We've taken our boat out with friends the past three 4ths in San Diego
, and truthfully we've had a great time. Like anywhere it's rather crowded and it's definitely amateur hour, but it's not too crowded to enjoy yourself. We usually sail out in the ocean where there's not much traffic until the wind
dies, then motor
back into the bay for the fireworks. Watch out for the power boat
As Randy says, you can't anchor outside of the designated anchorages
, and those are all permit
only and the permits will have sold out instantly. You may be able to raft with some friends, but otherwise you won't be able to anchor. Unbusted mentioned anchoring the channel, but that was allowed for the Red Bull Air Races only since the channel is closed during the races (we actually went down and anchored in about 45 feet nearly mid-channel for those).
If you can find someone to raft with you'll have a reasonable view of the fireworks from any of the anchorages
. If not, the best spots are typically around the Embarcadaro, or up on the north end of North Island by the old concrete piers. We've hovered around in both locations, and like the north end of North Island better. You can usually drift around there for long periods, and you can see all four city fireworks shots, plus Coronado, Chula Vista, and the bigger Sea World fireworks. There typically aren't many boats around there, so the rappers are at a minimum. Enjoy!