Top 5 ways to enjoy New York City this summer

New York City is known for its great museums, shopping, Broadway plays and art galleries. But while these indoor options are great, especially for cold weather or rainy days, there are lots of things to do in the Big Apple that can get you outside to enjoy the fine summer weather while you take in all the magic of this amazing city. Here are our top five things to do outdoors in New York City.

Walk the High Line

A former elevated railroad track on which freight trains once rumbled into Manhattan, the High Line is now one of the most popular parks in New York City. It’s been converted into one long, fantastic landscaped walking path that runs for 1.45 miles (2.33 km) from the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street. Along your stroll, you’ll find lots of greenery and plants, public art installations, and benches and picnic tables where you can take a breather to process the wonderful views of the surrounding cityscape, including the Hudson River and the Manhattan skyline.

See the Statue of Liberty – for free!

The Statue of Liberty has been a towering icon for generations of immigrants to America and visitors to New York City. It’s a must-see attraction, and it’s well worth it if you want to get up into the statue itself and see the view from her crown or torch, but the trip out to Liberty Island will cost you at least $18.

There’s an easy way to “liberate” you from that cost (see what we did there?). Just take the free ride on the Staten Island Ferry, which will take you directly past Lady Liberty along the way. The ferry departs roughly every 30 minutes from Battery Park at the foot of Manhattan Island. Don’t let the waiting crowd bother you; there’s lots of room on board for everyone. You’ll get the best views from the right-hand side of the boat, and then wander to the rear of the ferry to catch the amazing sight of the Manhattan skyline.

Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge

A visit to Brooklyn is essential if you’re spending any time in New York. In the span of less than a generation, this once modest borough across the East River has become an international hub of creativity and global popular culture. And the best way to get there is to walk across the famous 1.3-mile (2.1 km) span that connects it to Manhattan: The Brooklyn Bridge.

When it opened in 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge was the world’s first steel suspension bridge, and it quickly became an incredible example of groundbreaking design and an iconic symbol of the city’s vitality and growing stature. Its Gothic towers were once the tallest structures in the Western Hemisphere.

Pick a nice, warm summer day and take the 40-minute stroll to Brooklyn across this amazing structure’s promenade, elevated above the roadway, offering exhilarating views of lower Manhattan, the activity on the East River and the ever-developing waterfront of Brooklyn. Be sure to stay on the side of the promenade dedicated for pedestrians, not in the bike lane. And when you arrive on the Brooklyn side, celebrate with a visit to Grimaldi’s brick oven pizzeria.

Enjoy the parks

 Like every great city, the green spaces in New York offer a wonderful way to spend a beautiful day outside. Central Park is, of course, the city’s most famous park, and for good reason. Amid its 843 acres of walking paths and greenery, there’s so much to see and do. You can rent a rowboat and enjoy a leisurely cruise around the Lake. If you have kids, a visit to the Central Park Zoo is a must. Or you can grab some street food – pretzel, hot dog, pizza, knish – and settle in on a park bench to enjoy some of the finest people-watching anywhere.

But Central Park isn’t the only greenery game in town. There are so many wonderful parks in New York City, and they make great spots for having a picnic. Pack your picnic basket and a blanket and enjoy an alfresco feast under the bridge at Astoria Park, on one of the man-made hills on Governors Island, on the luscious lawn at Bryant Park or by the shoreline at Clove Lakes Park.

Take a romantic trip to Coney Island

Although there’s been an upturn in Coney Island’s economic fortunes in recent years, with new bars and restaurants popping up and an overhauled amusement park in the offing, the real appeal of this once-glorious seaside resort is in experiencing the enduring weirdness of its carnival-esque past. What could be better than a stroll down the marvellous boardwalk on a gorgeous, sunny day, lined with concession stands that have been enjoyed for generations. Take in the circus sideshow or enjoy the happy lunacy of the annual Mermaid Parade (happening this summer on Saturday, June 17) and don’t forget to see the New York Aquarium, Luna Park (home of The Cyclone roller coaster) and Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park. And you can’t leave Coney Island without having a hot dog from Nathan’s Famous and a slice from Totonno’s Pizzeria Napolitana.

There are fireworks every Friday night from the last weekend in June to just before Labour Day. It’s located in the southernmost part of Brooklyn. By subway, the trip takes about 45–60 minutes from midtown Manhattan. Take the D, Q, N or F train to Stillwell Avenue. For more info about what to do in Coney Island, go here:

What about you? How did you enjoy the outdoor magic of New York City? Let us know in the comments below.

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