With temperatures soaring all over the Northern Hemisphere this summer, New York is not the only city feeling the heat. So far this summer, Manhattan has experienced temperatures in the high 30’s. In a city full of crowds, traffic and queues, heat is not the easiest element to work with. Luckily, we have Eric from NewYork.co.uk who has a few tricks up his short-sleeve for how to stay cool in New York City this summer.
Summer in the City
Between July and September, New York welcomes millions of visitors from all over the world. There’s so much going on in the city like Memorial Day, Fleet Week, Independence Day and Gay Pride, so it’s no wonder people flock to the Big Apple to join in the fun. What they probably don’t realise is, most New Yorkers aim to leave the city during the hot summer months and head to the cooler, coastal areas. Luckily, most hotels have air conditioning and there are plenty of ways to enjoy the city whilst keeping your cool. Let me give you some tips:
Feel the wind in your hair: easy, breezy tours
Manhattan is surrounded by the waters of the Hudson and East River. In the hot sun, spending some time on a boat tour is a great way to cool off. Sit on the outer deck and enjoy the spectacular views. There are a few tours to choose from, all varying in times and routes but all will give you a great view of the skyline, the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge.
A nice way to see a lot of the city whilst resting your legs and keeping cool is to take a Hop on Hop off bus tour. You can sit on the top of the open-topped bus, be driven all around the city. Listen to the informative guide as he points out attractions and places of interest.
For the adrenaline junkies, seasonal boat tour The Beast is a must. Skim the waters at 45 miles per hour as you pass the famous skyline of New York. Blink and you’ll miss it! The fun guide entertains as you go, hold on to your hat and don’t forget the sun-cream and water!
Get wet: pools and beaches
If you are lucky enough to have a swimming pool at your hotel, enjoy it. It’s a great way to cool off in the summer sun, my favorite is at the Gansevoort in Meatpacking district, one of the best rooftop bars of New York. Public swimming pools in New York City are usually only for residents of the city, however, during the summer, there are a couple of outdoor pop-up pools for everyone to enjoy. Head to the Lasker Pool in the north-eastern most corner of Central Park (during the winter it is the Lasker ice rink), just bring a padlock for the lockers and your swimsuit.
If you are headed to Brooklyn for the day, bring your towel and head to the pop up pool in Brooklyn Bridge Park, time slots are limited to 45 minutes but after your swim session you can relax on the man made beach area or further explore Brooklyn Bridge Park and DUMBO.
Did you know that New York is home to 14 miles of beaches? Perfect if you are looking to escape the heat for a day and relax on the sand. For the ultimate fun American beach experience, take the subway from Manhattan to Coney Island. Stroll along the boardwalk, grab a famous hot dog at Nathan’s, visit the New York Aquarium or spend the day chasing an adrenaline rush at Luna Park theme Park and of course, there’s the beach too!
NYC Ferry takes you from Manhattan over the waters to Brooklyn, Governors Island, Long Island City, Roosevelt Island and also to Rockaway Beach. This lesser known New York beach, located on Rockaway Peninsula in Queens, is a less touristy option than Coney Island. Relax by the ocean, grab a bite from one of the food trucks or a drink in one of the bars. Combined with the relaxing boat ride, which takes around an hour, it’s a great day out.
Stay inside: the power of air-con
The miracle of modern technology: Air conditioning! Most museums in New York will be perfectly climate controlled all summer long, giving you a break from the sticky city heat and an educational experience in one! There are so many museums in New York, whether you’re an art lover, a fan of technology, a history buff or interested in aviation, there is something for you. Here are my top picks:
At the impressive American Museum of Natural History you can travel through time to learn about the ecological development of the United States throughout time. With dinosaur bones, stuffed animals and interesting displays about the country’s indigenous people, there is something for all. The museum is located right opposite Central Park, after seeing the museum, head in to the park to take in the afternoon sun.
The 9/11 Museum is an informative and emotional experience dedicated to the events of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It has been sympathetically and really nicely created to give you a feeling of the effects that the attacks had on both New York City and the rest of the world.
Right next to the Memorial, spend a day in Downtown (temperatures tend to be cooler here due to all the tall buildings) and pay a visit to Ground Zero.
Laze in the Summer haze: hang out spots in the sun
If you are a sun worshiper and want to spend your days chilling in the summer sun, with great views over the Big Apple, New York has you covered. Governors Island is a seasonal New York hot spot, open during the warmer months. Take the ferry and spend some time on the island, where there is plenty to do (or not to do). There’s a hammock grove, with fantastic skyline views, playgrounds for the kids and plenty of activities like taking a bike for an hour to explore the island or joining a walking tour.
Brooklyn Bridge Park has it all, great hang out spots, amazing views of Downtown Manhattan, walking routes, access to the Brooklyn Bridge and places to dine and drink. To get there, take the NYC Ferry from Wall Street or a subway to High Street Brooklyn and to get back, I always recommend walking the bridge back to Manhattan for the best views and photos.
Roosevelt Island is a lesser known area of New York, a small island, mostly with residential housing but also a park, great views and the abandoned smallpox hospital. Getting there is the most fun though; by cable car over the water. Take the Roosevelt Island Tram from 2nd Ave and 69th Street, you can even use your MetroCard. The tram takes 4 minutes. I like to bring a picnic and have lunch with a view.