Important Info on Where to Watch the 4th of July Fireworks in New York

Happy Independence Day weekend! If you’re thinking about heading to the Big Apple to see the big show – that is, the Macy’s 4th of July fireworks display – I just wanted to let you know about a recent change in the launch location from the East River to the Hudson River.

Manhattan being the (most crowded) island that it is, the fireworks are usually set off from barges set up in the middle of the East River. But starting with Independence Day 2009, they’ve moved it to barges in the Hudson River. This means that instead of FDR Drive being closed and Brooklyn brownstone rooftop parties being prime real estate, now it’s the West Side Highway, Riverside Drive and New Jersey.

Y’all probably know this already, being the savvy travelers you are; but if you’re using a guidebook that’s even a year old, it was written sometime in 2008 and it might have the wrong information. We didn’t want you looking at a dark sky while everyone on the west side is ooh-ing and aah-ing!

Here are some quick tips for the best viewing results:

  • The actual barges will be off Midtown, but they’re being shot up over 1,000 feet into the sky so pretty much anywhere on the west side from Battery Park to Riverside Park is going to be OK. Just be careful about going too far uptown; the island curves, and while you’ll have a great view of the George Washington Bridge the fireworks will be just out of sight.
  • Take the time TODAY to check out your hotel, hotels near you, and hotels on the west side for rooftop bar specials, and reserve now.
  • Got a friend of a friend who’s got a cousin whose brother-in-law lives in Weehawken, NJ? You might have laughed at how uncool they were, but you should be best friends with them right about… now.