Fireworks at South Lake Tahoe. (Kurtis Rix )
Fireworks at California coastal areas and lakes kick it up a notch by shooting off their displays over a reflecting body of water. It's easy to pack a picnic, spread a blanket and watch the show. Here are some fireworks displays not to miss this year.
South Lake Tahoe: Lights on the Lake is a big boom show that claims to be the biggest synchronized fireworks display west of the Mississippi. It starts at 9:45 p.m. and lasts more than 20 minutes over the lake's South Shore. Best places to watch are Regan, El Dorado and Nevada beaches.
Catalina Island: Part of the fun in this 9:15 p.m. fireworks show over Avalon Harbor is watching from the vintage Casino Ballroom while enjoying a barbecue dinner and the USC Marching Band ($40 for adults, $20 for children 3 to 11). Those who go early will be able to catch the annual golf cart parade at 12:30 p.m. down Crescent Avenue.
San Diego: Four barges in San Diego Bay shoot off fireworks simultaneously for the Big Bay Boom show on the waterfront. The light show starts at 9 p.m. and it's free. Among the best viewing places are Shelter Island, Harbor Island, Seaport Village, Coronado Landing, Imperial Beach.
Dana Point: These fireworks explode over the ocean above Doheny State Beach. Free shuttles provide access to the harbor area from Dana Hills High School and other points. The show starts at 9 p.m.
Big Bear Lake: Fireworks at 7,000 feet at the lakeside town just north of Los Angeles. The show starts at 8:45 p.m. with fireworks being shot off by barge on the lake. Good viewing from any of the parks ringing the lake or on a boat in the lake.