and family with an extraordinary 4th of July fireworks experience without the crowds, traffic, and parking hassles? The most unique and unforgettable way to see the fireworks and share the dazzling spectacle with loved ones is aboard a sailboat - of course!

To celebrate freedom over the 4th of July weekend with the freedom of sailing, begin planning now. Below, the find essential information you'll need to lay the foundations for a fun holiday on San Francisco Bay.


Best Places in San Francisco Bay to See Fireworks by Sailboat

Sausalito will have a fireworks show in the vicinity of Gabrielson Park beginning at around 9:15 PM. There’s plenty of room to anchor and good holding in Richardson Bay. Launch location is designated by the blue and red star on the chart.

San Francisco will have two synchronous fireworks shows beginning at 9:30 PM. See image below for launch locations, designated by the stars on the chart.

If you’re qualified to sail at night (ASA 104, Bareboat Cruising and/or Night Sailing Clinic certified), you can cruise the Central Bay or along the waterfront during the show, but be prepared for the challenge of navigating among other boats in the dark. If you’d prefer to anchor and relax in Aquatic Park, visit the Aquatic Park page on the National Park website to learn the ins and outs.

Best Places to Anchor in San Francisco Bay Overnight

The anchorages closest to the San Francisco fireworks shows are Aquatic Park, McCovey Cove, and Clipper Cove. Clipper Cove is a calm anchorage with a shallow, tricky entrance - plan your entrance and exit for high tide. Richardson Bay is also a peaceful place to spend the night. Do not anchor at China Cove (north side of Angel Island) due to underwater hazards that can lead to boat damage or anchor loss.

If you want an amazing up-close view of the fireworks but you’re not rated for night sailing, set your anchor in Richardson Bay or Aquatic Park before sunset and spend the night.

Aquatic Park is a national park and a permit is required to anchor overnight ($10). To reserve your anchoring permit, go to the Aquatic Park page on

Paradise Cove on the east side of the Tiburon Peninsula is also an option, but is the furthest from the shows.

Multi-day Charter Discounts

The 3-day weekend is a perfect opportunity to experience a refreshing overnight charter with your friends and family! Anytime you book a boat for two or more consecutive days, you’ll receive a 10% discount off the total charter rate. For 3 or more days, the discount is 15%!

How to Make Your Charter Reservation

Call (415) 331-8250
Book Online

Photo Credit: Xiyu Zhang on (@imxiyuzhang)

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  • Emma & George Stubbs, Sausalito

    We just took our ASA 106 at a school in Rhode Island as we prepare for 6 months of cruising in the Caribbean. The class was great, but more than anything it made us really appreciate the quality of teaching and rigor at Modern Sailing. Even though we were the newest to sailing, the group seemed to think that we had the best fundamentals. We felt very well prepared and we see why Modern Sailing has the reputation it does.

  • Rolf Zingg

    Since many, many years, I had the dream to sail underneath the Golden Gate bridge. On October 14th last year, my dream became true. Thanks to our dear friend Aaron Fritz who made it possible and organized this cruise for us. With this adventure I was able to achieve one more milestone on my sailing career.

    Finally on the water, it was great! Full moon made the flows even stronger and it was like sailing in a washing machine.

    I did my sailing education in the English Channel, where the situation with the wind and flows is comparable to the San Francisco Bay. So I felt pretty much "at home" being on the helm in the Bay.

    I hope our skipper Stan Lander enjoyed this day cruise too. We, definitely did! It was an unforgettable experience for all of us.

    A very big thank you to all of you who made it possible, that my dream became reality! Also thank you for the MSC flag I got at the end of the day. It found it's place in my study, where I can see it daily.

  • John Boynton

    The class was terrific. I know you must get many compliments about your sailing instructors...But I must tell you that Robert is outstanding. Having taught SCUBA, I really appreciate the way he is so sensitive to all on board, dealing with each so well, knowing quickly their strengths and weaknesses making each feel special and cared for.

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Modern Sailing School & Club

2310 Marinship Way, Sausalito, CA 94965

415-331-8250 / 800-995-1668

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