5 Best Places in NYC to Watch 4th of July Fireworks

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nyc fireworks brooklyn bridge
Getty image, cntraveler.com

This year marks the 40th Anniversary of Macy’s July 4th Fireworks show.  The festivities are always a crowdpleaser for young and old alike.  The best sites for viewing will be along the East River between the Midtown Tunnel and Williamsburg Bridge, as well as south of the Brooklyn Bridge. There will be separate fireworks displays in Jersey City and by the Statue of Liberty. To avoid confusion, crowds, and blocked off areas, we have come up with the best places to watch this year’s celebration – from boat rentals in NY to free festivals throughout NY and Jersey City. 

brooklyn bridge fireworks
Image: Randy Lemoine [CC by 2.0], via Flickr

Brooklyn Bridge Park

Brooklyn Bridge Park is a 85-acre park that has undergone a complete revitalization over the last several years.  It boasts restaurants, bars, outdoor concerts and film screenings, sporting activities, and plenty of space for you to spread a picnic blanket and watch the fireworks! If you are in the mood to splurge, The River Cafe, an iconic New York restaurant, will offer a special menu and panoramic views of the fireworks display, the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline.

pier 16 south street seaport museum fireworks
Image: dadarocks.com

South Street Seaport

A favorite tourist destination, the South Street Seaport is a historic area in lower Manhattan near the Financial District.  This year, the Seaport is once again hosting the “Festival of Independence”, a two-day celebration filled with a variety of live and DJ performances, family entertainment, art exhibits, and a multitude of culinary offerings.  It will take place on July 3rd and 4th from 1pm-9pm and is free and open to the public. The Smorgasburg, housed in the Fulton Market Building, offers tasty bites from food vendors from around the globe and a new outdoor bar with great city views. It is the perfect spot to watch the fireworks display from Pier 17.

fireworks in atlantic county
Image: fotografiche, ThinkStock

Jersey City

Are the crowds in New York overwhelming? Rent a boat in Jersey City, NJ, which will offer the biggest fireworks show in the entire state of New Jersey on the Hudson River, overlooking the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The Freedom of Fireworks Festival is an all day event held at Liberty State Park.  There will be carnival rides, games, a free concert, and plenty of fun activities and food options for the whole family!

long island city fireworks
Image: Saschareinking Photography

Long Island City

For a great Queens option, Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City offers 4 Piers and 12-acres of playgrounds, grassy fields, picnic tables, an amphitheater and spectacular views of the New York skyline.  At the northern edge of the Macy’s fireworks barges, Long Island City might be a less crowded option for viewing.  

fireworks in nyc view from a boat
Image: Anthony Quintano [CC by 2.0], flickr

On the water

Want to get even closer to the fireworks? Sailing on a yacht or taking a Manhattan dinner cruise  are perfect ways to enjoy the fireworks and celebrate Independence Day with your loved ones.  There is a wide assortment of options available, from dinner cruises with dancing that are family friendly or adults-only, to private yacht rentals  for a more intimate gathering for several hours or even the whole weekend! Check out Our Boats for pictures and more information or call us at (646) 780 9275.