We all know New York is the city that never sleeps. This statement in even truer summertime. The temperatures are higher and the locals are out, enjoying life and the numerous activities in the city. The city really comes alive and this is when you realize there are numerous things to do in New York in the summer: free events, fun festivals, exciting attractions… You can’t be bored! You really have to experience New York during summer. Ready to make amazing memories? Check out this list of things to do in New York in the summer! As you’ll see, you have many options!
Visit Governors Island
Governors Island is only open during the summer, from May to September. Take advantage of the perfect timing and head there by ferry from Manhattan’s South Street Seaport. It’s a car-free island where you’ll be able to get a tan on one of its hammocks, relax in the outdoor park, but also rent a bike, go kayaking, kite flying, reserve a grill and picnic table, sleep in a tent, etc. and enjoy the view of the Statue of Liberty!
Enjoy the city’s parks
Enjoy one of the numerous green spaces in New York. Head to one of the most famous parks in the world, Central Park. The vast 850-acre park is filled with everything from works of art, baseball diamonds, picnic spots, ice rinks and even a carousel. Rent a bike and explore this huge park in the heart of the Manhattan. Needless to say, there are other parks to enjoy: Brooklyn Bridge Park which offers a stunning view of the Manhattan skyline or Prospect Park. Wanna know more? Here are the best parks in NYC!
Devour the best ice creams
NYC can get very hot and humid during summer, be sure to keep yourself hydrated but also treat yourself with a savory ice cream. Many places claim to sell “the best ice cream in NYC”. You’ll have to judge by yourself, but some places are quite popular: Ample Hills Creamery, Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, Big Gay Ice Cream Shop, Van Leeuwen Ice Cream… Wanna find out more? Check out this article featuring the best ice cream shops in New York!
Head to the pool
Cool off in one of the best public swimming pools in NYC. Many hotels in NYC have rooftop pools that allow non-hotel guests to enjoy the facilities (it’s not free though). The Hamilton Fish Pool, the Gansevoort Hotel in the Meatpacking District or the Williamsburg Hotel all offer nice pools to relax.
Sip a cocktail in a rooftop bar
After spending the day getting a tan in Central Park, why not sip a cocktail in a rooftop bar? It’s one of the best ways to enjoy the city. Moreover the views are astounding. A cocktail, some music and a breathtaking view of NYC. What else could you ask for? The 230 Fifth Rooftop Bar, the Gallow Green, the rooftop bar from W Downtown and the rooftop bar at the 1 Hotel Brooklyn are all great choices. Check out this list of the best rooftop restaurants in NYC!
Stargaze at the High Line
Every Tuesday, the Amateur Astronomers Association leads stargazing tours at the High Line, the elevated freight rail line turned public park on Manhattan’s West Side. The AAA guides you through star-spotting and points out celestial bodies high above the city. It’s a free event. Moreover, the High Line is one of the most instagrammable places in NYC!
SummerStage is an arts and culture festival taking place at Central Park every year since 1986. It features a diversity of performances from folk to hip hop to opera and everything in between. Concerts are free to attend.
Take a boat tour
Attending a festival is cool, but sometimes it’s way too hot to move and dance in NYC. Just hop on a boat and enjoy the scenic views of the city, in a calm atmosphere. You have numerous options, from sailing to see the statue of Liberty to the free Staten Island Ferry.
Fill your stomach at Smorgasburg
Smorgasburg is an open-air food market where people meet up summertime to eat, have a drink and socialize. This huge outdoor food court is open everyday and it’s probably one of the best places to get some great food. Here’s a full guide about New York City food!
Watch a movie at Bryant Park
Yep, you read that right. Free Summer Movie Night is held every Monday behind the Public Library in the summer. Get there early to secure a great spot, pack a meal or get some snacks from a food vendor, sit in the meadow or on a blanket and enjoy the movie!
Check out Shakespeare in the Park
Shakespeare in the Park brings to life Shakespeare’s greatest works each year. It launched in 1962 and is still running to this day. It’s a free event and popular in summer, which takes place at the Delacorte Theater, an open-air theater in Central Park.
Attend the Museum Mile Festival
The Museum Mile festival gives you free access to the most popular museums in New York City. Nine museums participate in the festival, including the MET, the Guggenheim, the Africa Center and more. During this one-day festival, the museums stay open longer and you can enjoy live music and artistic highlights. Perfect for families!
Explore NYC by bike
In case you didn’t know, New York City is a bicycle city! There are many bike paths and bicycle lanes. Rent a bike at one of the many stations (there are over 800) and explore the city that never sleeps!
Head to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden
If you’re into plant life, head to the Brooklyn Botanic garden. You’ll be able to admire gorgeous collection of flora and smell some of the many flowers that are scattered around the garden.
That’s it! Now you know how to enjoy NYC in the summer! NYC is one of the most beautiful cities in the US! Take some time to check my other if you’re about to visit New York for the first time. Have you been to New York in the summer? Let me know!
How to get to New York
You’ll probably have to get there by plane. Click here to check the latest flight prices. If you’re not a US citizen, you need to apply for the ESTA beforehand here. That’s the only website you need to use to apply for an ESTA. You’ll have to pay 14 dollars. If you’re using another website, you’ll inevitably pay more, and you’re gonna get fucked. The unofficial website will apply for your ESTA using the official website, and they’ll take a commission.
How to get around in New York
Don’t rent a car to get around in New York. You’ll waste a lot of time in traffic. Avoid taking the taxi, it’s expensive and slow because of traffic. Take the subway, it goes everywhere and it’s very useful! A one-way ticket is $2.75, an unlimited one-week ticket is $32, a one-month ticket is $121. Here’s how to use the NYC subway!
Where to stay in New York
Here’s where to stay in New York City. Accommodation is very expensive in New York! If you’re traveling on a budget, the HI NYC Hostel is a great hostel. Click here to book your stay. If you want to stay in a mid-range hotel, the CitizenM New York is a nice one and well located. Click here to book your stay. If you prefer luxury hotels, I suggest the Langham New York on the 5th avenue! Click here to book your stay. Otherwise click here to check the hotels available in New York.
- Traveling soon? Check out my travel resources page! This list of travel accessories can also be useful!
- Do not go to the US without a travel insurance! If something happens, you’ll see by yourself, medical expenses are extremely expensive there! Here’s why get travel insurance!
- Likewise, if you arrive from abroad, you’ll need to provide proof of onward travel!
- Want a tailor-made trip to the US? Get a free quote here!
- Always use a VPN when traveling. I use ExpressVPN and I love it! Here’s why use a VPN when traveling!