San Francisco's twin fireworks shows and Tahoe's pyrotechnics often overshadow other northern California July 4 celebrations, but don't let them distract you. Try some of these fun activities for a change of pace.
- Napa County Fair: The annual county fair often ends with a fireworks show. Get this year's schedule.
- Sacramento: The state capitol's July 4th Pyro Spectacular is held at CalExpo, the state fairgrounds. USA Today says Sacramento's Raley Field is one of the best places to watch minor league baseball in the country, and what could be more American than that? Check the Sacramento Rivercats' schedule.
- Six Flags Discovery Kingdom: Up in Vallejo, you can ride yourself silly and see a fireworks show, all the same place. More details, hours, schedule.
- Lake Oroville: A nice fireworks show over the lake in the beautiful Sierra Nevada foothills, lasting about 30 minutes. Details here.
- Ski Mammoth: It may not happen very often, but every once in a while, snow lingers so late in the Eastern Sierra that you can ski on July 4. 2011 is one of those years. Check this year's schedule.
- Old-Fashioned Fourth of July in Gold Country: The Gold Rush town at Columbia State Historic Park puts on a very old-fashioned Fourth of July Celebration, with a parade anyone can march in. Just decorate your vehicle (1961 model or older), your pet (under 120 pounds) or yourself (any size) and join the fun. After that, there's a concert, street dance and lots of old-fashioned activities to enjoy.