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Updated: March 25, 2023
What is the best time to visit New York City?
The best time to visit New York City depends on your preferences for weather, events, and activities. Generally, the most popular times to visit are spring (April to June) and fall (September to November) when the weather is mild, and there are many cultural events and outdoor activities to enjoy.
Spring offers pleasant temperatures, ranging from the 50s to 70s Fahrenheit (10 to 21 Celsius), and the city comes alive with blossoming trees and flowers. Events like the Tribeca Film Festival and the Cherry Blossom Festival at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden take place during this time.
Fall is another great time to visit, with comfortable temperatures ranging from the 50s to 70s Fahrenheit (10 to 21 Celsius). The changing colors of the leaves in Central Park and the excitement of events like the New York Film Festival and the New York City Marathon make this season particularly appealing.
Winter (December to February) can be cold and snowy, but it’s also a magical time to visit, with holiday decorations, ice skating rinks, and the famous New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square. Keep in mind that hotel prices can be higher during the holiday season.
Summer (June to August) in New York City can be hot and humid, with temperatures ranging from the 70s to 90s Fahrenheit (21 to 32 Celsius). However, it’s also a time for many outdoor events and activities like outdoor concerts, Shakespeare in the Park, and various food festivals. Expect more crowds at popular attractions during this time.
Weather: Spring (April to June) and fall (September to November) are the best times for mild weather, with temperatures ranging from the 50s to 70s Fahrenheit (10 to 21 Celsius). These seasons offer comfortable conditions for sightseeing and outdoor activities.
Sightseeing: Spring and fall are ideal for sightseeing, as the weather is pleasant and many of the city’s landmarks and attractions, such as Central Park, the High Line, and the Statue of Liberty, can be enjoyed in a comfortable climate. Summer (June to August) can be hot and humid, but offers longer days and more daylight for sightseeing.
Museums: New York City’s museums can be visited year-round, but winter (December to February) is a good time to explore them as the cold weather makes indoor activities more appealing. Additionally, winter months tend to be less crowded in museums compared to peak tourist seasons.
Shopping: New York City is a shopping paradise throughout the year. However, holiday shopping in November and December offers a festive atmosphere with holiday decorations and window displays. Post-holiday sales in January can also provide great deals.
Christmas: New York City is magical during the holiday season, which runs from late November through December. The city is adorned with holiday decorations, and you can enjoy iconic events such as the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting, ice skating in Central Park or Bryant Park, and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.
Avoiding Crowds: To avoid crowds, consider visiting New York City during the shoulder seasons (April to early June and September to November) when the weather is still pleasant but tourist numbers are lower. Winter can also be less crowded, but the holiday season (late November to December) typically sees an influx of tourists.
New York Travel Seasons
- High Season (June-August & November-December): Vacationing families and European travelers on extended holiday make the summer months one of the most popular times to visit New York. Many locals leave the city during this time, however, which means that it can feel less crowded even while tourism is high. The Thanksgiving-New Year holiday season is a huge draw for tourists, festivity is high and the city is at its most packed. During both of these busy tourism periods, expect airfare and hotel rates to be at their peak and availability to be low. Book well in advance. See Also: Where to Stay in NYC
- Shoulder Season (March-May & September-October): Though tourism isn’t quite peaking during these months, they are still incredibly popular times to visit New York. Mild weather makes the spring and fall seasons ideal for exploring the city on foot, whether to a backdrop of blooms and open-air markets in the springtime, or the changing colors of Central Park trees in the fall. High prices and low availability for both flights and hotels is to be expected.
- Low Season (January-Early March): New York City is at its quietest during these cold mid-winter months, when snow is common and temperatures hover between 1 and 4°C. Hotel occupancy rates dip below 90%, and restaurant reservations and theater tickets are easier to come by. The drop in temperature means a drop in both airfare and hotel rates, which makes this a great time to visit the city if you’re looking for a bargain and are not bothered by a little cold.
New York City Weather by Month
New York Temperature by Month (high in Celsius)
New York Rain by Month (mm)
- New York City Weather in January: January is New York’s coldest month. Temperatures range from -12°to 4°C, generally hovering around 3°C. Snow is likely around this time, quickly becoming slush on sidewalks and street corners – warm clothes and waterproof boots are a must. (Average Max Temperature: 3.1°C. Average Precipitation: 81mm.)
- New York City Weather in February: February remains cold, with the average daytime high creeping up to 4.2°C. Snow still common, and the days remain short: New York City sunset is around 5:30 in February. (Average Max Temperature: 4.2°C. Average Precipitation: 77mm.)
