Summer is when New York City really comes alive. From festivals and markets to parades, concerts, and cool drinks on rooftops, there’s so much you can do in the city no matter what you’re into. If you find yourself in the Big Apple, do as the locals do to make the hot and sweaty city positively awesome. Here are my top four favorite things to do to make it an unforgettable summer.
Buy An Ice Cream And Chill Out At High Line Park
Suspended 25 meters above ground, the not-so-secret-anymore urban park in the city is perhaps one of my favorite spots. This elevated park is part promenade, part town square, and part botanical garden. The views from here are delightful as you slice between old buildings and new. Summer days are perfect for a stroll thanks to chill-out benches like the above, food vendors and shade. If you find yourself here, don’t forget to check out the adjoined Chelsea Market.
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Rooftop Pool Party Time
Image via Flickr lemeridienhotels
The perfect way to escape the heat is to trade in for your swimsuit and take a dip in a nice cool pool with a view. While some hotels in New York City restrict their pool access to guests, there are ones like Le Parker Meridien that make their pools open to the public for a $100 day pass. If you’re planning on heading there on the weekend, make sure you go early because these pools fill up fast.
Picnic At Central Park
It’s amazing that green spaces like Central Park exist in a hyper-urban city like NYC, so why not take advantage of it? Another one of my favorite activities every time I visit the city is to go to the neighboring food hall of the Plaza Hotel, pick up a Luke’s Lobster, a slice of Lady M crepe cake and set up an impromptu picnic on the pristine green grass with epic views of the towering skyscrapers of 59th street.
Chow Down at Smorgasburg
Smorgasburg is a weekly food festival that runs on the weekends in two spots in Brooklyn – East River State Park and Brooklyn Bridge Park. With 75-100 vendors every week, this is your chance to stuff your face with delicious food that ranges from age-old classics to the most bizarre of combinations. It’s at Smorgasburg where creations like the ramen burger saw its claim to fame. Not only is the food fantastic, Smorgasburg is always a great choice for any visitor because both locations provide highly Instagrammable views of Manhattan.
Bring Out Your Inner Shakespeare
Image via Sammy on the Move
Shakespeare In The Park is a free program run by the city every summer at the Delacorte Theater at Central Park. The schedule varies from year to year but there are typically two productions of Shakespeare plays a summer that start as early as May and go as late as August. The experience of watching a Shakespeare play in an open air theater just like it was intended to be watched can’t be beat. The only trick is to be able to get tickets for the show. They’ve gained so much popularity that you will end up having to camp out in line to get tickets on the day of or try your chance at an online lottery.
There’s so much more to do than these five fun activities. There are an endless number of choices but just make sure you check out my top recommended places to visit and best restaurants before you go to start planning that perfect itinerary.
Finding A Place To Stay in NYC
One of the most challenging things when it comes to planning a trip to New York is figuring out where you’re going to stay while you’re here. On one hand, there are a LOT of choices but on the other hand, it’s insanely expensive. The nights add up and before you know it, you’re paying a few thousand dollars in hotel costs and that’s before all of the activities and food.
Here are two properties that I think you’ll like that are great options when it comes to finding a place to stay in NYC.
UPPER WEST SIDE
This property is relatively new but looks promising as the prices are very cheap for New York City. What you need to know is that this is in the Upper West Side which is right beside Columbia University. While a bit far, the subway can bring you down to Times Square of Downtown in a jiffy.
For the price and location, this place can’t be beat! The rooms here look fabulous with full-sized kitchens as these are apartments. Perfect for families and longer stays. In addition, there are over 2,000 reviews so you know you can rely on the quality of this property.
Alternatively, there’s always Airbnb. It’s always a good idea to do a broad search to see what fits your budget and especially if you’re travelling in a large group. Getting one big place could be cheaper than booking multiple rooms. And as always, sign up for a brand new account using my referral to get $36 in savings off the bat.