July is among the hotter months in NYC meaning that walking through the large concrete jungle can become very hot and sticky. A great alternative is to use NYC’s many bike paths along the East or Hudson Rivers where you will always be greeted by a small breeze. However, NYC in July is absolutely beautiful and is a great time to see the city alive and in its full glory. Check out our list of favorite concerts, events, and other things to do in NYC in July.
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☀️ The absolute Best Things To Do in July in NYC
Things to do in New York City in July are easy to find. There is always a lot to do in the city especially if the weather is good and summer is in full swing. There is no lack of awesome activities, events, and festivals. Below is a list of our favorite things to do in NYC in July, we are sure that more than one of them will suit your fancy.
1. July: Visit Grand Banks
Visit this celebrated oyster bar aboard the historic wooden schooner, Sherman Zwicker right on the Hudson River. Hudson River Park was able to set up a pretty sweet deal for the Grand Banks, which now has a row of tables for two running along the south side of the pier. By doing so, they are now able to serve drinks within that space. Reserve your table beforehand and have an amazing time at probably the best date spot in the city right now.
2. Spending 4th Of July in New York City
4th of July is one of the most important holidays in the USA and is a big deal here in New York City. Independence Day is the celebration of the United States as a free and independent nation. This day commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Even though this year’s 4th of July will look a little different since most of the events are fireworks are canceled it is still a great day to have a BBQ and celebrate America’s Birthday.
The highlight of the day normally is the fireworks display at Macy’s Flagship store. A total of nearly 40,000 fireworks are launched into the sky for the crowds to enjoy. The display is about 25 minutes long and is by far the most impressive fireworks display in NYC (even more so than the New Year’s Eve fireworks in Times Square). The show is also in sync with a jazz ensemble. This year Macy’s will host many small fireworks leading up to the 4th of July with a grand finale on the actual holiday that will include the Empire State Building and will also be streamed live on NBC.
3. Enjoy Outdoor Dining in NYC
With NYC entering phase 3 in July, indoor dining is on hold indefinitely. No worries, there are so many great restaurants in the city that offer a safe and fun outdoor dining experience. I have tried many restaurants in NYC (including our friends from Seamore’s) so far that started outdoor dining since the end of June and never had a negative experience.
If you wanted to, you could even eat outdoors near Rockefeller Center. The seating is located right where the famous ice rink usually is. At Rockefeller you’ll find many round tables with benches and umbrellas set up, fitting up to 68 diners. Just look for the famous Prometheus statue which is now outfitted with its own mask as well.
4. Nathan’s Famous 4th of July Hot Dog Eating Contest on Coney Island
A special highlight on Coney Island New York is the annual hot dog eating contest at Nathan’s Famous. Since 1972, people meet each other on the Fourth of July to find out who can eat the most hotdogs in ten minutes. This year the event will still take place but with social distancing taking into place.
5. Recharge and Soak up the Sun in Central Park
Especially in the summer months, Central Park is NYC’s beautiful backyard. You will find many people using green space at all times, playing sports, having a stroll, or just soaking up the sun. It is great for the hot and sticky days in July, as you will always find some shade to rest a little. Many New Yorkers use the green field to lounge, relax, and escape the big-city bustle for a while.
Check out our article about Central Park, to find out where to go for the most beautiful places to relax and enjoy the tranquility while of course practicing social distancing.
6. Sail around the city
Many of the sailing cruises have already reopened and are back to the rivers of New York City. Sailing in New York City is one of my favorite things to do during the summer. There’s nothing better than watching the sunset and enjoying a glass of wine onboard. Here are some amazing options that are taking place right now, with safety measures of course:
7. Manhattanhenge on July 11, 2020
Manhattanhenge is a fascinating and beautiful event that occurs only twice a year. The sunset falls in a straight line through the skyscrapers of Manhattan’s East-West streets. There are a few locations where Manhattanhenge comes to full fruition, including 42nd Street-Bryant Park. The weather needs to cooperate on this day as well. You will need clear to very minimal clouds in the sky to be lucky enough to catch the event and experience it to its full potential.
