NYC Guide

30 awesome things to do in New York City in the summer

In New York City, summer means endless possibilities and vibrant energy. I love to see how the city transforms when the weather is warm. The vibes are unique and this place looks more and more alive with a unique blend of cultural, recreational, and culinary experiences. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. In this blog post, we’ll explore a variety of exciting activities and hidden gems to make the most of your summer in the Big Apple. Hope these ideas can inspire you!

1. Spend a day in Coney Island

Coney Island is one of the reasons that makes New York City such a diverse city. I mean, you have the concrete jungle in Manhattan and after 45 minutes on the subway, you will arrive at this place, with a beach and an iconic amusement park. I particularly love Coney Island – I think because of the memory of the first time I was there, at the beginning of Spring in 2014. It was good to see the sea after a long winter. You can walk on the beach, have a hot dog at Nathan’s – or grab any other food around – explore the amusement park (or just exploring the place). The vibes are especially nice at the end of the day!

Check my post – Best things to do in Coney Island

2. Enjoy a day at the beach in Rockaway Beach

I think this is probably the most famous beach in the city – yeah, Coney Island is a beach too, but I think the vibes are different in Rockaway. Since it’s far – I mean, if you are in Manhattan, it’s far, lol – you can take advantage of the destination to spend a day. Highly recommend eating at Bungalow Bar and also have drinks at Rockaway Hotel. Pro-tip: if you are near one of the NYC Ferry stations, take advantage of that to go to Rockaway.

3. Have a picnic 

Few simple things in life are as great as sitting in a park to relax, read a book, and eat delicious snacks. New York is full of parks and Central Park is undoubtedly the most famous place – and also with a huge picnic area available (nothing beats the vibes at Sheep Meadows!). But if that’s too far for you, there are other parks like Washington Square Park, Bryant Park and Prospect Park.

4. Enjoy Tacos on a Boat 

La Barca Cantina is New York City’s first and only floating Mexican restaurant. The boat departs from Pier 81 and you can enjoy beautiful views of the city while you try some nachos, tacos, and cocktails! La Barca Cantina sails 4 days a week and offers a menu full of Mexican-inspired street food, tequila, mezcal, signature cocktails, and breathtaking views of the New York skyline. You need to buy a pass (U$10) to have access to the boat and it sails for 1 hour every 2 hours, starting at 2pm or 4pm, depending on the day.

Or you can take advantage of the bottomless Sunday brunch special. he cruise lasts 2h and you will enjoy beautiful views of New York City – including the Statue of Liberty – plus a Mexican and American Buffet (you don’t need to choose between French Toast and tacos, you can have both!). The ticket also includes unlimited mimosas and belinis – plus coffee, tea and soda. Book here!

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5. Go on a Sunset Sail 

Classic Harbor Line Cruises are among my favorites. This is the Sunset Sail and it’s such a great way to celebrate this beautiful city! Not so crowded, super charming boat – inspired by the pilot schooners of the 1890s. Ticket includes one complimentary beer, wine, Champagne or soft drink.

6. Ride a bike at Hudson River Park

Hudson River Park is especially beautiful and nice during the summer because it’s located by the water.  This park runs four miles along Manhattan’s west side, with a lot of recreational and educational activities. My advice is to rent a bike – especially when the weather is nice – and pedal along the park.

7. Enjoy free workout classes around the city

Did you know there’s a group fitness program called Shape Up NYC offering FREE classes for adults and seniors over all the five boroughs? Think about yoga, dance fitness, bodyweight circuit training, yoga, bootcamp, Zumba, and much more.

8. Have a drink at some rooftop

One of the things I love most about New York City in the summer is going to a rooftop bar, because they provide not only incredible and beautiful views but also a fun vibe!  There are many rooftops around the city – dozens of them – and you should take advantage of them during the summer!

9. Have a spa day

pool qc spa nyc governors island2

Sometimes all you need is just a escape – without necessarily driving, taking a train or flying to another place, lol. And yes, picnics at the park can be very relaxing – but don’t underestimate the power of a spa day – and I think QC Spa, in Governors Island, is the perfect spot for a spa day in the summer. They have beautiful views and outdoor pools.