- New York City Weather in March: March is a bit of a mixed bag in New York City, feeling sometimes like winter and at other times spring-like. Cold and snow are still common, though less likely toward the end of March. You’ll want to pack warm clothes, but may be surprised by not needing them. (Average Max Temperature: 8.9°C. Average Precipitation: 91mm.)
- New York City Weather in April: Snow in April is rare in New York City, though still possible – especially around the beginning of the month. Any snow the city gets won’t last long, however. Average temperatures range from 7 to 18°C, spring rain showers are common, and flowers are up and blooming by the end of the month. (Average Max temperature: 14.6°C. Average Precipitation: 99mm.)
- New York City Weather in May: May is one of New York City’s loveliest months. The temperature ranges from 10-26°C, so it’s usually warm but not hot, and without the humidity that you’ll find during the summer months. Flowers are blooming, trees are leafing out, and it’s a wonderful time of year to explore the city’s many parks. (Average Max Temperature: 19.8°C. Average Precipitation: 96mm.)
- New York City Weather in June: June days grow warmer as summer approaches, though it’s usually not too hot or humid to comfortably enjoy being outdoors. Shorts and sandal season is in full swing, and the month’s long days (the sun sets around 8:30pm) are perfect for catching an outdoor concert or ballgame at Yankee Stadium – barring the occasional rainstorm. (Average Max Temperature: 25°C. Average Precipitation: 92mm.)
- New York City Weather in July: The hottest month of the year, expect temperatures to range from 21-35°C, with an average high of 28.2°C. The humidity is on the rise as well, especially as August nears, though ample shade from trees and tall buildings means it’s usually not so uncomfortable that you can’t enjoy a walk in the park or lunch or dinner in a sidewalk café. Expect quieter streets as locals have head for the cooler coast. (Average Max Temperature: 28.2°C. Average Precipitation: 97mm.)
- New York City Weather in August: Though July is NYC’s hottest month by temperature, August is the most humid. It is truly sticky in the city this month, with the climbing daytime humidity often bringing late afternoon and early evening thunderstorms – but don’t worry, they blow over quickly. Temperatures can be a full 10° hotter in the subways, so it’s a good idea to consider a taxi as you make your way from one air-conditioned attraction to the next. (Average Max Temperature: 27.7°C. Average Precipitation: 87mm.)
- New York City Weather in September: September is a flux month in New York, and the weather varies wildly as the city transitions from summer heat and humidity into crisp autumn. Temperatures range from 21-27°C until mid-month, with cooler air settling in as October approaches. Because summer’s humidity has gone, even September’s warmest days are perfect for outdoor activities and seeing the city on foot. (Average Max Temperature: 23.9°C. Average Precipitation: 84mm.)
- New York City Weather in October: Traditionally New York’s driest month of the year, October boasts mild to chilly temperatures and crisp autumn air. Temps range from 10-20°C, so it’s a good idea to pack a light jacket – though you might not need it. The changing fall leaves and comfortable temperature range lead many folks to consider this a perfect time to see New York. (Average Max Temperature 18.2°C. Average Precipitation: 73mm.)
- New York City Weather in November: Days are getting shorter, chillier, and rainier. A jacket is essential, and a hat and gloves are a good idea. It’s not unusual to see snow flurries by the end of the month, though accumulation is unlikely at this point. (Average Max Temperature: 12.1°C. Average Precipitation: 92mm.)
- New York City Weather in December: Winter arrives in New York, with cold temperatures, snow, and holiday crowds. Wind and temperatures can be bitingly cold. Days are short – expect the sun to set around 4:30pm mid-month – giving visitors ample time to view the city’s twinkling seasonal lights. (Average Max Temperature: 5.9°C. Average Precipitation: 87mm.)
New York City Events and Festivals
January in New York
- Winter Jazzfest NYC — Over 100 acts at 11 venues in and around Greenwich Village.
- Broadway Week — 2-for-1 tickets for over 20 of Broadway’s most popular shows.
- NYC Restaurant Week — Three-course dining deals for lunch and dinner at over 300 of the city’s best eateries.
February in New York
- Lunar New Year Festival/Parade and Firecracker Ceremony/Cultural Festival — Annual two-part Chinatown celebration of the Lunar New Year, featuring a street fair, fireworks, and a parade through the main streets of Chinatown and Little Italy.
- Westminster Kennel Club Show — The grand-daddy of dog shows, an all-breed competition held over two days at The Piers 92/94 and Madison Square Garden.
