You might not think of Manhattan or Long Island as the best place in the USA to spend the 4th of July. But just like most things, New York does Independence Day well, and boldly. If you’ll be spending the 4th of July in the City That Never Sleeps, you’ll have your choice of celebrations.
Keep your options open by reserving a car for your trip. This way if you decide to leave Manhattan for the holiday, you won’t have to rely on alternative transportation. Look up New York car rental specials for the best deals.
Of course, you don’t have to leave the city to have an amazing 4th of July. New York City has three different fireworks shows, and they’re all spectacular. The Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks over the East River begin at 9:20, and the Statue of Liberty and Jersey City fireworks shows start at 9:30. All three of them last around 30 minutes. In the event of rain, the start times could be delayed.
If you’d like to enjoy a nice fireworks display, you’ll want to stake out your spot before the sun goes down. Be aware that you may not be allowed into some viewing areas with backpacks or lawn chairs and that your belongings may be searched. But with a little patience and planning, you’ll be able to have a great view of the show.
Here are some of the best viewing areas:
Brooklyn Bridge Park
With 85 acres of open spaces and mountain views, Brooklyn Bridge Park is the perfect place to see the fireworks.
Brooklyn Heights Promenade
The view from the promenade takes the breath away of even the most jaded New Yorker. The ⅓ mile long promenade will have excellent firework views, though you’ll want to arrive early.
The Corner of FDR Drive and East Houston Street
Head toward the East River Baseball Field.
The corner of Furman Street and Old Fulton Street
This viewing area is close to the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory and Brooklyn’s Pier 1 Playground, so if you have children with you, you can occupy thh3 until the show.
Lower Manhattan’s East River Park
Head to the waterfront area between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges.
Of course, if you’d rather not wait for hours for the best fireworks views, you can celebrate the 4th of July in plenty of other ways. Here are some events happening in the area:
Firework Spectacular at Surf City
Hop in your car rental New York and head to Jersey City, where the megabar Surf City will be serving frozen drinks and tasty food. There’s no cover, and you’ll have a great view of Jersey City’s fireworks show.
Coney Island’s Annual Fourth of July Beach Party
It doesn’t get much better than spending the 4th of July at the beach, especially when that beach is Coney Island. From 9 AM on, you’ll enjoy live music, food and beverages. Coney Island is also home to the world famous Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest. At dusk, you’ll be treated to a beautiful fireworks display. The party usually goes until midnight, so stay hydrated and keep applying sunscreen.
Fourth of July Fireworks Cruises
Watching the fireworks from a cruise ship will be unique and special, although it’s also pretty expensive. Still, a $150-$200 ticket usually buys you a five hour water cruise with food and drinks available. And there’s really no better way to see the show than from a boat.
Revolutionary New York Walking Tour
Independence Day certainly holds a special significance for history buffs. Big Onion Walking Tours usually hosts a tour on the 4th showing significant New York City landmarks from the Revolutionary War. If you’d like to stay historically connected on the 4th of July, this tour is the way to do it.
Head to the Hamptons
The 4th of July in the Hamptons is always an exciting time. Though the area is always packed with New Yorkers ready to escape Manhattan for a few days, you’ll still find a more laid back vibe here than in the city. Enjoy some lobster rolls, catch the Southampton Village Independence Day Parade and watch the fireworks from the beach. Just plan in advance if you want to spend the night, because you won’t be the only one with that idea.
Make it a Staycation
Some hotels, like the Millenium Hilton at 55 Church Street, have rooms with firework views. If nothing else, the show is available on NBC, and you can order room service. Because sometimes celebrating America means enjoying its little luxuries.