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10. Rent a pool with your friends

Think about Swimply as an Airbnb for pools. People who have a pool at their homes offer the space for rent on this website. And yes, there are pools in NYC – not many, but there are a few. I think it’s great to rent in a larger group, so it’s not expensive. There are swimming pools with complete structure – including grills and chairs! Get $5 credit on your first booking!

11. Governors Island

Think about Governors Island as a city getaway without technically leaving the city. This is probably the only place in NYC where you can have a picnic looking at Lady Liberty. You can get there by ferry and then explore the place by foot or renting a bike. There are so many possibilities: arts, events, picnic, you name it. Make sure to explore this NYC oasis.

12. Get a day pass for a hotel pool

All you need is a Resort Pass – this is such a convenient and amazing solution to spend a day at the pool in NYC! The Resort Pass is, like the name suggests, a pass for those who want to spend a day in a nice pool. It is a convenient solution for you to have access to hotel pools without being a guest. There are passes starting at $45 and The William Vale and ARLO are just some of the hotels available! Click here and check it out.

13. Watch a movie under the stars

There are a lot of parks in the city offering free movie screenings – not only Bryant Park! So, if you wanna take advantage of that, make sure to check the schedule – and don’t forget to bring a blanket, some snacks, calling your friends and make it special!

14. Eat seafood in a restaurant at City Island

City Island is a small island neighborhood that is part of The Bronx borough. Visiting this place is to be transported to a small town with super beautiful landscapes and a great atmosphere – it’s known as the Cape Cod of New York City.  The island is super famous for its seafood restaurants and antique shops. My recommendation is to have lunch at one of the seafood restaurants – I like The Original Crab Shanty, with great portions and price. Don’t expect a fancy place or Insta-worthy experience – but the food is good and the price is even better.

15. Spend a day in Red Hook

Beautiful waterfront views, wine tasting, authentic BBQ from Texas, fresh seafood, an iconic key lime pie – you can experience all this in Red Hook! If you never heard about Red Hook, it is where Ikea is located – but the famous furniture shopping is not the only interesting place there. The quiet streets with cobblestones make you feel in a small country town. The area has restaurants and factories perfect for a tasting-day. Because of the lack of nearby subway stations, the most convenient and fast way to get to Red Hook is Water Taxi or NYC Ferry.

16. Go seeing a baseball game

The Yankee Stadium is such an iconic place in the city and the whole experience of being there is valid. Getting a drink and snack, feeling the energy… is amazing! Plus, is so easy to get there by subway!

17. Explore the real Little Italy

I know that most of people – including locals – only heard of Little Italy in Manhattan, the one near Chinatown. If you wanna know a truly Italian neighborhood – and taste the unique cuisine – you need to know the Little Italy of The Bronx. It’s specially nice to explore Arthur Avenue during a summer day. Take advantage of the restaurants – especially Arthur Avenue Market.

18. What about riding a jet ski?


“But I’ve never ridden a Jet Ski!”. I neither – most people who do the tour have also never ridden a Jet Ski. The experience is simply unforgettable. It does not compare to anything I’ve ever done here before- and I’ve seen NYC from different ferries and sailing boats – but nothing, absolutely nothing compares to seeing the city from a Jet Ski! I recommend Sea the City. Their staff is amazing.

19.Invite your friends to a Hot Tub cruise!

Sea the City, the same Jet Ski tours company, offers tours on a 40′ boat featuring two bubbling hot tubs. This is the first-of-its-kind hot tub boat in New York City – and, at this moment, Sea the City is the only company to offer it. The hot tub boat carries two, ten-person commercial-grade hot tubs and is bookable by the tub (up to 10 people) or by the boat (up to 20 people). The amenities include a large bathroom and a separate changing room. Also, Sea the City provides coolers, ice, and cups for beer and wine. In addition to the captain, there is the staff is on board to assist guests. Also, the boat has canvas covers to protect the tubs from heavy rain and also from the sun – providing a comfortable and enjoyable ride. The boat departs from the Marina going down the Hudson River providing views of the Manhattan skyline and heads towards, of course, the Statue of Liberty. The tubs are professionally maintained, with chlorinated spas.