- New York Fashion Week — The fashion industry converges on Lincoln Center, where the best designers in the world show off their fall collections in a week of invitation-only exhibitions and parties.
March in New York
- St. Patrick’s Day Parade — Bands, bagpipers, and politicians march up Fifth Avenue past Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in this 250-year-old annual celebration of Irish heritage.
April in New York
- Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival — An unorganized Easter Sunday celebration of fancy hats and outlandish accessories. Fashionable and festive folk stroll Fifth Avenue from 49th to 57th, and the rest of us experience some great people-watching.
- Tribeca Film Festival — Celebration and judged competition of independent film, including panel discussions, a family festival street fair, and thousands of independent, documentary, and foreign film screenings across lower Manhattan.
May in New York
- Ninth Avenue International Food Festival — Ethnic cuisine, international music and dance, and more than a million hungry festival goers in Hell’s Kitchen between 42nd and 57th Streets.
- Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit — Hundreds of local and international artists and artisans hawk their wares at this massive sidewalk art fair over Memorial Day weekend.
- Fleet Week — The Hudson River Parade of Ships kicks off a week of musical performances, military demonstrations, and Memorial Day observances that celebrate the U.S. Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard.
June in New York
- Belmont Stakes — Annual thoroughbred horse race that is the third and final leg of the Triple Crown. Held in Belmont Park, about 14 miles east of Manhattan.
- Pride Festival and March — GLBT pride celebration and civil rights rally with floats, bands, dancing and celebratory parade from Fifth Avenue and 36th Street to the West Village. Ends in the ultimate bash on Hudson Street, from 14th Street to Abingdon Square.
- Shakespeare in the Park (June/July) — Tickets are free (2 per person), but you’ll have to line up at the box office before noon to score seats to these extremely popular Public Theater shows at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park.
July in New York
- Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks — This spectacular display over the East River near the Brooklyn Bridge draws crowds of thousands each year, and is viewable from many locations in Manhattan, as well as Brooklyn and Queens.
- Bastille Day on 60th Street — Annual celebration of French food, culture, and entertainment, held the Sunday before July 14th. On 60th Street, between Lexington and 15th Avenues, on the Upper East Side.
- NYC Restaurant Week — Three-course dining deals for lunch ($25) and dinner ($38) at over 300 of the city’s best eateries.
- Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival (July/August) — Three weeks of world-class music and dance performances, free and under the stars, in the plazas of Lincoln Center.
August in New York
- New York International Fringe Festival — 16-day long fringe theater and multi-arts festival: 1300 performances by over 200 multi-multinational companies at over 20 stages around Midtown Manhattan.
September in New York
- U.S. Open — American tennis pros compete in this two-week-long championship tournament held in Flushing Meadows, Queens.
- Electric Zoo Festival — Electronic Dance Music festival held over Labor Day weekend, featuring top international DJs and live acts from around the world. Takes place on Randall’s Island.
- Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit — Hundreds of local and international artists and artisans hawk their wares at this massive sidewalk art fair over Labor Day weekend.
- Broadway Week — 2-for-1 tickets for over 20 of Broadway’s most popular shows.
- New York Fall Fashion Week — The fashion industry converges on Lincoln Center, where the best designers in the world show off their spring collections in a week of invitation-only exhibitions and parties.
- New York Film Festival (September/October) — The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s annual fall celebration of cinema, showing critically acclaimed international works and Hollywood premiers at various Lincoln Center event halls.
October in New York
- Columbus Day Parade — New York’s yearly celebration of Italian-American heritage, with floats and bands traversing Fifth Avenue from 47th to 72nd Streets. Held the second Monday in October.
- Open House New York — A weekend-long architecture and design event, in which over 300 usually off-limit historic buildings and architecturally important sites are opened to the public for touring. Generally free, with some sites requiring advanced registration and a cover charge. Takes place across all five boroughs.
- Village Halloween Parade — Halloween night festival and parade, featuring floats, circus performers, musical acts, fantastic giant-sized puppets, and over two million annual spectators. Runs along 6th Avenue, from Spring to 16th streets in Greenwich Village.
November in New York
- New York City Marathon — The world’s largest and most popular marathon event. Over 50,000 runners from around the world wind their way through all five New York boroughs on the first Sunday in November.
- Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade — Over 3 million spectators line the streets as hundreds of floats, marching bands, dancers, celebrity performers, giant balloons, and of course Santa Claus usher in the holiday season along Central Park West and through the heart of Midtown Manhattan.
- Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Ceremony — After a celebrity-studded holiday show and in front of thousands of spectators, Rockefeller Plaza’s iconic Christmas tree is set aglow. Held the Wednesday after Thanksgiving.
