Watching the fireworks on the water in Manhattan is fun, but a lot of folks are scared off by the threat of a $115 NYC parking ticket. However, street parking in New York City on July 4th is more assessable than you probably think. Many drivers don't realize that on major national holidays (including July 4th), not only alternate side of the street regulations but parking meters and most other parking rules are suspended. This means that not only can you park at meters for free, but you can basically park anywhere unless street parking is never allowed (i.e., if the sign says "No Parking Anytime" or "No Standing Anytime").
Where should you park your car in Manhattan on the 4th of July?
* Midtown - the far east and far west sides are generally better places to park than in the middle. When going to the middle of Manhattan, try drifting a few blocks towards the peripherals and enjoy a short, healthy walk.
* West Side - Streets such as Greenwich St and many of the cross-streets between Greenwich St. & Hudson St. can be great places to park for free. Likewise, try uptown near Central Park - especially on major national holidays like Independence Day.
* East Side - below 3rd Ave; especially alphabet city and various streets near the Williamsburg bridge. Uptown, drift a little east away from Central Park.
* South Side - better on the eastern side of the Southern tip (Cherry, Monroe, Water). Greenwich St. on the West Side also has some good spots to park for free.
More things to keep in mind when parking your car in NYC this Independence Day
* Always plan ahead - know in advance which streets are good and bad places to park and make a list of the good places. Trying to read and understand the parking signs with 10 cars honking their horns behind you, pedestrians zipping in front of you and the inevitable yellow taxi ready to cut you off at the first opportunity can be a harrowing experience. Don't try it! Instead, make it easy on yourself and plan ahead.
* Always have a backup plan - know in advance where the parking garages are in the area you need to be; have an idea what they charge, what their hours are and when possible, reserve a place with them ahead of time by calling or using their website. This can save you more than 50% off their normal price!
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