New York has its charms and has a lot to offer at any time of the year. For me, however, summer is my favorite time to travel! You can spend the whole day outside, take breathtaking summer boat tours or visit one of the many summer events in NYC.
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If you’re looking for the best must-see summer places in New York, you’ve come to the right place. I’ll tell you the places that I’ve enjoyed the most and are still super unique to me, even after 20+ visits.
Summer, sun, water & New York: it doesn’t get any better than this!
My favorite places to visit in NYC in summer
Grand BanksSea Food Restaurant in TribecaOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
Water, a great view of Manhattan and a great atmosphere – the location is simply the best. You are sitting on a historic ship called F/V Sherman Zwicker on the Hudson River and can enjoy New York from the water when the weather is fine. The place also serves great drinks and seafood.
Brooklyn Bridge ParkPark in DumboAdd to myNY added
You will find the beginning of Brooklyn Bridge Park just below Brooklyn Bridge. With amazing views of the skyline across the water and some great places to sit and enjoy the view, this park is a must-visit! For those of you who like running, this is an amazing place to do so, especially with the amazing Manhattan skyline view. There are also tons of green spaces, basketball, volleyball courts, and soccer fields.
Refinery RooftopRooftop Bar in Midtown ManhattanOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
A very small rooftop bar very close to Bryant Park with a nice view of the Empire State Building is the Refinery Rooftop from the Refinery Hotel. This two-story rooftop bar in Midtown isn’t particularly large, but it certainly has its appeal due to the combination of location and quality of the cocktails.
Westlight NYCRooftop Bar in WilliamsburgOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
The Westlight in Brooklyn is considered one of the most beautiful rooftop bars in New York – and rightly so! It belongs to The William Vale Hotel and has a rooftop bar, a lounge area, a bar and a restaurant. What distinguishes the Westlight from many other spots is the unspoilt panoramic view of Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan.
Sheep MeadowPark in Upper West SideAdd to myNY added
In the summer, it’s just wonderful to let the sun shine on your face! In Central Park, you will find numerous lawns where you can sunbathe, and one of the many that we would like to recommend is the Sheep Meadow. Here you can relax together with many other people and really unwind. The green area is wide, flat, and especially well frequented during the summer, but you can always find a place to relax, even in the shade. The skyscrapers towering above the trees at the edge of the meadow are an imposing sight to see!
Many New Yorkers also come to this place during the summer to sunbathe and picnic. So pack something tasty to eat and linger for a while at Sheep Meadow, located between West 66th and West 69th Street.
Governors IslandOther Attraction in Outside of New York CityAdd to myNY added
When the weather is beautiful in New York City and you want to escape for a moment from the noise, the hustle and bustle, then a trip to Governors Island is something to consider. The Governors Island Ferry will take you across the East River for $2 with the Governors Island Ferry until the end of September.
Since 2021 Governors Island is open all year round!
Honorable William WallCruise in Lower ManhattanOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
The Honorable William Wall, affectionately called “Willy Wall”, is the floating clubhouse of the Manhattan Yacht Club. The clubhouse is anchored in New York Harbor north of Ellis Island from May to October. What is so special about it? It’s definitely an insider’s spot, which not only gives you a great view of Ellis Island and of course the Statue of Liberty – you can also enjoy the sunset from here.
Chinatown Ice Cream FactoryIce Cream in ChinatownAdd to myNY added
One of our favorite things to do in Chinatown NYC is grabbing an ice cream from here and stroll through the busy streets. With amazing flavors and many unique ones at that, this is a must-try! The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory offers some of the most unique ice cream flavors in New York City!
Paley ParkPark in Midtown ManhattanOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
The entrance to the park, which is only 390 square metres in size, is at 53rd Street – and what immediately catches the eye: the 6-metre high waterfall. During the day in summer the waterfall’s spray mist is wonderfully cooling. And: it “swallows” all surrounding sounds and the park is such a spot with a really fascinating atmosphere! Midtown’s Paley Park is one of those secret places in New York that almost nobody knows about. A normal tourist doesn’t even consider the existence of such a park, but a New Yorker doesn’t either. The fact is that it is an oasis that radiates an aura of peace in the middle of the New York hustle and bustle.
Pier 35Pier in Lower East SideAdd to myNY added
On the Lower East Side you will find an often overlooked part of the East River Esplanade. We took a closer look at the route and discovered Pier 35 there, which we think is so great that we have to tell you about it! Because: At Pier 35 you have a great view of the East River and you can swing comfortably!
BoqueriaSpanish Restaurant in SoHoOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
One of our highlights is the Boqueria in SoHo. We have walked past it 100 times and have not noticed it at all. Then it was recommended to us during a conversation and what can we say: it is really really good! We had to wait almost 30 minutes until we had two of the coveted seats. Both Tino and I would describe ourselves as Spain connoisseurs, so we were all the more surprised at HOW good the tapas were here. Took us right back to our summer vacations!
SmorgasburgFood Market in Midtown ManhattanAdd to myNY added
Smorgasburg Food Market is one of the hottest open air food markets in New York City. People come here to meet, eat, drink and enjoy the view of the Manhattan skyline on the East River Waterfront during the warmer months. Smorgasburg means “a mixture of food” and offers a huge selection of small stalls. It takes place in Central Park during all of the Summer Stage Events from May to September.
