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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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Fourth of July Fireworks BBQ Sail

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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.

Broad Street and Water Street

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

Shearwater July 4th Fireworks Sail

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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.

Hornblower 4th of July Fireworks Cruises

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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.

South Street Seaport

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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

Independence Day at the Fulton

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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.

One World Observatory

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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

Pearl Street and Dover Street

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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 and St. James Place

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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 and Cherry Street

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

Montgomery Street and Cherry Street

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

Sister City

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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.

Spirit of New York

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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.

Empire State Building

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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

Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises

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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).

Empire Stores

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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.

Brooklyn Bridge Park

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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

Brooklyn Heights Promenade

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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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Fourth of July Fireworks BBQ Sail

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.

Broad Street and Water Street

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

Shearwater July 4th Fireworks Sail

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.

Hornblower 4th of July Fireworks Cruises

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.

South Street Seaport

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.

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

Independence Day at the Fulton

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.

One World Observatory

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.

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

Pearl Street and Dover Street

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 and St. James Place

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 and Cherry Street

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

Montgomery Street and Cherry Street

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

Sister City

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.

Spirit of New York

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.

Empire State Building

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. 

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

Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises

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).

Empire Stores

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.

Brooklyn Bridge Park

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. 

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

Brooklyn Heights Promenade

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.