Independence Day is one of America’s most exciting national holidays, a time when you’ll see proud displays of patriotism everywhere, from American flag-patterned clothing to red, white, and blue foods being prepared and consumed with aplomb.
For those who find themselves in New York for the Fourth of July this year, the city is the ideal place to celebrate the holiday, with countless festivities taking place around the city. If you’re feting the fourth this year, here’s where to head:
Watch the Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks display: When it comes to patriotic celebrations, there’s no company that tops Macy’s. While the department store’s Thanksgiving Day Parade may be its most iconic event, their Fourth of July fireworks display is just as spectacular, illuminating the Manhattan sky with its bright colors. While other, smaller fireworks displays can only be seen in their immediate vicinity, Macy’s lights up the entire night’s sky, providing an unbelievable show from Midtown Manhattan to Jersey City to Brooklyn.
Book a helicopter ride over Manhattan: If braving the crowded city streets to catch the fireworks display isn’t for you, try seeing the show from a whole new vantage point by taking a helicopter ride over Manhattan. Companies like FlyNON and Skyline Helicopter Tours offer an unparalleled Independence Day experience, getting you right in the center of the action and affording you a front row seat to enjoy the Macy’s fireworks display like few ever get to see it.
Join the clambake at The Mermaid Inn: Celebrate the Fourth of July with all of your favorite summer foods by stopping into The Mermaid Inn. This East Village Institution welcomes Independence Day each year with a celebratory clam bake, bringing the New England tradition to the Manhattan masses. On their menu, you’ll also find plenty of cocktails worth celebrating, like The Catcall, a combination of gin, lillet blanc, St. Germain, and grapefruit, and the Lavender Mule, a lavender-infused Moscow Mule with a hint of lemon.
Spend the evening on the water with a boat cruise: Get the best views of the Macy’s fireworks display from the water this year by treating yourself to tickets to a boat cruise around Manhattan this Fourth of July. Cruising along the East and Hudson Rivers in the stunning, state-of-the-art Harbor Lights yacht, you can enjoy the city’s most famous sights, from the Statue of Liberty to One World Trade Center. Even better, the night sky above will be lit from within, thanks to the Macy’s fireworks display.
Find some new friends at the Red, White, & Blue pub crawl: Spend your day exploring the East Village by joining the annual Red, White, & Blue pub crawl. Starting at Bar None on Third Avenue, this pub crawl takes you to the East Village’s best bars, where you can try out a wide variety of beers, wines, and cocktails. Just make sure you’re keeping track of time — you don’t want to be ordering another drink when the fireworks start.
Whether you’re in the mood to party or just take in the sights and sounds of Independence Day, there’s no place to ring in the holiday like New York. Set your sights on the city this Fourth of July for an Independence Day celebration you won’t soon forget.