Fourth of July in Tahoe: Where to view one of the top fireworks shows in the nation |

Fourth of July in Tahoe: Where to view one of the top fireworks shows in the nation

Autumn Whitney
Lights on the Lake is held Tuesday, July 4, at 9:45 p.m.
Courtesy / First Tracks Productions via Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority |

Happy birthday, America! On Tuesday, July 4, the beer will be flowing, the hot dogs will be barbecuing and marshmallows will be roasting (if s’mores aren’t a component of your holiday feast, you’re missing out) as our nation turns a ripe 241 years old.

In addition to backyard and beachside meals cooked on the grill, Fourth of July in Tahoe requires time spent on (or in) the water while donning a red, white and blue-themed swimsuit. But the highlight of celebrating the United States’ birthday on South Shore is, of course, the iconic Lights on the Lake fireworks display.

Beginning at 9:45 p.m., the spectacular boasts 25 minutes of non-stop pyrotechnics that are launched approximately 1,500 feet off the shoreline of Nevada Beach. Zambelli Fireworks, one of the largest and most seasoned fireworks companies in the U.S., produces the show, which is consistently rated in the top 10 Fourth of July celebrations throughout the country.

“People can expect a visually stunning display choreographed to patriotic and timely music,” said Mike Frye, event and media relations specialist with Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority.

Tune into local radio stations KRLT-FM 93.9 or KOWL-AM 1490 to get the most of the experience: The music is synchronized perfectly with the display. But any fireworks-goer knows that apart from the music, one of the most important aspects of any show is knowing where to watch.

Keep in mind, you’ll want to arrive at each of these locations early in order to grab a spot before they’re completely full — and after all, there’s hardly any beach left this year.

Best Free Spots

Nevada Beach, located just a couple miles from the casinos, is a great spot to watch — the fireworks are launched off the shoreline, and it offers charcoal barbecues and picnic tables too. Where else would you want to spend the entirety of your day?

Lakeview Commons is known for hosting the summer concert series Live at Lakeview, but it’s not a bad spot to catch the fireworks, either. Seating fills up quickly, so be sure to arrive early.

Head over to Baldwin Beach, located near the Tallac Historic Site, for a view with a more woodsy feel. If you’re feeling a little adventurous, hike up Mount Tallac for a bird’s eye view of the show — but don’t forget a light for the return journey.

Best Paid Spots

The view from Edgewood Tahoe, site of the upcoming American Century Championship, is breathtaking to say the least. Whether you’re in the clubhouse or on the beach, you won’t be disappointed. Check out for more information.

Enjoy the fireworks from the water on the M.S. Dixie II. The Mississippi-style paddle wheeler departs from Zephyr Cove Resort at 7 p.m. and returns after Lights on the Lake concludes. Additional details are available at

Wherever you end up, be sure to tidy your space upon departure: We care about our environment and the animals, too.

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