New York City has become the nation’s premiere locale for 4th of July fireworks, attracting tourists from all over the country. With large crowds moving through the city streets and clawing for ideal viewing spots, however, don’t fight for your perch. Instead, reserve one that guarantees not only a panoramic angle, but some of the best food and cocktails in the city. The Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks are broadcast live on 1010 WINS, the official station for the event. If you want to catch the show in person, here’s where to go.
The Press Lounge at Ink 48
653 11th Ave. at West 48th Street
New York, NY 10036
Considered to be one of the finest rooftop bars in the city, the Press Lounge offers a beautiful setting along with a nearly unparalleled view of the evening’s fireworks. Historically, the 4th of July ticket is an expensive one, but if you’re willing to shell out some cash this is an ideal venue in which to party the night away. With VIP accommodations allowing you to eat, drink and relax like one of the kings of NYC, you can avoid the chaos of the crowds below and celebrate our independence in style.
The Rooftop Bar at the Empire Hotel
44 West 63rd St.
New York, NY 10023
Centered between Central Park and Lincoln Center, The Rooftop Bar on the 12th floor of the Empire Hotel offers amazing views. Past Fourth of July parties featured a roaring 20s theme throw back theme, with live music and a full roster of DJs. While everything from food and drinks to the wardrobe and music strictly adhered to the Jazz Age flare, the bird’s eye views of midtown Manhattan coupled with a sophisticated rooftop setting make this bar a hot 4th of July ticket. If you’re looking to add a dramatic twist to this year’s celebration, keep your eyes peeled and wallets ready, because these tickets go quickly.
The Frying Pan
Pier 66 & West 26th St.
New York, NY
While the Lightship Frying Pan, an actual boat dragged out of the Chesapeake Bay and converted into a floating restaurant, doesn’t have the aesthetic appeal and allure of the aforementioned venues, it compensates with an unmatched rustic charm. Offering great pub food at reasonable prices along with a unique setting, few bars will get you closer to the 4th of July action. This is the perfect destination bar for those New Yorkers looking to pig out, drink heavily and stay relaxed in that ol’ familiar t-shirt and pair of blue-jeans.
15 Thompson Street
New York, NY 10013
Jimmy Soho’s pairs a scaled down pool patio with a posh indoor setting immersed in the Manhattan skyline. The rooftop bar offers amazing views of the Hudson River from the 18th floor of The James Hotel and an eclectic listing of cocktails, including the “Curious George” with Linie Aquavit, banana, lime juice, St. George Absinthe and chocolate bitters. If you’re looking for pampering and hoping to converse with other primped patrons, this bar provides the feel of an exclusive nightclub without compromising the spectacular view.
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July 4th Fireworks Dance Cruise
Pier #40 at West Houston Street and the West Side Highway
Date: July 4, 2012, Boarding begins at 5 p.m., Sets sail at 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
If you’re really looking to avoid the crowds and traffic, why not try something different with a 4th of July cruise? Board the Queen of Hearts and sail around the Hudson to enjoy one-of-a-kind views of the Macy’s fireworks display reflecting off the water. A ticket to this 21 and up cruise not only gets you views of the spectacular show, but also an open bar, giant buffet and a live DJ spinning music you’ll love dancing to. This is one dance party you won’t want to miss.
Related: 5 Unique Nights Out In New York
Matt Thomas is a freelance writer who has published articles and stories in The Village Voice, Examiner.com, The Worcester Review, The Journal of American Culture, and many others. His work can be found at Examiner.com.