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Colorful fireworks over the New York City skyline at night. Shutterstock

Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks in NYC: Where to watch

Want a view of the 4th of July fireworks? Here’s where to go

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It’s here: Tonight, the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular will light up the sky for its 43rd annual spectacle. And this year, the festivities will head south—specifically, back to barges around the Brooklyn Bridge.

According to Macy’s, its four fireworks barges will line up close to Pier 17 at the South Street Seaport, and will “make the iconic Brooklyn Bridge the star of our show,” per a press release. That will also include launching slightly milder blasts from the 136-year-old landmark itself.

That means the best vantage points for this year’s event will be in lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn neighborhoods closest to the bridge—so start pestering your friend with roof access who lives in Brooklyn Heights now.

But if you don’t want to be squished among the sure-to-be-sweaty crowds at those street-level spots, never fear: We’ve gathered some of the best ways to watch the July 4 fireworks, many of which are located at a safe remove—i.e., on a boat in the East River.

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1. Fourth of July Fireworks BBQ Sail

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The Battery, Slip 2 In Battery Park
New York, NY 10004
(212) 619-6900
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The Clipper City, a tall ship docked in lower Manhattan, will host a Fourth of July cruise with a special all-you-can-eat BBQ menu, from $450.

2. Broad Street and Water Street

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105 Broad St
New York, NY 10004

This is one of the official entry points recommended by Macy’s, and will provide access to the uppermost portion of the FDR Drive.

3. Shearwater July 4th Fireworks Sail

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North Cove Marina at Brookfield Place
New York, NY 10280
(212) 619-6900
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Celebrate Independence Day aboard this yacht where you can enjoy a barbecue dinner and open bar. Adult tickets are $450 ($425 for just the sail, no food), and children can board for $350, with departure set for 5:30 p.m. It departs from the North Cove Marina at Brookfield Place.

4. Hornblower 4th of July Fireworks Cruises

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78 South St
New York, NY 10038
(646) 576-8400
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Hornblower Cruises is hosting four different 4th of July outings, ranging from $300 to $600. All of them depart from the East River Esplanade’s Pier 15 and all are also selling out fast so you better act quickly if you’re interested in a night of food, fireworks, and boats.

5. South Street Seaport

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89 South St
New York, NY 10038
(212) 732-8257
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Even though Pier 17 at the Seaport will be closed for the Fulton’s ticketed party, the rest of the Seaport will be open to revelers on a first-come, first-serve basis.

People walk along a promenade. There is a large building with glass in the foreground next to the promenade. In the distance is a city skyline. Max Touhey | www.metouhey.com

6. Independence Day at the Fulton

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89 South St
New York, NY 10038
(212) 838-1200
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Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s restaurant at Pier 17 will host a special ticketed Fourth of July event, with an open bar, passed hors d’oeuvres, and a caviar bar—plus, one of the best views possible of the fireworks display.

7. One World Observatory

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285 Fulton St
New York, NY 10006
(844) 696-1776
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Take in the Macy’s spectacle from the top of New York’s tallest building, which will have a stellar view of the action near the Brooklyn Bridge. An all-access (cheaper) pass is sold out, but for $325, attendees will get admission to the 102nd-floor observatory, a three-hour open bar, and more.

Multiple fireworks over the New York City skyline at night. Getty Images

8. Pearl Street and Dover Street

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Dover St
New York, NY 10038

This is one of the official entry points recommended by Macy’s, and will provide access to the uppermost portion of the FDR Drive.

9. Robert F. Wagner Sr. Place and St. James Place

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Robert F. Wagner Sr. Place
New York, NY 10038

This is one of the official entry points recommended by Macy’s, and will provide access to the uppermost portion of the FDR Drive.

10. Pike Slip and Cherry Street

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Pike Slip
New York, NY 10002

This is one of the official entry points recommended by Macy’s, and will provide access to the uppermost portion of the FDR Drive.

11. Montgomery Street and Cherry Street

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55 Montgomery St
New York, NY 10002

This is one of the official viewing locations recommended by Macy’s.

