7 Great Places to Watch the Fourth of July Fireworks in NYC

Jun 29, 2019

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Independence Day is right around the corner, and if you haven’t made plans yet, now is the time to do so. After all, last year’s holiday was a record-breaker, with an estimated 46.9 million Americans traveling at least 50 miles to celebrate the long weekend — and this year’s will be busy, too. And with traffic around New York City notoriously slower than usual, it’s a good excuse for New Yorkers to sit tight and plan a staycation.

Of course, if you don’t mind braving the traffic (or the airport crowds), New York City may be one of the most fun cities in the nation for Independence Day festivities.

In New York City, where Macy’s will be putting on the country’s largest Fourth of July fireworks display with 70,000 shells, revelers are being urged to leave their cars behind and take the subway instead. This year, the barges will be set up on the Brooklyn Bridge and in the East River near the Seaport District and the fireworks will begin around 9:20pm. Official viewing areas include elevated portions of FDR Drive with public access at Broad and Water Streets; Pearl and Dover Streets; Robert F. Wagner Sr. Place and St. James Place; Pearl Street and James Place; and Montgomery and Cherry Streets, as well as the waterfront in Dumbo, Brooklyn.

But if you want to celebrate in style — and with a refreshing drink in hand — head to one of these seven great spots to watch the fireworks explode over the Big Apple.

Where to Watch the July Fourth Fireworks

You can expect to find crowds at Brooklyn Bridge Park, which will funnel all revelers through NYPD bag checkpoints. No ferries will stop at Brooklyn Bridge Park, including the ferry to Governor’s Island. Entry points to the park will be at Furman and Joralemon Streets; Furman and Old Fulton Streets; New Dock and Water Streets and Atlantic Ave. and Bridge Park Drive. Alcohol and furniture won’t be allowed in the park and all permanent restrooms will be closed. Portable restrooms will be set up instead.

Time Out Market New York rooftop. Photo by Ali Garber.
Time Out Market New York rooftop. Photo by Ali Garber.

Time Out Market, the buzzy new market inside Empire Stores in Dumbo, is ideally positioned for views of the fireworks. You can stop by and grab a drink on the rooftop, but in order to get a table, you’ll need to reserve one in advance. They’re accepting reservations for parties of four, eight, 10, 12 or 16 at a cost of $200 per person. The tickets come with $100 gift cards to use at the bar and any of the fifth-floor vendors, which include Nur, Juliana’s Pizza, David Burke Tavern and Ivy Stark.

Harriet’s Rooftop, which recently opened at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, is hosting a viewing party. General admission costs $100 per person; VIP tickets that cost $250 include an open bar and small bites; or you can go all out and book a table for $500 per person, which includes bottle service and the chef’s selection of canapés. The Osprey patio on the ground floor will have a special prix-fixe menu starting at $500 per person. The hotel is also offering a couple of packages for guests who stay overnight, which include admission to the viewing party at Harriet’s Rooftop. See all the details here, and even if you don’t plan to spend the night at the property, be sure to have your Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card handy to earn 3x or 2x points respectively on purchases that code as travel and dining.

Photo courtesy of 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge.
Photo courtesy of 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge.

In Williamsburg, the William Vale will host a Fourth of July party at Westlight and the rooftop on the 22nd floor. The food menu features small bites like chicken wings with honey mustard, a burger slider made with dry-aged beef, shrimp cocktail dumplings and perfectly festive Champagne freeze pops. Tickets start at $95, and are available through Eventbrite.

The hotel is also offering a special “Red, White and Brooklyn” package that includes two complimentary tickets to the party at Westlight. This spot won’t have the close-up views of the fireworks, since it’s farther north, but the rooftop bar is so high the views are completely unobstructed by other buildings. Packages must be reserved directly with the hotel, but otherwise the property is available on Hotels.com. Book with your Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card to get 10x miles on your stay through Jan. 31, 2020. Join the Hotels.com Rewards program, and you’ll get one free night for every 10 paid nights, effectively boosting your return to 20% when you pay with the Venture card.

In Manhattan, the Seaport District will be the best place to see the fireworks. Unfortunately, R17 — the rooftop bar at Pier 17 — will be closed for a private event, but you can get tickets to a party at the Fulton, the new seafood-centric restaurant by Jean Georges Vongerichten. Tickets for the cocktail party cost $500 per person and are available to book via Resy.

Featured image courtesy of NYC & Company / Julienne Schaer

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