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The Best Place to Watch the Oakland Fireworks 

37°47'30.83 N, 122°16'47.59" W

The best place to watch Oakland's fireworks is not in Oakland. It's from the opposite side of the water, in Alameda. (Don't worry — the back of fireworks look just as good as the front.) However, before you head for the Webster Street Tube, let's talk about its absolutely worst place to watch the fireworks: the shoreline next to the former Alameda Naval Air Station — too far away from the official fireworks, too close to an injurious array of illegal fireworks set off by drunken pyromaniacs heedless of life and limb (especially yours). Another too-popular viewing spot is the Wind River corporate grounds — tamer surroundings, but still too far away. Instead, from the Tube, make an immediate right at the first exit (Mariner Square Drive) and follow it as it curves to the right. Three hundred yards past the Mariner Square Athletic Club, look for a guardhouse onto an unmarked road. If nobody's there — or if you can talk your way past the rent-a-guard — drive in toward the estuary and you're home free. Otherwise, make a U-turn and park near the athletic club or beyond. Join the milling crowds in Mariner Square, but don't join them. Turn left and slide through a narrow opening just left of the Beery Yacht dealership. You'll find yourself on a huge, sparsely populated parking lot of a former military base. Look for the barge anchored in the middle of the estuary, and you'll be right below the exploding pyrotechnics.

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