Looking for best places to watch Macy's fireworks on July 4th? Here are tips for you.

Join the crowd, but be ready for the extreme crowd. Many more people will be celebrating the Independence day with fireworks than ever before, according to CBS News. Across the nation, there will be more than 14,000 fireworks.

Among them, New York prides itself in the nation's biggest fireworks show over the Hudson River.

This year, with the theme of Gift of Freedom, over 40,000 fireworks will be fired over 2 miles of the Hudson River, starting at 9:20 p.m. and lasting for 26 minutes. The display will be set off from six barges positioned between 20th and 55th Streets on the Hudson River, filling up two full miles of sky and providing for greater visibility for millions more spectators.

The fireworks will be accompanied by a synchronized score of music by Jennifer Hudson, LeAnn Rimes and Katy Firework Perry, among others.

The event will pay special tribute to the 125th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty.

Best places to watch fireworks:

West Side Highway: The West Side Highway will be closed (and turned into a giant NYC block party) from around West 23rd street to 59th street, from 4:30 p.m. on July 4 until around 1 a.m. on July 5. Plan ahead, show up early (by 5 p.m. if you want a decent spot), and get the best spot.

South of 42nd Street along the pier by the Circle Line is the best viewing area, according to a NYC parking guru Gridlock Sam.

Tip: don't bring a bag. Large bags and containers will be subject to security checks.

The New York City Police Department may close the West Side Highway as far north as 125th Street or 158th Street, depending on traffic.

According to Parkitguides.com,

STREET CLOSURES

Northbound Westside Highway from 23rd Street to 57th Street - closed from 4:30 p.m. until approximately 1 a.m., July 5th, or until cleanup is complete.

Southbound Westside Highway from 42nd Street to 79th Street - closed from 4:30 p.m. until approximately 1 a.m., July 5th, or until cleanup is complete.

Southbound Westside Highway from 42nd Street to 23rd street - closed from 5:30 p.m. until approximately 1 a.m., July 5th, or until cleanup is complete.

BEST WAYS TO ACCESS THE VIEWING AREAS

11th Avenue at - 24th Street, 27th Street, 29th Street, 33rd & 34th Streets, 40th Street, 42nd Street, 44th Street, 50th Street, 52nd Street, 54th Street, 56th Street, 57th Street

The best views of the fireworks show will be from the northbound lanes of the West Side Highway and 12th Avenue between 20th and 59th Streets.

WHERE TO PARK

Since the Westside Highway will close beginning at 4:30 on July 4th, we suggest:

Midtown West Side - we talked with five garage operators and they'll all be charging 'Event Rates' on July 4th. That probably means a $30 parking will turn into $40 or $50. If you're looking for convenience and don't mind paying, this is the area. But you'll need to get there early before the closest streets are closed off.

8th Avenue - Impark let us know they have a rate of 438 for up to 10 hours at 315 W 42nd St and 305 W 43rd St. Both garages are just off 8th Avenue.

Upper East Side & Midtown East- you'll find better rates near 1st and 2nd Avenues. You can probably get parking in a garage for $15 - $25 if you can find an Evening Rate. This means you can park after 4 - 6pm and need to be out some time by midnight or the early morning. From a midtown garage, you can take a crosstown bus or subway from Grand Central to Times Square and walk from there. You can also arrive in the early morning, before 10am, and try to get an Early Bird Rate of $11 - $20.

Street Parking - the great thing about July 4 is that it's a public holiday. And in NYC, that means meters, alternate side of the street cleaning, school day, and commercial parking rules are not in effect. You can park any where that parking is allowed. But remember that you CANNOT park where parking is never allowed - the signs will say 'No Parking Anytime', ' No Stopping Anytime', or 'No Standing Anytime'.

The New Jersey Waterfront: Tens of thousands of spectators are expected to gather along the New Jersey Waterfront. The view from Hoboken is reputed as better than that from Jersey City.