12. Sister City

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225 Bowery
New York, NY 10002
(646) 343-4500
Visit Website

Last Light, the bar atop the hip new Sister City hotel (from the same folks behind the Ace), will host a Fourth of July party that’s just far enough away from the heavily touristed parts of the Seaport and the Financial District, but will still have a good view of the fireworks. Admission is $28.

13. Spirit of New York

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Chelsea Piers, Pier 61
New York, NY 10011
(212) 727-2789
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One of the many events being hosted by the Spirit of New York Cruise brand includes a buffet-style dinner cruise that starts at $299.90 per person and departs from Chelsea Piers at 6 p.m.

14. Empire State Building

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Empire State Building, 20 W 34th St
New York, NY 10001
(212) 736-3100
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New York’s most iconic skyscraper will host a July 4 celebration that includes access to an open bar and small plates, as well as a view of the fireworks from its 86th-floor observation deck. But tickets won’t come cheap: Tickets are $459.24 for all attendees. 

Bright red fireworks in the sky over the Empire State Building and skyscrapers in New York City. Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

15. Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises

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Pier 83, W 42nd St
New York, NY 10036
(212) 563-3200
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For $229, you can join Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises for its fireworks cruise, which departs from Midtown’s Pier 83 at 6:45 p.m. The ride will include a DJ, snacks, a full bar, and amazing views of the fireworks (of course).

16. Empire Stores

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53-83 Water St
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 858-8555
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Two of the restaurants at Dumbo’s Empire Stores will host Fourth of July events: Cecconi’s, the Italian hotspot affiliated with Soho House, will offer cocktails, pizza, and a view of the fireworks for $200; and Sugarcane will have an open bar and small bites, also with great views, for $150.

17. Brooklyn Bridge Park

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334 Furman St
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 222-9939
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Brooklyn’s expansive waterfront park will have a front-row view of the Macy’s fireworks, and there will be certain sections open for spectators this year. Each of its piers will have standing room, while the Dumbo sections at Main and John streets will be closed entirely. Playgrounds will close at 2 p.m. on the 4th, and those who hope to get a good view should show up early. 

Red fireworks over a silhouetted bridge at night. Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

18. Brooklyn Heights Promenade

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Montague St &, Pierrepont Pl
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(212) 639-9675
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The Brooklyn Heights Promenade will have a stellar view of the fireworks—but be sure to arrive early to get a spot, as this park will likely fill up quickly.

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1. Fourth of July Fireworks BBQ Sail

The Battery, Slip 2 In Battery Park, New York, NY 10004

The Clipper City, a tall ship docked in lower Manhattan, will host a Fourth of July cruise with a special all-you-can-eat BBQ menu, from $450.

The Battery, Slip 2 In Battery Park
New York, NY 10004

2. Broad Street and Water Street

105 Broad St, New York, NY 10004

This is one of the official entry points recommended by Macy’s, and will provide access to the uppermost portion of the FDR Drive.

105 Broad St
New York, NY 10004

3. Shearwater July 4th Fireworks Sail

North Cove Marina at Brookfield Place, New York, NY 10280

Celebrate Independence Day aboard this yacht where you can enjoy a barbecue dinner and open bar. Adult tickets are $450 ($425 for just the sail, no food), and children can board for $350, with departure set for 5:30 p.m. It departs from the North Cove Marina at Brookfield Place.

North Cove Marina at Brookfield Place
New York, NY 10280

4. Hornblower 4th of July Fireworks Cruises

78 South St, New York, NY 10038

Hornblower Cruises is hosting four different 4th of July outings, ranging from $300 to $600. All of them depart from the East River Esplanade’s Pier 15 and all are also selling out fast so you better act quickly if you’re interested in a night of food, fireworks, and boats.

78 South St
New York, NY 10038

5. South Street Seaport

89 South St, New York, NY 10038
People walk along a promenade. There is a large building with glass in the foreground next to the promenade. In the distance is a city skyline. Max Touhey | www.metouhey.com

Even though Pier 17 at the Seaport will be closed for the Fulton’s ticketed party, the rest of the Seaport will be open to revelers on a first-come, first-serve basis.

