Perfect Fourth of July Hot dog eating contest

Your Perfect Fourth of July


Are you looking to celebrate Independence Day the New York way? Here’s how to spend a perfect 4th of July.

First things first, grab breakfast downstairs in the lounge. (Get the blueberry whole wheat pancakes. Don’t ask us why…just try it.)

Take a trip to Coney Island

When you’re properly stuffed, take the D or F train to Stillwell Avenue, about an hour or so ride from the city. Bring sunscreen, a bathing suit and a towel.

The infamous Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest is about to begin!

(We don’t barbecue much here in the city, so we need to get our wiener fix by watching people overindulge in them.)

What’s happening during the day

Pre-game musical and dance performance commences at 10:00 a.m. The women’s contest begins at 11 and the men’s at 12:30. The big question? Can perennial winner Joey Chestnut keep his Mustard Belt? We’ll find out soon!

Take a dip

After you’ve watched folks choke down dozens of dogs, take a walk on the old-timey Coney Island boardwalk then dip in the water! Coney Island is not only home to the classic wooden Cyclone rollercoaster…it boasts a whopping three miles of sandy beach. There’s plenty of room, so spread out your towel, layer on that sunscreen and just chill for an hour or two.

Back to the city for the evening

Next, head back to the Village and decide what you want to do for dinner. Holidays are the best time to eat out here in the city because so many people have flocked to the Hamptons or the Jersey Shore for the long weekend. The city is YOURS and (almost) yours alone.

But first, check into Happy Hour at North Square. (Beer, wine and snacks start at only 6 bucks!)

Then we recommend dining in the East Village if you want to check out the fireworks post-nosh. Maybe Prune? Or Momofuku Ko? Don’t worry; there are plenty of choices.

The Macy’s Fireworks display

After dinner, head to the East River Park, which runs from E. 12th St. down to Montgomery St. right next to the FDR Drive and is a prime–if unofficial–viewing spot for the light show.

Take it from us, the unofficial fireworks viewing spots promise to be way less crowded than the official ones. Fireworks begin around 9:25 p.m. and last about 25 incredible minutes.

One thing’s for sure–you’re not going to get a Fourth of July like this outside of the city! Whatever you choose to do, have a perfect 4th of July!

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