There are a few things that are must-dos if you’re in NYC in the summer. Eating a hot dog at Nathan’s in Coney Island, rowing a boat along The Lake in Central Park or Prospect Park Lake, or having a chocolate-dipped soft-serve from a Mister Softee Ice Cream truck are just a few of the iconic warm-weather activities living in NYC affords. But you can do those any day of the season. It’s almost July 4th, and the ultimate New York summer moment has got to be viewing the city’s spectacular fireworks.
A mixture of art and science, fireworks have been used for centuries across cultures since gunpowder was invented in medieval China. In New York, we use them to celebrate the city we adore and the country we love.
Watching them from the TV or far away from the action won’t cut it. You must see these sparkling wonders from a closer vantage point.
This year, the fireworks are on the East River and NY Harbor, so here is a selection of the best spots to catch them.
One of Brooklyn’s newest parks, it’s ideal to get here early to find a place to sit or stand. Situated where the Domino Sugar factory used to be, the park is right on the East River—giving you great sight lines to watch the display unfold. Plus you’re close to some of Williamsburg’s best food and bars for a post-fireworks bite or drink.
For those coming from other parts of the city, Gantry park is easy to get to whether by car, bike, or subway. Located in Long Island City, there’s plenty of room here with space to claim your spot early and set out a picnic blanket as dusk falls and the warm breezes blow off of the river.
Rising over 700 feet above Downtown Brooklyn, there probably isn’t a better place to watch the fireworks display than the rooftop of Brooklyn Point. And if the fireworks aren’t enough, the panoramic vistas of the city, the rivers, and NYC are stunning. Residents of these homes get to watch from the comfort of their homes with floor-to-ceiling windows (and air conditioning). Plus you’re so high up, you might I even see fireworks shows going off all over.
South Street Seaport
What was once deemed a tourist trap is now one of the newest areas of NYC that the young and hip love to frequent. It’s easy to see why with a new concert venue, lots of fun bars, and tasty restaurants, you could spend a whole weekend here. Since the Seaport is in the best locale to catch the 4th of July display, it is sure to be the hot spot for fireworks peeping.
On the Water
It’s not too late to book a spot on one of the many cruises that go out in the Harbor as the fireworks go off. The boat ride paired with the fireworks and food are more than worth the price of admission. There are many private operators who offer this option.