In celebration of the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s expedition, New York City’s annual Fourth of July fireworks will explode exclusively over the Hudson River. The City will close off a large portion of the West Side Highway, block-party style, but if you’re looking for other locations on the west side—with better public restrooms, more grass or just smaller crowds—here are a few options.
Best music: Battery Park
On Independence Day, singer-songwriter Conor Oberst will perform on a double bill with indie fireplug Jenny Lewis as part of the River to River Festival. When the free and open-to-the-public concerts are over, try to snag a spot near the river—on the northernmost side of the park—for views of the fireworks.
Most patriotic:Staten Island Yankees game
What’s more American than baseball and fireworks? On Saturday night, the Yankees’ Staten Island farm team will play against the Lowell Spinners, the single-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, at Richmond County Bank Ballpark. The St. George Terminal of the Staten Island Ferry has a newly renovated outdoor promenade near the stadium with fantastic views of the Hudson.
Most risk/reward:De Witt Clinton Park
On its face, De Witt Clinton Park—which runs from 52nd to 54th Streets between Eleventh and Twelfth Avenues—could be the perfect spot: it’s one of the only family-friendly, green spots in Hell’s Kitchen near the water with an unobstructed view of the Hudson. The downside? Everyone else could have the same idea, so get there early.
Best hill (and place to heckle pseudo-celebrities):Trump Place and Riverside Park South
Behind the elevated West Side Highway is the best hill for watching fireworks on the west side. It rises from Riverside Park South to Trump Place, a set of 16 apartment buildings and condominiums that sit on a ridge overlooking the river. The 2006 Miss USA, Tara Conner, lived here before being kicked out for excessive partying, and reality-TV star Jon Gosselin has been looking for a place of his own here as well.
For more information on where to view the fireworks, visit macys.com.