The 7 Absolute Best Places to Watch the Fireworks in NYC

Big change: they're on the Hudson this year

best nyc fireworks fourth of july 2023 UNI

Light those sparklers and get in the patriotic spirit, because the Fourth of July is here and ready to be celebrated. In New York City, the Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks show is one of the best ways to gather with your friends and family. It’s very important to note, however, that a major location change is taking place for 2024, and it will have a significant impact on where the fireworks can be seen and enjoyed by New Yorkers who have been accustomed to it taking place on the East River (where it’s been since 2013). Below, we’ve rounded up the seven best places to watch fireworks in NYC, from snazzy rooftop restaurants and bars to chartered boats and a free (yes, F-R-E-E) event on Pier 57.

Where Are Fourth of July Fireworks in NYC?

For the first time in over a decade, the Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks display will be launched from barges on the Hudson River instead of the East River—a change that has delighted our New Jersey friends across the Hudson and has received quite some backlash from folks living in the outer boroughs. In other words, if you live in Brooklyn and Queens, don’t expect Long Island City or Brooklyn Bridge Park, for example, to provide you with front row seats to the celebration this year.

Indeed, anyone in the outer boroughs who wants a live show from the Macy’s Fourth of July display will likely have to travel to Manhattan or New Jersey to witness the festivities. Although official viewing locations have yet to be released by Macy’s, it’s safe to say that the best viewing areas are between 14th and 34th streets in Manhattan, as well as waterfront Jersey locations like Hoboken and Jersey City. There will also be boat cruises operated by companies like Circle Line that allow New Yorkers from any borough to enjoy the display from the water.

It’s also worth noting that boroughs are adapting to this change, and the Macy’s fireworks display is not necessarily the be all and end all. As such, residents of other boroughs will be heartened to know that there will be a number of other impressive fireworks displays throughout the city:

  • Coney Island (Brooklyn), July 4 at 9 p.m.
  • Orchard Beach (Bronx), June 27 at 9 p.m.
  • Fort Hamilton (Brooklyn), June 28 at 4:30 p.m. (Register here.)
  • Fort Totten Park (Queens), June 26 at 9:15 p.m.
  • Astoria Park (Queens), June 27 at 9:15 p.m.

What Time do the Fourth of July Fireworks in NYC Start?

This year, the fireworks display will start at 9:25 p.m. EST on Thursday, July 4 and will last for about 25 minutes. Coverage on NBC will begin at 8 p.m. EST.

Can I Watch the Fourth of July Fireworks from Home?

If you prefer a view from the couch, the Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular can be streamed live on NBC from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. 

Where Are the Best Places to Watch the Fireworks in NYC 2024?

There’s been a big change this year, with the display launching from the Hudson River instead of the East River (sorry Brooklyn and Queens dwellers). Below are seven locations from which you can best view the light show.

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best places to watch fireworks nyc somewhere nowhere
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1. Somewhere Nowhere

  • Address: 112 W 25th St New York, NY

This pulsing Midtown nightclub is *the* place to be if you want a real Fourth of July bash. The party starts at 4 p.m., with two events happening at the 38th floor lounge (tickets from $43) and 39th floor rooftop and pool (tickets from $197), with an afterparty at 11 p.m. that features a vodka open bar ($44/person). The 38th floor lounge will host DJs Jay Wait, Jazzy V, Sasababy, Kyle Davis, Monty b2b Moose, Ozzi and Rotshak, while the 39th floor features DJs Stoon and MZKT. Barbecue bites from Somewhere Nowhere’s summer menu will be available on the 39th floor. For guaranteed entry, arrive before 9 p.m.

2. The Highlight Room

  • Address: 145 Bowery New York, NY

The Highlight Room is quite possibly the most elegant venue from which to watch fireworks in NYC. Perched on the 16th floor of Moxy NYC in the Lower East Side, the rooftop bar is a place where Art Deco glam meets 19th-century pleasure garden. Here, you’ll find panoramic views and an outdoor terrace, plus a cheeky food and cocktail menu. While there’s no official Fourth of July event, we suggest showing up early, as the space is sure to fill quickly.

3. RoofTop at Exchange Place

  • Address: 1 Exchange Place Jersey City, NY

New Jersey residents, this one’s for you. The RoofTop at Exchange Place is hosting a Fourth of July extravaganza, with panoramic views of Manhattan and a prime location on the Hudson River. The festivities run from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m., with reservations required. (Make them here.) General admission is $35, with tables ($100/person minimum spend), cabanas ($135) and a VIP section ($150) available. General admission to the terrace dining room is $25. Guests will have full access to the extensive menus, which includes entrées, cocktails, wine, beer and bottle service.

4. Pier 57 Rooftop Park

  • Address: 25 11th Ave New York, NY

New Yorkers know that the Big Apple is *expensive.* But lo and behold, Pier 57 is hosting a FREE fireworks viewing at its rooftop park. However, you need tickets in advance (book here) so run, don’t walk. The venue opens at 4:30 p.m., with music from D.J. Viper. The Market 57 food hall will keep you stocked with elevated bites and brews, from seafood at Mothershuckers to dim sum from legendary Nom Wah and craft beer at Harlem Hops.

5. Avenida

  • Address: 1 Pennsylvania Plaza New York, NY

Avenida dishes up authentic Mexican cuisine at their rooftop location in the Penn District, which also happens to be in a prime location to watch the Fourth of July fireworks in NYC. If you want to be seated at showtime, we suggest making a reservation and ordering the bacon fried street corn and shrimp tacos. It’s also a great place to stop by for happy hour, with $12 margaritas and sangria.

6. The Rutherford NYC

  • Address: W 33rd and 8th Ave New York, NY

Just across the way from Avenida is The Rutherford, dishing up inspired American classics like buffalo chicken bites, steak sandwiches and short rib fried rice. From 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., you can enjoy $12 old fashioneds, $10 rosé and $7 IPAs. But, if you want to take in the fireworks from the rooftop, you’ll definitely want to make a reservation.

7. Cruise the Hudson River

  • Address: Varies, depending on rental

What better place to watch fireworks in NYC than where everything is *actually* happening? Of course, diving into the river may sound refreshing given the sweltering summer temps, but we have a better idea: rent a boat. Boatsetter allows you to charter a boat (captained or not) for as little as $130/hour. Round up a crew of friends and grab the best seat in the house. If you don’t want to fork it over, there’s still good news. Companies like Circle Line are hosting Fourth of July river cruises leaving form Pier 83. Did we mention there’s an open bar, buffet and live DJ? You can also check out, which has 15 cruise options with firework views to choose from in NYC. Take your pick.

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