Independence Day in New York City means the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks. But the famous show over the East River begins at 9:20pm and last about 30 minutes. With an entire day to fill before the fireworks begin, here’s how to have the perfect summer day in New York on the 4th of July.
New York’s bike share program, CitiBike, is the best way to explore some of the city’s most famous attractions. Ride your CitiBike down the Hudson River Greenway—the most popular bikeway in the United States—to the Whitney Museum of American Art, where you can take in the latest exhibits, before continuing on to Grand Banks, an oyster bar on a historic wooden schooner on the Hudson River in Tribeca.
Whitney Museum of American Art: 99 Gansevoort St.
Grand Banks: Pier 25, Hudson River Park
There are plenty of places to get a hot dog in New York, but Chef Daniel Boulud’s DBGB Dog gives all others a run for their money. The house-made beef wiener with sautéed onion, mustard, ketchup, “299” relish, frisée and radish ($10) is the perfect summer snack.
DBGB Kitchen and Bar: 299 Bowery, 212-933-5300
New York’s rooftop bars and restaurants are coveted real estate during the summer months. For a breeze and a refreshing cocktail, head to Catch Roof in the Meatpacking District. In Flatiron, Eataly’s rooftop beer garden, La Birreria, has been transformed for the summer into Sabbia, a pop-up beach lounge where you can enjoy Island Creek Oysters and local swordfish. And here in Midtown, WestHouse’s Terrace offers a bird’s eye view over the Concrete Jungle.
Catch Roof: 21 9th Ave., 212-392-5978
Sabbia: 200 Fifth Ave., 212-937-8910
Enjoy New York’s many green spaces that also offer great food. Shake Shack in Madison Square Park has served their famous Shack burgers since 2004, while the Pavilion in Union Square offers a decidedly tropical feel with ceiling fans and potted palms. Further uptown, catch some rays at Boat Basin Café in Riverside Park, a casual open-air bar and restaurant that serves knockout barbecue on paper plates and cocktails in plastic cups.
Shake Shack: Madison Ave. at E. 23rd St., 646-747-2606
The Pavilion: 20 Union Square W., 212-677-7818
Boat Basin Café: W. 79th St., 212-496-5542
The fireworks are set off from barges near Pier 17, in Manhattan. In the city, South Street Seaport is a great place to catch the celebration down by the water. For a more direct view, head across the river to Brooklyn Bridge Park. Fornino, a trendy pizzeria with a rooftop patio directly on the riverfront is hosting an open bar dinner party during the fireworks. Nearby, Berry Park’s rooftop bar in Greenpoint also offers great views of the Manhattan skyline.
Fornino: Pier 6, Brooklyn Bridge Park, 718-422-1107
Berry Park: 4 Berry St., Brooklyn, 718-782-2829