SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) - Technically it’s already the 4th of July. But we all know the party doesn’t really start until the sun sets and flames are put to wicks.

If you’re not already camped out on one of San Diego’s mountains or you don’t know anyone who lives in a highrise with bay vistas, fear not. Author and travel blogger Maggie Espinoza visited the News 8 studio to talk under-the-radar celebration destinations for Independence Day.

First on her list is the Lakefront Resort and Hotel in San Marcos, which peers over Lake San Marcos. Kids will be entertained by games, a watermelon eating and dog painting contests. Club members can come have fun for free and stay through the end of the boat show on the water.

If heading downtown for the holiday doesn’t intimidate you, Espinoza recommends Pendry San Diego for an evening party on its rooftop pool deck. Enjoy happy hour oysters for just $1 and sip refreshing drinks by a poolside cabana with friends.

For those that want to get out of town, Espinoza says you have an option in Temecula, and another one even further away in Scottsdale.

The Temecula Community 4th of July Parade has been a hit for decades. Falkner Winery is celebrating it’s 17th anniversary and passing on the giving to you with half-off cases of wine. They’ll also be hosting some competitive corn hole and wine pong.

As for the West’s Most Western Town, Scottsdale is featuring a classic car and vintage air show, drive-in movies and more.

You can read all of Espinoza’s reviews at