Summer may be coming to a close but the heat is still on. The novelty of baking in the sun has worn off, and relaxing in the chill of air conditioning is more appealing than ever. If you’re coming to New York City in the dog days of summer, there are plenty of cool ways to beat the 90-degree temperatures. Here are seven of our top picks.
Culture can be cool
Steamy city afternoons are a great time to catch up on culture. Head to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and catch the final days of The Costume Institute’s Manus x Machina exhibit (ends September 5), which explores whether machine-made garments can compete with handmade couture. (Spoiler alert: It totally can!)
Once you’ve worked up an appetite, head to Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s The Mark, which serves a superb late-lunch menu. Try the famous Croque M, which features Flying Pigs Farm ham and Comté and Gruyère cheeses. Or, if you’re hoping for something a little more casual, The Mark currently has a gourmet hot dog cart offering organic sandwiches and snacks.
Experience Central Park… from a comfortable distance
Head to Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Trump International Hotel & Tower New York, where you can indulge in glamping without having to leave the cool comfort of your Midtown accommodations. Families in one-bedroom or two-bedroom suites can enjoy an experience complete with sweeping views of Central Park. Guests will enjoy the great indoors in style with a luxurious tent, sleeping bags, lantern, nature sounds and even a s’mores kit!
Chill with a view
There is no better way to cool off in Manhattan than dipping your toes in one of its elusive outdoor rooftop pools. The Gansevoort Hotel Group is currently making a splash with a particularly indulgent package at both locations, Gansevoort Park Avenue and the Forbes Travel Guide Recommended Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC. Sign up for the “OOO” (Out Of Office) experience, which boasts access to the pool (from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.), a posh pool bed, towel service, fresh fruit and a $75 food and beverage credit. The promotion also includes a 25 percent discount at the spa, because sun and fun can be exhausting.
Or visit the recently opened pool at Hotel Indigo Lower East Side, which offers sweeping views of New York’s skyline. Purchase a day pass to score access to the roof deck at too-cool-for-school hot spot, Mr. Purple. Mr. Purple (rather than the hotel) takes care of pool passes. For $50 a person, you’ll get pool access from noon to 7 p.m., available only Monday to Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, you’ll get pool entry and a table for six at Mr. Purple for $125 per person.
Eat your heart out — indoors
Wander the Flatiron Eataly’s renowned food halls, pick up snacks and sweets and have your own picnic out of the sun and in the comfort of chilled surroundings. Peruse Eataly’s upscale restaurants and gourmet goodie vendors. Two of our favorite stops are La Pizza and vegetarian mecca, Le Verdure.
And following in the footsteps of Eataly, Le District is a 30,000-square-foot complex of fabulous French cuisine housed in Brookfield Place (the former World Financial Center). Everything is to die for, including the éclairs, macarons and choupettes. If it isn’t too toasty outside, enjoy your picnic alfresco from the breezy, outdoor space overlooking the Hudson.
Shopping is a breeze
New York has some of the best shopping in the world, and lucky for those of us seeking refuge from the sun, much of it is highly air-conditioned. For a “Quin”-tessential shopping excursion, book Four-Star The Quin’s Spot of Spree Bergdorf Shopping Experience. The package includes daily breakfast for two at the Wayfarer restaurant, a $200 gift card to Bergdorf Goodman and tea for two at BG Restaurant.
If you enjoy the cool surroundings of an indoor mall, The Shops at Columbus Circle is offering an amazing free concert series, Sessions at the Circle (Tuesdays 6–8 p.m. through August 30), that spotlights New York City’s most dynamic young jazz artists. Performances take place on the second-level concourse and showcase sounds that range from big band to smoky renditions of The Great American Songbook. Select retailers will offer in-store discounts and light bites during and after each show.
And while you’re living the glamorous life, walk a few blocks over and transport yourself to Santorini. Get a taste of the Greek Islands at Loi Esiatorio, named after the restaurant’s celebrity chef. Enjoy panoramic artwork of Greece while unwinding and sampling from a superb menu of Mediterranean classics.
Bring the best to the plate
If the mere thought of taking yourself out to the ballgame has you sweltering, consider watching Gary Sanchez and the rest of the Bronx Bombers at New York Yankees Steakhouse. After all, nothing is more New York than the Yankees and a New York strip. Dine amid impressive memorabilia (championship rings, trophies, autographed bats) adorning the West 51st Street restaurant while noshing on prime USDA cuts, fresh seafood and homemade desserts. Come in to catch a game or visit on a trivia night when many current and retired players are known to drop by.
Bid bikini season farewell
Cool down at one of the city’s most renowned landmarks, 21 Club. This former speakeasy is the perfect place to seek refuge from the sun’s rays. Kick your meal off with a martini like those dapper diners who came before you (everyone from former American presidents to George Clooney). And because summer’s almost over, we give you permission to indulge in the extravagant. Through October 14, chef Delpique will preview his New York City Wine & Food Festival Burger Bash entry, “The Foie,” a decadent creation of foie gras, duck and cured pork pâté, swiss cheese, onion marmalade and tarragon mustard aioli atop a beef burger. And we would be remiss not to recommend you try the famous baked Alaska, too.