One of the most exciting time to pop into the Big Apple is around Independence Day. But there’s so much to see and do in the city — the museums, restaurants, the nightclubs and other spectacles — that it can feel overwhelming.
Savvy travelers (and New Yorkers) know the best spots to hit in New York on the fourth of July — here are a few key places to go and things to see this Independence Day…
Watch champions chow down
The world’s most famous eating contest takes place every Independence Day at Coney Island, and is truly a sight to behold. Competitive eaters (yes, it’s a thing) descend on the Brooklyn neighborhood to gulp down as many of Nathan’s Famous hot dogs in 10 minutes.
The current record is held by Joey “Jaws” Chestnut, who scarfed down an impressive 70 hot dogs in 2016, breaking the previous record of 69 that he set in 2013.
Hit the beach
Independence Day is almost always a scorcher, and New York’s beaches provide a great opportunity to bask in the sun this July 4. And a trip to the beach is as close as a subway or cab ride (and, in some cases, a ferry) away.
There are the classics, like Rockaway Beach, the area immortalized in song by The Ramones, or the festive Coney Island Beach (grab a hot dog while you’re there!), or the boardwalk at Long Beach. If you’re more inclined towards a quiet commune with nature, Robert Moses State Park is always a good bet.
Want a family friendly time? Check out Jones Beach. Looking for something a little more… risqué? Naturists have been known to shed their bathing suits at Gunnison Beach.
Catch a ball game
There’s no experience quite like watching the New York Yankees play at home. Whether you’re a casual baseball fan or a hardcore enthusiast, catching the team at Yankee Stadium is a special treat.
On Independence Day this year, the Yankees host the Toronto Blue Jays in an American League afternoon clash that is sure to entertain.
Watch the fireworks
While the Independence Day fireworks in New York City aren’t exactly a secret, they’re certainly a spectacle to behold. Gaze out over the East River and catch the Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks with the incredible city skyline as a backdrop — it’s quite simply a breathtaking experience.