Almost daily, I get emails from readers asking me what is the best time to visit New York City? Even though I prefer the Spring, Summer and Fall seasons, there is something beautiful about spending the winter in New York….watching the snowflakes fall over Central Park, visiting the tree in Rockefeller Center and admiring a snow-covered Empire State Building….these images may be iconic but are even better experienced in person. New York City often feels like the capital of the world! From the diversity, culture, entertainment venues and a plethora of things to see, eat and do, there is something for everyone – and that’s at any time of year! New York has a distinct allure, so why decide when to visit? Better to decide how often you can visit.
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The Best Time to Visit New York City: A Seasonal Guide
New York in Spring
One of the most popular destinations in the world is New York City. And springtime is a perfect time to visit. The flowers are blooming in glorious colors, butterflies, birds and bees are having their fun, so why shouldn’t we join them? Visit the Botanical Gardens (there’s one in Brooklyn and the Bronx), Museum Mile in Manhattan, or go to Times Square. There are many art fairs, outdoor markets, Broadway openings, Gotham comedy shows and more. If you time your visit right, you can attend the Easter Parade, seek out the city’s tastiest dishes, or make up any excuse for just relaxing and people watching. You may not know that if you come to New York during Memorial Day weekend, most of the locals are away and you will have the City all to yourself. Unique time to experience the City when it’s a little bit quieter. Personally, I believe is the best time to visit New York.
Hint: The weather can be unpredictable in NYC at this time. Usually, you can use a lighter jacket although at night time it might get a little cooler. Light layering is the way to go. Scarves can do double duty for warmth and to transform your outfit! Of course, wear comfortable shoes (get ready to walk a lot) for daytime and heels/dress shoes for evening – especially if visiting any of our amazing rooftop bars (many with skyline views) or dance clubs. There may be a dress code, so call ahead.
New York in Summer
Summer is a very popular time in NYC, when everyone is out and about. For me, one of the best times to visit New York. I love the summer! Warning: The streets are full of tourists (LOL).
Sometimes it is extremely hot and humid. The Summer time is nice to just fully explore Central Park, rent a bike, join a walking tour or simply lay on the grass to catch some rays and people watch. There are tons of free summer concerts in Central Park and on Governor’s island. You can also head to Bryant Park to watch a free movie on the main lawn every Monday. Might be a good time to interact with many locals. If you head to the Statue of Liberty or take a boat tour, try to purchase tickets in advance (the less time on lines the better). There are tours for just about anything: craft beer, wine tasting, chocolate tasting and more! It is also the perfect weather for eating outdoors, so take advantage. Walk along the High Line and enjoy the beautiful views. We also love the Meat Packing District with its plethora of bars (several rooftop) and nightclubs, you just can’t go wrong. Need a break from humans? Visit one of our zoos (Central Park or the Bronx Zoo). Both have lots of fun activities, so go to their websites for more information.
The Long Island City waterfront in Queens is gorgeous. Walk along the water, or if you prefer, there are many places where you can sit and have a drink while enjoying the Manhattan skyline. You can also venture into Brooklyn and go to Dumbo (one of my favorite neighborhoods) where the picturesque views will take your breath away. There you will find many small restaurants, local bars and coffee shops. It is a great place to go for a unique experience. Another jewel of Brooklyn is Williamsburg, with lots of great restaurants, bars, ambiance and, of course, great views. Basically, you will never be bored in NYC during the summer months with all of the activities available.
New York in Fall
The weather in New York can be quite mild until the middle of October, which is when some rooftops start to close, although there are some that are heated or have retractable roofs. October is a great month to visit because of the beautiful foliage. As the leaves start changing colors, everything looks so ethereal (Perfect for laying on the grass). Sometimes it is very hot during the day and cool at night, much like the spring. The weather is often ideal at this time of year, making it perfect for walking, hiking and exploring in general. There are always various festivities around the City. Halloween is a big celebratory time, where there is a parade in the village and everyone goes bar hopping or to various parties around the City. Definitely a different vibe as apposed to the massive influx of tourists that pour in during the summer months. Although, there are tourists all year round, November is usually colder but a great time for a scenic road trip to upstate New York (a quick drive to Bear Mountain). There’s nothing like a hot toddy in front of a roaring fire – very romantic!
New York in Winter
If you are fortunate enough to be in New York after a fresh coat of snow, you will see just how charming the winter can be in this City. It might be cold, but it is a winter wonderland, especially around the holidays. We did not get a white Christmas in 2015, but you never know for 2016. Start planning now! Christmas is a particularly good time to visit. Once the famous tree at the Rockefeller Center is up it’s a must see! Then you can ice-skate there, or go to the ones at Bryant Park or Central Park. There are also many Christmas markets for fun shopping, especially for personalized gifts. Along with the shops, there are hearty street food and lovely music. There is always plenty of entertainment for the whole family, even as you ride the subway. You can find singers, dancers, clowns, musicians and even magicians – just an average day in NYC!
In summary, New York City has it all! From the most amazing views, great restaurants, plenty of events and things to do, broadway shows, museums, shopping, bars and nightclubs. I hope that this seasonal guide of the best time to visit New York was helpful to you. Come visit, and fall in love with NYC!
Here is a downloadable pocket guide to NYC in partnership with Expedia. You welcome!
Are you ready to visit New York for the first time? You should also check out this amazing guide on everything you need to know for your first visit to New York City!
Happy Thursday Everyone…Cheers from Fifth avenue! I love this rooftop. #2305th #travelgram #travel #newyork #nyc #ny #dreamsinheels #empirestate #cheers #salud #keyroyale #rooftop #fifthavenue #thirstday
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