Yes, the awkward mid-week holiday makes it tough to travel, so if you’re planning a staycation for your day off, we’ve got the inside scoop on the area’s most popular pit stops for all your patriotic pyrotechnic needs. Nationwide data compiled from last year’s July Fourth Foursquare check-ins was put into top-ten list format and was, not surprisingly, studded with New York hot spots. So, aside from being social-media wizards, what do the lists reveal about the Fourth of July habits of New Yorkers? Read on.
Riverside towns upstate were buzzing with check-ins about fireworks. Reachable by both train and car, Glens Falls and Hudson (both on the Hudson River) boasted booming displays on the water, as did the Finger Lakes region’s Auburn. They did it big last year and we're sure they'll do it bigger this year. Farther removed from the city’s bright lights, these small town summer destinations whip out the biggest and brightest sparklers for America’s birthday, making your long drive so worth the trip.
Parks and beaches within the concrete jungle made the lists, too, so don’t worry if you’re car-less. Coney Island, Jones, and New Jersey’s Asbury Park beaches are all a mere train ride away and offer fireworks and special events (Coney Island hosts a hot-dog eating contest, duh!). The same goes for the city’s best parks – you know, Central, Prospect, McCarren, Fort Greene, and the Hudson River Park made Foursquare’s list of sprawling greens that are begging for a lazy picnic and lawn game or two.
Of course, it wouldn’t be the Fourth of July without an all-American meal. Make Murray’s Bagels in Greenwich Village your go-to breakfast spot for some pre-beach, pre-sun fuel. For a quick, cheap dinner or post-firework meal, hit up Dinosaur BBQ along the Hudson, or Brother Jimmy’s BBQ and Shake Shack for some diet-breaking bites. Nathan’s Famous also made its way onto Foursquare’s list of top destinations, speckling the city and doling out a less-messy (but equally mouthwatering!) dinner option.
Why bother making yourself crazy by scrambling for dinner reservations? Stick with what works: tried and true, classic New York eateries and sunny spots for a stress-free day before heading to the Hudson for a firework-filled evening courtesy of Macy's. What's not to love about that?