Despite the minor unpleasantries of a New York City summer (yes, we’re talking about the garbage smell), we wait all year to enjoy the longer days, warm nights and beautiful weather. If you’ll be visiting the city this season, come prepared for humid days that make the temperatures seem higher than they really are. But fear not, because there are plenty of ways to beat (and embrace) the heat.
Make sure you have a good New York luxury car rental, because sometimes you’ll need to escape the city to truly appreciate summertime in New York. Besides, with dozens of amazing attractions located just a few hours (or less) away, you’ll want to take advantage of all the state has to offer. If you’re traveling with a group or you’d like to explore some of New York’s tougher terrain, consider an SUV rental New York. Otherwise, anything you feel like driving will suffice.
Once you’ve arrived, here are 10 fun ways to enjoy the summer in New York:
Enjoy a meal and a beverage on a rooftop.
Summer is outdoor dining season in New York, and we’ve got some wonderful options. STK Downtown & Rooftop, Gallow Green and Juliette are all great places to go for a cocktail and some food. The Top of the Standard offers unforgettable view. And for a delicious Mexican meal, head to the Cantina Rooftop on West 48th Street.
Go on a river cruise.
Care for a dinner cruise? A boat ride around Hudson Bay? You’ll find it all in New York, especially in Manhattan. Cruise around and see the city skyline from a different perspective.
Drive up to Niagara Falls and join the tourists.
Pick a weekday, and get there early—very early—if you want to take the Maid of the Mist tour. Niagara Falls is typically packed with tourists, and it’s a long way from New York City. But if you’ve never seen it, it’s definitely worth the trip.
Cool off at a museum.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The MOMA. The Museum of the City of New York. Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum. Whatever kind of art you’re in the mood for, New York will have it… and it will probably be air conditioned.
Get out of the city and find a swimming hole.
Outside of Manhattan, New York has some incredible natural beauty, including plenty of lakes and swimming holes. Take a less crowded dip in the water and enjoy a day escape.
Go whitewater rafting.
Feeling a little adventurous? Drive to the Adirondacks, which are located about 270 miles north of Manhattan. The Hudson River, which winds over 300 miles from metro New York City to Mount Marcy’s Lake Tear of the Clouds, was deemed one of the top 10 whitewater rafting trips in the United States. Since it’s such a long drive from the city, this is something you’ll want to allow a couple of days for—but if you’re up for the adrenaline rush, it will be an unforgettable experience.
Hit the beach (an underrated one).
Everyone knows about Coney Island and the Hamptons. And those spots are amazing. But for a more relaxed day, head to one of New York’s more out-of-the-way beaches. Wildwood State Park will give you stunning views of the Long Island Sound while surrounding you with white, sandy beaches and beautiful bluffs. And Jones Beach, which is close to the city, is known for its outdoor theater—but you’ll also find miles of beautiful shoreline to explore.
Find some of the city’s best ice cream.
It doesn’t matter how old you are. Nothing cools you off on a hot summer day quite like an ice cream cone. Try the gourmet Sundaes and Cones on East 10th Street in Manhattan, the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop (yes, really!) for some quirky combinations, or Eddie’s Sweet Shop for a classic, retro experience.
Go for a scenic drive.
Climb into your car rental New York, crank up the AC, find your favorite tunes and go for a drive. There are a number of scenic byways in New York, and some of them are fairly close to the city. The Kittatinny Ridge Loop, for example, will run you along the Delaware River and around the flat-topped Kittatinny Ridge, a haven for wildlife watching and exploring charming historic towns. The whole loop takes about two and a half hours without stops, so you could do it all in a day and make it back to Manhattan before bed.
Spend the day at Central Park.
Central Park is a place that both tourists and locals love. Even when it’s hot and muggy, there’s something fun for everyone to do. You can enjoy a picnic with your favorite cool treats, rent a rowboat at the Loeb Boathouse, explore the Central Park Zoo or enjoy a meal at Caffe Storico (or Tavern on the Green if you’re feeling fancy).