  • Check my post for more info and pictures!
  • Click here to book!
  • PLUS: don’t forget to include PERUCHI TOWELS in the comments section when booking to get free towels – otherwise, you need to pay an extra fee for that. Also, by using the code the blog gets a commission and I will be super happy! 🙂

20. Taste delicious and unique street foods from Smorgasburg

One of the coolest outdoor things to do in New York is undoubtedly Smorgasburg. It is a unique opportunity for foodies, besides being a cool and local thing to do. Smorgasburg is seasonal: it starts at the beginning of April and runs until October, featuring 100 flame-grilling, live-torching, head-spinning, and lip-smacking entrepreneurs pursuing their dreams for crowds of 20,000 people in the most exciting food environment anywhere. Smorgasburg happens at WTC on Fridays, Williamsburg on Saturdays and Prospect Park on Sundays. More information!

21. Go to the beach without leaving Manhattan

Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

NYC has a lot of beaches – all of them located far away from Manhattan. But last year, Manhattan got its first public beach, a spot located in Hudson River Park, between Gansevoort Street and Little West 12th Street, near the Whitney Museum of American Art. It was built on solid ground (as opposed to a pier), and it features a southern edge that provides direct access to the Hudson River for non-motorized boats and stunning views of the River, and the lower Manhattan skyline. There is real sand and chairs to relax, and despite the beach vibes, swimming is not permitted.

22. Paddle the Bronx River

The Bronx River Alliance promotes paddle events to canoe and kayak along the Bronx River. Some of them are free!

23. Take the subway to Inwood to visit The Hudson


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You can take advantage of the good weather to explore  Fort Tryon Park in upper Manhattan, perhaps visiting The Cloisters and then grabbing a bite and a drink at The Hudson, a waterfront restaurant with views to the Hudson River and the George Washington Bridge.

24. Taste a beer at a brewery

New York City is home to many breweries and nothing like a summer day to enjoy a delicious beer! Here are some of my recommendations:

  • Focal Point Beer Co in Long Island City 
  • Fifth Hammer Brewing Company in Long Island City
  • Kings County Brewers Collective in Bushwick
  • Torch & Crown Brewing Union Square in Manhattan

25. Visit the MET Rooftop

In addition to the amazing collection of artworks, sculptures, and other artifacts, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has a seasonal rooftop – which is only open during the warm months. Every season, the rooftop features an exhibition. Besides that, the rooftop has a great open area with beautiful views of Central Park and also a bar serving drinks. A delight! Remember that the ticket to the Met is $25 – or free if you live in NY State. Check the website for updates.

26. Boat rental in Central Park

Another cool idea is to rent a boat in Central Park – it costs $ 15 an hour and each boat holds up to four people. But if you want to feel spoiled, how about experiencing the gondola? Yes, you can take a gondola ride in Central Park. Learn more.

27. Spend a day at the Seaport District

The Seaport District is a small area between Brooklyn Bridge and Wall Street, the gateway to Lower Manhattan’s rich maritime history. Entertainment, shopping, culture, and gastronomy are part of the local experience. Expect to find yourself in a super charming area, with cobblestones streets and beautiful views – it doesn’t even feel like you’re in Manhattan. I like to go there, especially in the summer, as the streets come to life – like everything in the city!

28. Feel the European vibes at Stone Street

I absolutely love Stone Street – it has a European vibe because of the cobblestones and the architecture of the buildings – it is full of bars and pubs, and during the summer, people often sit at the tables on the street for a drink or beer. Some say it was the first paved street in NYC—a charming place full of locals!

29. Book a dinner cruise

If you want to spoil yourself, this is a great idea! Bateaux is a complete experience: a three-hour boat ride + a freshly prepared dinner + live music. It is Manhattan’s only fully enclosed glass vessel. This is not merely aesthetic information – but a detail that makes your experience even more special, after all, the view from inside the boat becomes even wider and more magical, with a 360-degree view of the iconic city skyline. The boat leaves from Chelsea Piers (23th Street and 11th Ave) and has a sophisticated and elegant environment – so here’s the tip: dress up because you deserve it.

30. Leave the city!

Whether you have one day or a weekend, there are so many places to explore around the city! Montauk and Beacon, for example, are two places you get to by train – and if you decide to rent a car, the possibilities are endless.

Hope you like these tips!


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