10 Things To Do In New York In The Summer
Ahhhh, New York. You guys all know how much I love that place. So much so that writing this post is making me a little bit sad, because it means that our trip is well and truly over. Meh. We've visited the city a lot over the past few years and we've managed to take trips during pretty much every season. Sam and I had a big ol' debate while we were out there about which season is our favourite in the city, and while I really do love that magical pre-Christmas buzz and the gorgeous winter golden light, I think summer just about pips it for me.
Sure, it can get a bit sweaty and there are more tourists around than usual, but there's just so much fun stuff going on as well. So I thought I'd put a little post together about 10 things to do in New York in the summer.
1) Hang out in the parks
One of the best things about visiting New York in the summer is that it means you get to take full advantage of the gorgeous parks. Most people are instantly drawn to Central Park (and I can totally see why as it's beautiful), but my favourite has to be Brooklyn Bridge Park for that iconic view of the city. In fact, we actually spent an entire day here on our last trip snoozing off our hangovers and people watching.
Some of my other favourites include Washington Square Park (keep your eyes peeled for the view of the Empire State building peering through the arch) and the beautiful Prospect Park in Brooklyn. Pack a picnic and a book and you're on track for a perfect summer afternoon.
2) Drink cocktails on rooftop bars
I genuinely think you can get some of the best views of the city from rooftop bars, and summer is the perfect time to enjoy them as many close the outdoor terraces during winter. There are loads to choose from but some of my favourites include The Ides Bar at Hotel Wythe and Azul on the Rooftop at Hotel Hugo. Get there an hour or so before sunset and watch the city turn from day to night - it'll be a pinch me moment you won't forget in a hurry!
3) Visit Coney Island
If you're visiting New York in the summer then a trip to Coney Island needs to be at the very top of your list! The only way I can describe it is Blackpool meets NYC - think rowdy funfair, yummy deep fried foods and colourful frozen cocktails. It takes around 45 minutes on the subway from Manhattan and is well worth the journey - we spent the day riding rollercoasters, eating hotdogs, walking along the boardwalk and generally soaking up the buzzy atmosphere.
Coney Island is also home to a pretty lovely beach, so if the weather's good then think about packing a swimsuit and a towel too to really maximise the fun. Just thinking back to our day there makes me feel all happy and summery!
4) Stroll along the High Line
If you haven't heard of it before, the High Line is an old abandoned railway that has been turned into a really lovely outdoor green space. The park follows the old train tracks down the Hudson River and into Chelseas and offers some amazing views of the city. The perspectives are totally different from any others I've found in New York and wandering along it is a really lovely way to spend an hour two.
You can walk the High Line at any time of year, but after braving it in November and ending up with windburn, I can vouch that it's a much more pleasant experience in the summer months. Plus, the garden is in full bloom which only adds to the beauty.
5) Eat some seriously good ice cream
When the temperature is creeping up over 30c everyday, daily ice creams are pretty much essential for survival. Thankfully New York is teeming with great places to grab some delicious ice creamy goodness! You have to try a cereal milk softserve from Milk (it tastes like the milk leftover from a bowl of cornflakes!) and I'm still having dreams about the incredible salty pimp cone from Big Gay Ice Cream.
6) Watch a baseball game
This is another thing we did for the first time when we were in New York the other week and we absolutely loved it! New York has two famous baseball teams, the Mets and the Yankees, and you can pick up tickets to watch them in action pretty cheaply - we paid around $40 a ticket which is much more reasonable than say, going to a premier league football match in the UK. What we really loved about this experience is how American it felt - we stood up to sing the Star Spangled Banner with the other fans, we ate nachos with cheese sauce (yum!) and joined in with all of the chants and cheers. It was so much fun (even if the Mets did lose)!
7) Take advantage of free outdoor events
Another perk of visiting New York in the summer is that there are tonnes and tonnes of free outdoor events to take advantage of! From rooftop cinema clubs to fireworks shows to free gigs in Central Park, there is something to be enjoyed every single evening. I found that SecretNYC and Time Out were both great at updating their "What's On" pages - just be sure to check in regularly as tickets can go quickly!
8) Walk the Brooklyn Bridge
This is hands down my favourite thing to do in New York (if not in the world!) and I make sure I do it every single time I'm there, but similarly to the High Line, this one is way more enjoyable in the summer. The wind is a lot less violent and on a hot day you'll be very glad of the breeze that's carried in along the East River. Definitely save this for a crystal clear day as you can see for miles in all directions - you'll even spot Lady Liberty! If you're walking in the direction away from Manhattan then make sure you get at least half way across before you turn around and have a look - it is honestly the most magnificent view ever.
9) Eat your way around Smorgasburg
Based in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Smorgasburg is a huge amazing food market and the perfect place to spend a summer's afternoon! There are tonnes of traders serving up next level incredible foodie goodness, but the best bit is the A* view of Manhattan from the park. Grab a beer, order some truffle fries and bask in the sunshine while wondering if you've actually gone to heaven.
10) Enjoy a rooftop pool
If you're craving a bit of summer holiday bliss in the midst of your NYC trip, then you're gonna need to find yourself a rooftop pool. There are quite a few dotted all over the city and you can pay for day entry at most of them so that you can enjoy the relaxation time without the hefty hotel price tag. We checked out The Beach at Dream Downtown and it was one of the most enjoyable afternoons of our whole trip.
So there you have it - some tips for visiting New York in the summer. What else should I add to the list for next time?