Summer just might be one of the best times to visit New York City. Since many locals migrate to the Hamptons when the steamy weather sets in, you can have the Big Apple almost all to yourself.
Take advantage of a crowd-free New York this summer with these fabulous nearby finds.
For Midtown convenience and dazzling elegance, enjoy a stay at Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Baccarat Hotel New York. It’s opulence all the way here — accommodations are all appointed with the finest linens, marble, high-tech room controls and, of course, Baccarat crystal stemware and accents.
The hotel features a fabulous indoor pool (complete with daybeds and cabanas inspired by the Côte d’Azur) as well as the ultra-luxe Spa de La Mer. From silk walls to gleaming crystal chandeliers, the glitz is sure to impress. We highly recommend enjoying the hotel’s French-inspired afternoon tea, which features amazing specialty blends brewed by a tea sommelier and comes with chef-selected snacks.
If you’re in search of Brooklyn charm, head to The William Vale, an independent boutique hotel nestled in the heart of Williamsburg. Its major selling point for summer is its glorious, 60-foot pool boasting spectacular views of Manhattan’s skyline. Two alfresco bars provide poolside sips and light snacks curated by chef Andrew Carmellini (who’s behind favorites like Locanda Verde). Locals can purchase à la carte day passes (Monday-Thursday) or membership packages to enjoy pool privileges all season long.
To experience a cool downtown vibe, book a stay at Forbes Travel Guide Recommended Conrad New York. Take to the seas with the luxurious Lower Manhattan hotel’s Sip and Sail package, which features a one-night stay in a river-view suite, a two-hour sailing cruise around Manhattan’s harbor and a memorable champagne brunch for two.
If you must squeeze in a taste of the Hamptons, book the Loews Regency New York Hotel’s Martinis & Montauk package to enjoy the best of both worlds. This deluxe getaway includes a two-night stay at the Four-Star Midtown property — complete with two Brooklyn Gin Martinis in the famous Regency Bar & Grill — and two evenings at the Montauk Yacht Club Resort & Marina. Round-trip transfers between hotels on the Hampton Jitney bus service are also a part of the promotion.
Participate in an active summer lifestyle without leaving the city at Chelsea Piers, a massive waterfront recreational facility where you can practice your golf swing and take in stunning views of the Hudson. You can also rock climb, bowl or try the batting cages here.
After an active day, embark on a Classic Harbor Line cruise for the ultimate in seaborne sightseeing. Foodies should book the Morimoto Sushi and Sake Sunset Sail to sample the Iron Chef’s sushi paired with four sake flights during a two-hour tour of New York Harbor. For something a bit more eccentric, consider a Burlesque Sail on a Civil War-era schooner. Manhattan by Sail takes you on a tantalizing tour of the Hudson Bay as a variety floorshow unfolds on deck and your inhibitions are left back on land.
For those days where it is just too hot to be outside, head to the Metropolitan Museum of Art‘s Fifth Avenue or Cloisters locations to view the Costume Institute’s latest exhibition, “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination,” on display through October 8.
Fashionistas can also check out “Pink: The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color” until January 5 at The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York.
Another tried-and-true option for beating the heat is taking in a Broadway show. And with the popular Harry Potter and the Cursed Child or Angels in America (this reboot starring Andrew Garfield is a limited engagement through July 15), you have two cool options from which to choose.
Between the shows, avoid the throng of tourists and head to Hakkasan New York, located just few blocks from Harry Potter’s Lyric Theatre. This Cantonese hot spot opens at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday to accommodate theater-goers and provides a great place to fill up while avoiding the Times Square frenzy.
No matter how you spend your days, relish those perfect New York nights with a picnic and a movie under the stars. Bryant Park Movie Nights offers free alfresco films every Monday at sundown from June 18 to August 20. Look out for classics like The Breakfast Club, The Princess Bride and When Harry Met Sally this season.
Governors Island also will host a New York-themed cinematic series on Friday nights this summer, and Hudson River Park’s Pier 46 offers Family Fridays, featuring hits like Moana and Karate Kid.
Dine and Drink
After a trip to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), take a break in the sunlit dining room of the acclaimed restaurant next door, The Modern. This Four-Star spot is celebrating summer the way a French-fusion eatery should — with champagne and ice cream sandwiches.
Chef Abram Bissell and pastry chef Jiho Kim have created an updated take on the traditional frozen treat with a chocolate-cookie-and-milk-inspired ice cream, and a vanilla macaron and strawberry sorbet — both pair well with a glass of bubbly.
For a more savory bite, start off with the carrot rillettes or caviar “soldiers.” Enjoy it all on the Terrace, which overlooks MoMA’s renowned sculpture garden.
When the sun goes down, get the party started at Nashville’s iconic Opry City Stage Restaurant and Bar. Don’t let the Times Square location fool you; the New York City satellite of the storied theater serves up solid Southern fare alongside live country music. It’s actually the only place in the world where you can watch a live stream of concerts from the Nashville location.
True enthusiasts of the genre should get tickets to The Bluebird Café Songwriter Series, which showcases some of country music’s most unheralded talents performing songs they’ve penned for the likes of Tim McGraw and Garth Brooks for an intimate audience.
Make good use of summer’s sparser crowds and sneak into some of the city’s trendy speakeasies, usually packed with cocktail enthusiasts. For tasty tipples and hearty fare, head for the historic 2nd Avenue Deli’s Upper East Side location, where an aptly named bar, 2nd Floor, provides a private spot to unwind. The comforting space has a vintage feel, playful drinks (like the Man-O-Manischewitz, made with gin, mulled Manischewitz, lemon and cinnamon) and solid deli food done with a modern twist (we love the duck confit blintzes and the brisket beef jerky).
Or try the UES’ speakeasy Storage, which is hidden behind the ice cream shop. If you get the code, you’ll find a dimly lit speakeasy behind a false wall. Choose from an enormous menu of expertly crafted (if a bit over-the-top) cocktails — some even feature scoops from the shop in front.
Does anything beat booze and ice cream in summer?