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NYC: Best places to watch 4th of July fireworks [2022]

Happy Independence Day!

Whether it’s 4th of July fireworks or even New Year’s Eve in NYC, here are some free and paid spots to view the techno display and enjoy a little hospitality while you celebrate in New York City!

Empire State Building

As one of the most famous (and romantic) landmarks in New York City, the Empire State Building is our ultimate favorite spot, with more than 3 million hashtags on Instagram.

On Independence Day, the Empire State hosts their annual celebration from 7pm – 10pm. This exclusive event (closed to the general public and available by ticket only) offers prime views of the firework displays from the 86th floor, as well as gourmet food and a premium open bar. 

Guests have private access to the open-air observation deck for the best fireworks viewing in the city and an awesome 4th of July soundtrack.

Tickets are $500, but everything else is priceless!

Staten Island Ferry

For the first time in five years, fireworks are returning to Staten Island in 2022!

Music by Making MemorEase will begin at 8:30 p.m with fireworks set to start at 9pm. (The show will be canceled in the event of bad weather). Bring your families to the boardwalk on South Beach, or if you don’t want to go to the island, watch them from a boat in the harbor!

Take the Staten Island Ferry party cruise to see the fireworks which includes a family-friendly dinner. Ferry departs from New Jersey. There is an open bar, outdoor deck, live DJ and plenty of dancing.

Two of the fireworks barges for 4th of July in NYC

Summit One Vanderbilt

If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on one of the event tickets on July 4th from SummitOne, with a premium bar open 7.30pm – 10.30pm and food by legendary NYC BBQ restaurant Blue Smoke.

You can take in the best views of the fireworks while sipping on cocktails and tucking into canapes 1,100 feet above Madison Avenue!

Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks

If you’re in NYC for 4th of July and you want the best views for Macy’s annual mega fireworks display with celebrity performances, get yourself to the East River where five barges laden with dynamite are set to entertain you!

You want to be around Midtown, but get there early as there is limited space for the best views.

Official Macy’s fireworks viewing locations are 42nd Street and FDR Drive, 34th Street and FDR Drive (includes ADA/special needs viewing area), 23rd Street and FDR Drive. Across the river official spots are Gantry Plaza State Park, Newtown Barge Park, Transmitter Park.

If you can’t get into these spots, just shuffle along the river and you’ll see them.

Macy’s 5 fireworks barges, NYC

Or try one of these fabulous NYC rooftop restaurants with views of the East River for a cocktail along with your fireworks!

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Hi, I'm Megan Singleton and I'm the word slinger of this travel blog as well as on radio in NZ every Sunday. Former Travel Editor at Yahoo NZ and current freelance writer for a few newspapers and mags from time to time, I set off on this travel writing journey 20 years ago and I've pretty much always got a suitcase half packed (or half un-packed!) I'd love you to join me on Facebook or Twitter and sign up for my newsletters if you want loads of travel tips, advice and deals!