8. Spend a day on Governors Island starting July 15
With the city reopening, I was waiting for my favorite place to relax in the city for a while now. Usually, Governors Island opens in May for the season, but this year they pushed it to July 15 with new health, safety, and social distancing protocols in place. Limiting capacity on the ferry with a new ticket reservation system to ensure social distancing on ferries and the Island is part of the new normal for Govis Island. Make sure to select times and reserve ferry tickets in advance through the new system govisland.org.
9. Spend a day at the Beach and Boardwalk in Coney Island
July in New York City can get very hot and humid. The lack of a breeze between the skyscrapers in Manhattan does not help either. So what can you do to combat the heat during the summer in NYC? We recommend hitting the beaches.
Brighton Beach on Coney Island in Brooklyn is a great way to spend the afternoon if you are looking for a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. The beach section is very popular especially on weekends and attracts countless visitors with its theme parks and golden sand. So come by to relax and enjoy the sun.
10. July 23: National Hot Dog Day
If you’re really into hot dogs, then this day is for you. Whether at one of the many hot dog stalls on the city streets or in Coney Island at Nathan’s Famous, Make sure to celebrate National Hot Dog Day with a hot dog in NYC.
13. Staten Island South Beach
If you’re on the Staten Island Ferry to see the Statue of Liberty, spend a little while on it. Get off at Staten Island and visit the beautiful South Beach. From May to September there are regular events and fireworks, which makes the beach on Staten Island a true insider. More information about the beach on Staten Island can be found here.
14. Visit the High Line
Another thing to add on the list for July is a visit to the High Line. Yes, we missed it too and are so happy the High Line finally reopened. With only one entrance near the Whitney Museum in Meatpacking District (Gansevoort Street), visitors are now required to get a free pass for their visit. Read about the new precautions and regulations on the High Line for your next visit here.
15. July 24: National Tequila Day
Enjoy one of the best tequila (and tequila cocktails) in one of the city’s many Mexican restaurants. Our absolute favorite Mexican in Lower Manhattan is still El Vez. Choose from one of the many tequilas from the menu. There are delicious guacamole, burritos, and tacos. Find out more about the best Mexican food in the city here.
By the way: The takeout cocktail law has been extended through July 26 in NY, so make sure you enjoy them while you still can!
16. Visit one of the many rooftop bars in New York (Yes, some are open)
July is one of the best months to do what New Yorkers love to do the most in the summer. Rooftop bar hopping. There are so many really amazing places to go to and it’s a perfect time to visit one of New York City’s grandiose rooftop bars during the summer. Some of them are already back open and welcome their guest while practicing social distancing precautions.
16. Head down the shore
Did you know that New Jersey has some of the most beautiful beaches in the country? There is a reason why many locals head down the shore every weekend to relax, spend time with their friends on the beach, and have fun night activities. From Asbury Park to Atlantic City, the shore has many great things to offer. Beaches are open since June and offer space for a limited amount of people to make sure everyone can maintain 6 ft social distance from each other.
Top tours in July in New York
Save 50% on all attraction tickets with this discount pass for NYC!
Our favorite dinner cruise, perfectly suited for warm summer evenings!
Seeing the marvelous waterfall in just one day - it's possible and also worth it!
One of the most popular tours in New York during which you discover many locations from the TV series.
Watching the fireworks from a cruise is an unforgettable experience.
Guided 1-day trip from New York to Boston, including the famous Freedom Trail
The Weather in New York in July
Monthly Avg DAY Monthly Avg NIGHT Rainfall days Sun 86°F / 30°C 10 days 10 hours daily
Monthly Avg DAY
Monthly Avg NIGHT
86°F / 30°C
10 hours daily
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Being a photographer and creative in general, New York City, I think is the perfect place to be. I moved to NYC from Boston in 2013 and never looked back. Loving New York has given me the opportunity to do what I love and share those images with you all.