According to NJ Transit,

Customers traveling to Hoboken to observe the Macy's fireworks display on Monday, July 4 should note the following:

  • Please purchase round-trip tickets before boarding a Hoboken-bound train. Ticket lines will be long after the fireworks, and customers will not be allowed to board a train without a ticket.
  • For schedule information, see information below or visit njtransit.com and use the trip planner (top left side of the website).
  • Customers are encouraged to arrive as early as possible, and to expect crowds after the fireworks are over. The busiest trains will be those immediately preceding and following the event.
  • Due to crowding conditions, bicycles may not becarried aboard NJ TRANSIT trains on July 4.
  • As a reminder, smoking is not permitted aboard trains, in stations or on platforms.
  • To accommodate customers returning from the fireworks, trains scheduled to depart Hoboken after 9 p.m. may be held past their scheduled departure time. Also, stops and/or trains may be added if ridership levels warrant.

NJ TRANSIT will operate weekend service on July 4. Additional trains will be provided as follows:

Morris & Essex Lines - to Hoboken before the event (Click to see schedule)

  • Departing Summit at 5:29 p.m. and making all stops to Hoboken.
  • Departing Dover at 5:50 p.m. and 6:50 p.m., making all stops to Hoboken except Mount Tabor.
  • Departing Newark Broad Street at 8:29 p.m. (following Midtown Direct Train 6936 at Newark Broad Street) and operating to Hoboken.

Morris & Essex Lines - from Hoboken following the event (Click to see schedule)

  • Two Summit-bound trains will depart Hoboken at 10:05 p.m. and 12:25 a.m., making all stops to Summit, where connecting service to Gladstone and Dover will be available.
  • Two Dover-bound trains will depart Hoboken at 10:40 p.m. and 11:30 p.m., making all stops to Dover except Mount Tabor. Customers can transfer at Summit for connecting service to Gladstone.

Port Jervis Line - to Hoboken before the event (Click to see schedule)

  • Departing Port Jervis at4:07 p.m., making all stops to Suffern, then operating express to Secaucus Junction and Hoboken.

Bergen County, Main, Port Jervis Lines - from Hoboken following the event (Click to see schedule)

  • Train 81, the scheduled 9:30 p.m. train to Port Jervis, will be held until 10 p.m. It will make its regular stops (via the Bergen County Line) to Port Jervis.

Mommy Poppins recommends:

De Witt Clinton Park

This is the only officially recommended spot with a playground and grassy lawns. De Witt Clinton Park is located between Eleventh and Twelfth Avenues from 52nd to 54th Streets. Bring a sheet to mark your territory, and then let your kids play while you wait. This is a very popular spot, especially for families, so arrive extra early!

Battery Park City

Macy's also says Battery Park City won't offer views. You may actually be able to see some of the fireworks-they'll just be very far away.

About.com recommends:

NY Waterway Tours

NY Waterway Tours offers stunning views from aboard their 4th of July Fireworks Cruises in the Hudson River. Tickets are $75 per person and cruises board at 6 PM from:

- West 38th Street and the Hudson River (with free bus service along 42nd Street to the Cruise Terminal)

- Edgewater, NJ - River Road and Route 5 (with free bus service from designated parking locations)

- Hoboken Rail/Ferry Terminal

- Jersey City - Liberty Harbor Marina at the foot of Marin Boulevard in Paulus Hook
Cocktails, soft drinks and snacks will be available for purchase onboard. Order tickets online or call 1-800-533-3779. Reservations are strongly recommended.

The Circle Line
The Circle Line's July 4th cruise also offers an awesome view of the fireworks from the river. A DJ will provide entertainment and food and drinks will be available forpurchase. Tickets are $79. Call 212-269-5755 or 866-9CLINE1 for reservations or more information.

World Yacht Dinner Cruise
For a more deluxe July 4th cruising experience, Circle Line partner World Yacht offers a cruise with a five-course dinner at a private table for $350.

Pier 83 Rooftop Fireworks BBQ
Circle Line and World Yacht are also partnering to host a rooftop party at Pier 83. Tickets are $79 per person for this rooftop BBQ with a live DJ and great fireworks views.

Spirit of New York Cruise
Board the Spirit of New York at Chelsea Piers and enjoy an evening cruise on the Hudson River, complete with fireworks viewing, a buffet dinner, and a live DJ for dancing.Tickets are $263.90 per person.

For those of you who've got good friends circle:

Roof deck: Get an invitation from your friends (or friends' friends) on a roof deck on the west side of Manhattan. It will give you a crowd-free, private experience of the fireworks.

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