How's this for last-minute Fourth of July holiday advice: Leave right now. You'll find early fireworks, hoppin' DJs and one grand Illusion in and around San Diego. And there are still places to stay too.
Hotel del Coronado: The hotel is throwing a beach party for guests Wednesday (tonight) with a live band, games and a fireworks show. Stick around until the Fourth and take in Coronado Island's annual parade, a free concert in Spreckels Park and more fireworks (see below). I found rooms still available tonight to July 4 for $339 a night plus tax.
Info: Hotel del Coronado, 1500 Orange Ave., Coronado; (855) 843-9420
Overboard Pool Party: No invites to a cool pool party? DJs will spin from 1 to 9 p.m. at the Overboard Pool Party at the Andaz San Diego's RoofTop600 pool. Le Youth, Craig Smoove and Johnny Rayburn are on the bill for the Fourth. Tickets, which are still available, cost $30 to $40, for those 21 and older.
Info: Overboard@Rooftop600, 600 F. St., San Diego.
Big Bay Boom: This is the San Diego Bay fireworks show that famously fizzled two years ago because of a tech glitch. Wherever you go or stay in San Diego, make sure to check out the free fireworks shot from different barges in the bay. Lots of good places to watch the 17 minutes of fire power, from Shelter Island to the Embarcadero. Free parking lots with shuttles to Harbor and Shelter islands open at 5:30 p.m.; the show starts at 9 p.m.
Info: Big Bay Boom, San Diego Bay.
"Illusion": The Balboa Park exhibition promises to be a bit of a mind-bender, and it's open on the Fourth of July. The show makes you doubt what your brain tells you -- like those virtual bugs crawling on your skin and a portrait of you made from fragments of local news websites. The show originated at the Science Gallery at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. It makes its U.S. debut here until Jan. 11. Tickets cost $14.95 to $17.95.
Info: "Illusion: Nothing Is As It Seems," Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, 1875 El Prado, San Diego; (619) 238-1233.