L.A. is a tough act for the fireworks enthusiast. Anything that explodes up into the air and is any dang fun is strictly verboten, and even July Fourth staples, such as sparklers are banned in Los Angeles and the unincorporated communities of L.A. County. This means that finding the right perch from which to gaze at any of the sanctioned displays of colorful rockets and light is important stuff. The best view around is from the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook in Culver City. It takes some dedication and a bit of sweat to scale the mountain of crumbling stairs — which resemble those of a Mayan temple — more than 700 feet up. But you'll feel like a champion once you make it to the top. There, a 360-degree view lets you stare out over the city and its many 'burbs, watching fireworks shows from Redondo Beach to the L.A. Coliseum to the nearby Culver City fireworks extravaganza — as well as all the illegal impromptu street shows between. 6300 Hetzler Road, Culver City. parks.ca.gov/?page_id=22790.

—Chris Vogel

LA Weekly