Bryant ParkPark in Midtown ManhattanAdd to myNY added
Bryant Park is located right in central Manhattan and is a quiet oasis between 40th and 42nd Street. Bryant Park is right in the cetner of Midtown Manhattan between 40th and 42nd Street, yet it still lends you the peace and quiet you need to get away for a few moments from the bustling city. Withg many small cafés dotted throughout the park this is the perfect place to unwind or relax when the weather is nice.
Industry KitchenAmerican Restaurant in Financial DistrictOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
The restaurant offers typical American cuisine with modern influences. Fresh ingredients form the basis for the dishes. Salads, pizza and freshly grilled meat combined with first-class wines make a visit to the Industry Kitchen highly recommended. Beer lovers and cocktail fans will get their money’s worth here, because the selection is great.
Ardesia Wine BarWine Bars in Hell's KitchenOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
Ardesia Wine Bar is one of my favorite spots in Hells Kitchen: not only do you have a great selection of wines (aha), but also a stylish ambiance and really good food at the same time. Be sure to try the Garlic Shrimp Skewers and the Mozzarella & Bacon Sandwich!
Pier 54 - Little IslandOther Attraction in Meatpacking District
Drift InSea Food Restaurant in West VillageOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
The Drift In is one of my latest new discoveries in New York: it’s located right on the Hudson River promenade in the West Village. They serve oysters and the best lobster roll in town – no wonder, the team behind the Drift In is the same as at my beloved PILOT Brooklyn and GRAND BANKs. Just great!
Soho, Little Italy & Chinatown Walking TourWalking Tour in Hudson SquareOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
Now known for their many excellent restaurants, shops and tourism, Manhattan‘s SoHo, Little Italy and Chinatown neighborhoods offer the most varied stories of New York City. Take a 2-hour tour with a local guide and discover hidden gems and 19th century buildings.
High LinePark in Meatpacking DistrictOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
There are few parks as unique as the High Line. The elevated freight rail line was repurposed as a public green space that opened in 2009 and now offers amazing views of the city, as well as a place to relax and unwind. Its plant life is based directly off what was growing there while it was abandoned, giving this park a unique and interesting atmosphere! The High Line stretches from The Meatpacking District all the way to Hudson Yards-34th Street.
cloudM New York BoweryRooftop Bar in Lower East SideOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
For me, the cloudM Rooftop Bar is one of the most beautiful rooftop bars not only in the Lower East Side, but in all of New York. It is located on the roof of the citizenM New York Bowery Hotel and offers everything that makes a good rooftop bar: a great view, beautiful design and relaxed atmosphere.
Brooklyn CrabSea Food Restaurant in Red HookOur Highlight
One Vanderbilt The SummitBuilding in Midtown ManhattanOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
The New York City skyline is one of the most famous and recognizable skylines in the world. It’s a city filled with skyscrapers and tall buildings. In most recent years, it has been expanding which made way for new observation decks. The newest observation deck is located at the top of the One Vanderbilt Building and is called The Summit. This deck is the second-highest outdoor deck in NYC which follows the Edge and has been open since October 2021.
Chelsea PiersPier in ChelseaAdd to myNY added
All sports fans should definitely go to the Chelsea Piers – these include Piers 59, 60 and 61 between 17th and 23rd Street. The complex consists of bowling alleys, climbing walls, fitness studios, basketball courts, an ice skating and skating rink and an indoor swimming pool.
Hudson River ParkPark in ChelseaOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
With a size of 2.2 square kilometers, the Hudson River Park is the second largest park in Manhattan.
East VillageDistricts in East VillageAdd to myNY added
Originally a part of the Lower East Side, the East Village in New York developed in the 1960s into an exciting identity of its own due to its multicultural influences and thus became its own quarter in the so-called “Village” of New York City.
Coney Island BoardwalkOther Attraction in Coney Island & Brighton Beach
Antique GarageOther Restaurants in SoHoAdd to myNY added
As the name suggests, the location used to be an old screwdriver garage, which was brought to life in 2003. The furnishing with antique paintings and lamps creates a relaxed, cosy atmosphere. And then the food: the starters alone are already a blast. Try “Mezze” – these are Mediterranean little treats.
Domino ParkPark in WilliamsburgAdd to myNY added
This beautiful park opened up in Williamsburg in 2018. It’s called Domino park because the former Domino Sugar factory was located at that very spot. Now, it’s filled with greenery, food vendors and a playground for kids. It is located directly on the East River and you have a great view of the city from here. The park invites you to play volleyball or have a picnic.
Gantry Plaza State ParkPark in Long Island CityOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
Gantry Plaza State Park is a beautiful escape right on the East River in Long Island City. The park is very beautifully laid out, with many wooden benches (also with ergonomic design) and dunes with sand and a small green space. There are apartments and small restaurants and cafes lined up on the back of the park. The piers also add a nice touch to the park as well. It’s the perfect place to take a stroll while enjoying the Manhattan skyline across the river. Also in sight is the beautiful 59th street bridge that connects Manhattan and Queens.
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I'm a true New York fan! Not only have I visited the city over 20 times but also have I spent several months here at a time. On my blog I show you the best and most beautiful spots of the city, so that you have a really good time! You can also find lots of insider tips in our New York travel guide. Also check out my hotel finder for New York!