Landing in NY on July 4th afternoon for a 5-day trip. Are there any July 4th festivities that are not super crowded? It seems like watching the fireworks is the #1 thing to do but I don't want to have to go some place hours early just to get a spot. Any tips, fireworks or no fireworks would be great!
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This year's "stunning display of patriotic firepower" is once again brought to you by Macy's. You'll want to be on the eastern waterfront of Manhattan or the opposite waterfront of Brooklyn. It will be crowded, but you might enjoy checking it out. You can see a bit of the fireworks from the fringes.
Another popular thing to do is to find a rooftop vantage point from which to watch. This could be expensive, if you can find a rooftop bar, or less so, if you can find a friend with roof access in his or her apartment building.
You still might be able to get tickets for a fireworks cruise, if you're so inclined. I just checked one site that claimed to have 4 VIP tickets left. The regularly-priced ones were sold out.
Oddly, it is not mentioned on the city's list of fireworks displays with permits from the Fire Department.