No one throws a party quite like New York City, and Independence Day is no exception. We were the nation’s first capital after all. Since George himself raised his hand to be sworn in as our first President, this city been raising the red, white and blue, and raising the roof every July 4. Here’s a quick highlight reel for celebrating the USA in NYC.

The Red Hot’s Red Glare

Nathan’s Famous at Coney Island

It doesn’t get any more American than hot dogs at the beach on a hot summer day. Make that beach the famous stretch of boardwalk at Coney Island, throw in a true spectacle of American over-achievement and you’ve got Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest. Take in the spectacle of America’s finest athletes going head to head for the title of Champion. Grab a dog yourself as you take in all the sights and sounds along the boardwalk. From the screams aboard the legendary Cyclone to the views atop The Wonder Wheel, Coney Island is America’s other favorite pastime.

Give Me Liberty

Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

Getting patriotic is what the day is all about. A trip to get an up close and personal look at our Lady in the harbor is a truly special event. Cool off as you set sail on a quick ferry ride to Liberty Island to get first hand knowledge of this crowning achievement in art and architecture. Nothing quite symbolizes the freedom and possibility of the American way than to climb the famous steps that lead to her crown to look out over lower Manhattan. If the holiday still has feeling patriotic mood, don’t miss Ellis Island for a lesson in American history and some digging into your family heritage.

Bringing Out The Brass

Jazz at the Blue Note Jazz Fest

It’s not a proper 4th of July celebration until the brass band plays. Jazz is truly an American invention and you’ll not hear any better than at the Seaport Summer Concert Series. This is big-time jazz players from the legendary Blue Note jazz label taking the stage at Fulton + Front Street. Enjoy grammy Award-winning trumpeter Maurice “Mobetta” Brown Soul’d U Out, the eight-piece Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, and six-time Grammy-winning saxophonist David Sanborn. The Festival of Independence is a must-hear on July 4th. Shows starting at 5:30 PM, 6:45 PM, and 8:00 PM.

Sea To Shining Seaport

The South Street Seaport

The oldest streets in New York have hosted Independence Day since the very first one. There’s more history here than you can take in a day, but it’d be unAmerican not to try. The newest edition to the famed cobblestones is the huge Garden Bar, Manhattan’s largest outdoor drinking spot. People watch as you lounge in this lush oasis in the city and enjoy bubbly from Veuve Clicquot or a Tastemakers Series beer from Sixpoint Brewery. The list of places to shop, eat, drink and kick back and enjoy the day is as varied as our nation itself. There’s no better way to finish off an Independence Day celebration in NYC, than to raise a toast where it all got started. Happy B-Day America.