July 4th in the Bay Area: Here's your guide to Independence Day

Fireworks over the San Francisco Bay Bridge.

Independence Day is around the corner, which means it's time to fire up the grill and stake out the very best parade and firework watching spots.

From the "world's shortest parade" to the "world's longest parade" to yacht races to dog parade contests, there's no shortage of fun in the Bay Area during the holiday. Here is a list of some 4th of July favorites.

San Francisco

San Francisco attracts thousands of people to the waterfront on the 4th, with the biggest highlight being the fireworks display over the Bay. There will be live music starting at 6 p.m. at Aquatic Park and at 9:30 p.m. the fireworks begin.

North Bay: Novato

Novato's Fourth of July parade boasts a contingent of vintage military vehicles you won’t find anywhere else. This year the parade celebrates science and technology with the theme "Nation of Innovation."

North Bay: Sausalito

Sausalito is in search of the perfect design for this year's return of the coveted 4th of July t-shirts. Catch a full day of festivities with the parade followed by a picnic and live music. The parade begins at 10 a.m. and is followed by an afternoon picnic and fireworks in the evening.

North Bay: Sonoma

Sonoma is holding its classic 4th of July celebration, including food, drink and game booths. The annual parade starts at 10 a.m. where it winds its way down the historic plaza, down First Street East and Spain Street. 

North Bay: Tiburon

Tiburon Yacht Club will hold its annual yacht race on July 1. This racecourse has participants rounding the Brothers and Sisters Islands and returning Tiburon. After the race, the yacht club opens for a BBQ to welcome all. 

South Bay: Foster City

Foster City will hold a day full of events, with a pet parade, family games and fireworks over the lagoon. Viewers at the pet parade will vote on awards such as Most Patriotic, Dog-Owner Look-A-Like, and Most Handsome. 

South Bay: Morgan Hill

Freedom Fest is a hometown celebration dedicated to preserving local heritage and an independent spirit. Events begin at 10 a.m. and include a family street dance, freedom run, parade, car cruise, parade and fireworks. There's also the 35th annual Patriotic Sing on July 3 where a children's chorus will ring in the holiday.

South Bay: San Jose

San Jose's Rose, White and Blue Parade & Festival takes place from Lincoln High School on Dana Avenue, then north to Naglee then East to The Alameda before turning southbound on the east side of Alameda. Get ready for a car cruise, live music, food, and shopping from local vendors.

South Bay: Half Moon Bay

The Half Moon Bay parade starts at 12 pm, transforming the charming downtown along Main Street into a pulsating Coastsider take on a mini-Mardi Gras style celebration.

South Bay: Aptos

Aptos boasts the "World's shortest parade." The parade travels only 0.2 miles yet lasts four hours. It starts at 10 a.m. Soquel Drive and State Park Drive and will continue to Trout Gulch Road. It features police, fire trucks, old cars, and "just about anyone who wants to join in."

East Bay: Alameda

Alameda's 4th of July Parade is the longest in the nation with a route that spans 3.3 miles, attracting more than 170 entries and 2,500 participants. The day kicks off with a 5k run, then over 60,000 spectators will gather for the 10 a.m. parade that includes equestrians, dance troops, floats, antique cars, marching bands, and more.

East Bay: Antioch

There will be two stages with live music, food trucks and family-friendly games at the riverfront in downtown Antioch. The city's parade starts at 4 p.m. and at dusk people will gather at the delta river to watch fireworks. More information about the events are available here.

East Bay: Orinda

Orinda is holding its Fourth of July parade starting at 10 a.m., with a pancake breakfast beforehand. Other activities of the day include flag-raising, a library sale, fun run, and a concert in the park. Click here to find out more.

East Bay: Pleasant Hill

The 4th of July is an all-day event in Pleasant Hill starting with a 5k run followed by a parade, festival in the park and, of course, fireworks.