89 South St
New York, NY 10038

6. Independence Day at the Fulton

89 South St, New York, NY 10038

Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s restaurant at Pier 17 will host a special ticketed Fourth of July event, with an open bar, passed hors d’oeuvres, and a caviar bar—plus, one of the best views possible of the fireworks display.

89 South St
New York, NY 10038

7. One World Observatory

285 Fulton St, New York, NY 10006
Multiple fireworks over the New York City skyline at night. Getty Images

Take in the Macy’s spectacle from the top of New York’s tallest building, which will have a stellar view of the action near the Brooklyn Bridge. An all-access (cheaper) pass is sold out, but for $325, attendees will get admission to the 102nd-floor observatory, a three-hour open bar, and more.

285 Fulton St
New York, NY 10006

8. Pearl Street and Dover Street

Dover St, New York, NY 10038

This is one of the official entry points recommended by Macy’s, and will provide access to the uppermost portion of the FDR Drive.

Dover St
New York, NY 10038

9. Robert F. Wagner Sr. Place and St. James Place

Robert F. Wagner Sr. Place, New York, NY 10038

This is one of the official entry points recommended by Macy’s, and will provide access to the uppermost portion of the FDR Drive.

Robert F. Wagner Sr. Place
New York, NY 10038

10. Pike Slip and Cherry Street

Pike Slip, New York, NY 10002

This is one of the official entry points recommended by Macy’s, and will provide access to the uppermost portion of the FDR Drive.

Pike Slip
New York, NY 10002

11. Montgomery Street and Cherry Street

55 Montgomery St, New York, NY 10002

This is one of the official viewing locations recommended by Macy’s.

55 Montgomery St
New York, NY 10002

12. Sister City

225 Bowery, New York, NY 10002

Last Light, the bar atop the hip new Sister City hotel (from the same folks behind the Ace), will host a Fourth of July party that’s just far enough away from the heavily touristed parts of the Seaport and the Financial District, but will still have a good view of the fireworks. Admission is $28.

225 Bowery
New York, NY 10002

13. Spirit of New York

Chelsea Piers, Pier 61, New York, NY 10011

One of the many events being hosted by the Spirit of New York Cruise brand includes a buffet-style dinner cruise that starts at $299.90 per person and departs from Chelsea Piers at 6 p.m.

Chelsea Piers, Pier 61
New York, NY 10011

14. Empire State Building

Empire State Building, 20 W 34th St, New York, NY 10001
Bright red fireworks in the sky over the Empire State Building and skyscrapers in New York City. Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

New York’s most iconic skyscraper will host a July 4 celebration that includes access to an open bar and small plates, as well as a view of the fireworks from its 86th-floor observation deck. But tickets won’t come cheap: Tickets are $459.24 for all attendees. 

Empire State Building, 20 W 34th St
New York, NY 10001

15. Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises

Pier 83, W 42nd St, New York, NY 10036

For $229, you can join Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises for its fireworks cruise, which departs from Midtown’s Pier 83 at 6:45 p.m. The ride will include a DJ, snacks, a full bar, and amazing views of the fireworks (of course).

Pier 83, W 42nd St
New York, NY 10036

16. Empire Stores

53-83 Water St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Two of the restaurants at Dumbo’s Empire Stores will host Fourth of July events: Cecconi’s, the Italian hotspot affiliated with Soho House, will offer cocktails, pizza, and a view of the fireworks for $200; and Sugarcane will have an open bar and small bites, also with great views, for $150.

53-83 Water St
Brooklyn, NY 11201

17. Brooklyn Bridge Park

334 Furman St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Red fireworks over a silhouetted bridge at night. Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

Brooklyn’s expansive waterfront park will have a front-row view of the Macy’s fireworks, and there will be certain sections open for spectators this year. Each of its piers will have standing room, while the Dumbo sections at Main and John streets will be closed entirely. Playgrounds will close at 2 p.m. on the 4th, and those who hope to get a good view should show up early. 

334 Furman St
Brooklyn, NY 11201

18. Brooklyn Heights Promenade

Montague St &, Pierrepont Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11201

The Brooklyn Heights Promenade will have a stellar view of the fireworks—but be sure to arrive early to get a spot, as this park will likely fill up quickly.

Montague St &, Pierrepont Pl
Brooklyn, NY 11201