5 Great Spots to Watch NYC's 4th of July Fireworks in Manhattan

Take in the fireworks as these perfect spots.

This firework scene at Brooklyn Bridge with captured on the 2014 Independence Day (7/4/2014), nearby pier 17 in Manhattan

Jason Zhang / Wikipedia Commons  

In larger-than-life New York City, 4th of July fireworks festivities are no exception. With dazzling display being shot off from several barges positioned along Brooklyn Bridge and the East River, you can catch the nation's largest Independence Day pyrotechnics show (courtesy of Macy's) from these four primo perches across Manhattan. Just be sure to plan your viewing strategy now, as some spots require reservations, and tickets are going fast.

01 of 05

South Street Seaport

South Street Seaport / J. Kratochvil

One of the fireworks-launching double barges will be positioned on the East River just in front of the historic South Street Seaport, where views of the spectacle come with historic ships and the Brooklyn Bridge in the background. Plus, visitors to this public access area can enjoy free live music and family entertainment outdoors all day long (kicking off at 1 pm and running till 9 pm), and pair their "Festival of Independence" festivities with dips into the shopping mall and grub from any of the Seaport Smorgasburg vendors like Red Hook Lobster Pound, Lumpia Shack, and more (in the Fulton Market Building). Note the greater Seaport District viewing areas for the Macy's fireworks display can be accessed through the South Street Seaport district, with entry points via Broad Street (at ground level), Old Slip (upper level), Vietnam Memorial Park, and Pearl and Frankfort streets.​ southstreetseaport.com

02 of 05

On a Boat

New York Water Taxi 4th of July sailing
New York Water Taxi

With the fireworks going off from the East River, you can be sure that the river and nearby New York Harbor will offer some of the best (floating) seats in the house. A lot of 4th-of-July evening cruises have already booked up, and others are extremely pricey, but at press time, there was at least one good option to be found. New York Water Taxi has spots left on their 3.5-hour-sailings (leaving from Pier 45), with ticket prices that include hors d'oeuvres, a light buffet, desserts, and soft drinks; a cash bar is also available for beer and wine.

03 of 05

Brooklyn Bridge Park and Promenade

Joe Daniel Price / Moment Collection / Getty Images

This year Brooklyn Bridge Park is going to be the perfect place to view the show as the fireworks are being launched from the bridge and barges under neath it. You might want to camp out there all day (with stunning views an array of activities, it isn't so bad!) to get seats; it's going to be crowded and the NYPD will close sections as they fill up. Another place to watch the show is the Brooklyn Promenade located above the park. There isn't grass there, so it isn't a good place to sprawl, but it's an idea setting to take in the entire display. Check out Macy's website for more ideas about where to watch.

04 of 05

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

The-Crows-Nest-Image-2-.jpg
The Water Club

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge is a relatively new hotel located adjacent to Brooklyn Bridge Park. The hotel has a stunning roof, that will be the place to be to watch the fireworks. You can get drinks and food and then dance the night away. Before the fireworks consider lounging by the pool with the unobstructed Manhattan skyline views all around you. Note: only hotel guests are permitted in the pool so if you really want a relaxing day, consider booking a hotel room. The hotel has many food and drink packages whether you are staying the night or not. Check them out on the website. (They are pricey, but if you want to celebrate America's birthday in style, this is your best option.)

Continue to 5 of 5 below.
05 of 05

Pier 15

Pier 15 Esplanade

 Ingfbruno/ Wikipedia Commons 

For the fifth year in a row Pier 15, located in at the tip of downtown Manhattan, is throwing a huge festival to celebrate Fourth of July. Indulge in an all you can eat summer barbecue buffet with chicken wings, burgers and hot dogs. There will be an open bar for adults, and a DJ playing tunes all night long that the entire family will enjoy. Tickets range from standing room only to booking a table. This year the pier is in perfect view of the fireworks. You'll get a front row seat to the country's greatest display.

Was this page helpful?