December in New York
- Ice Skating Rinks — The Rink at Rockefeller Center is the most iconic and has the longest lines. Wollman Rink in Central Park is the largest and has the best view. The rink at Bryant Park is free (with skate rental fee) and adjacent to the park’s festive holiday market.
- Holiday Window Displays — Department stores on and around Fifth Avenue get decked out for the holidays starting in mid-November, and stay dressed up through the New Year. Best seen after sundown for maximum festive effect.
- The Nutcracker — So many to choose from. Take your pick between the classic George Balanchine show put on by the New York City Ballet, Alexei Ratmansky’s contemporary American Ballet Theatre interpretation, or any of the other dozens of traditional and themed versions performed annually around the city.
- Radio City Christmas Spectacular — The Radio City Rockettes star in this ultimate and iconic holiday extravaganza, a New York City tradition since 1933. Shows from mid-November through New Year’s at Rockefeller Center’s Radio City Music Hall.
- New Year’s Eve at Times Square — Two performance stages and hourly fireworks displays entertain the reveling masses from 6pm until the famous ball drops at midnight. On Broadway, between 40th and 53rd Streets.
- New Year’s Eve Fireworks — Ooh and aah at the big display in Central Park (set off near Bethesda Fountain), or head east to Brooklyn’s Prospect Park to hang with the mellower crowd. Both spots have live music starting at 10pm, with fireworks welcoming the New Year at midnight.
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I am taking my daughter to NYC when she turns 13 years old and we don’t know whether we should go in April or May. Which in general is better? I have looked at so many travel websites but none of them tell me which of the 2 is better. Can you tell me?
I’d go in May. Much better chance for good weather.
I’m planning a trip to New York this September but I read many hurricanes and heavy storms affect New York this time of the year. Is it dangerous to go to New York this month? Thank you.
Hurricanes rarely hit New York City. There are no guarantees but you’ll be fine. Go have fun.
Hello, my mother sister and I are planning to go to New-York mid January (22 January), however we’d like to be more informed concerning prices and money during this time of the year and approximatively the amount we need for 3 persons for 8 days in New York? Also, is it really really cold? Is it possible to walk or it’s so freezing we can’t even go out? Also, if you happen to know any hot deals or malls that do discount shopping, that would be great.
New York City weather is always unpredictable and temperatures and conditions can fall across a wide range. In January you could get clear, pleasant weather, you could get cold bone-chilling weather, you could get a huge dump of snow. The best advice is to be prepared for anything and definitely have a winter jacket, gloves, hats, and warm footwear. As for costs, that obviously depends on how and where you spend your money. Can you survive on $30/day? Sure. Can you spend $500/day without really feeling like you’re splurging? Yes. And that’s just for food. Throw in transportation and shopping and it’s anyones guess. And sorry, I don’t know the malls in NYC.
We are planning a wedding on August 10 in New York city. Does it get super hot around this time? Humid? Too many tourists?
NYC can get insanely hot and humid in August. Almost as intense as I’ve experienced in Tokyo or Bangkok. And lots of tourists too. Be prepared.
My wife and I are thinking about visiting NYC over Memorial Day weekend. Does it get pretty busy with Fleet Week and the holiday events or would this be a good time to visit?
Many locals head out of town over Memorial Weekend so it can actually be a little quieter than usual, if anything. It’s a great time to visit if you like military ships and fighter jet flyovers.
Hello, we are planning to visit New York during Autumn season, hopefully, we can catch some fall foliage when is the best time to come?
New York City has a later peak for fall foliage than the rest of New York State due to being closer to the coast and the urban heat effect. It can change every year but on average the best time to visit for fall colors is early November to about November 20th. Two variables to consider: the cooler it is the earlier the fall colors come, the drier it is the richer the colors.
We are two gals wanting to visit NYC. Interests are seeing the play “War Paint” and going to Museum Mile/Neue Galerie. When is the best time to visit in August? We are wanting to avoid the high tourist season. What hotels would you recommend that are near these events? What restaurants would you recommend?
Your best bet is late in August, when the weather often cools down a bit and there are fewer tourists. The week before Labor Day is usually a good time since many families are back home getting ready for the start of school. As to where to stay, you don’t mention your budget but if you plan to spend a lot of time going to museums, you might consider The Wales, a boutique hotel on Madison Avenue between 91st and 92nd streets on the Upper East Side, within walking distance of the major museums, including the Neue Galierie. Check out their Museum Mile package. The new Second Avenue subway at 96th Street will take you directly to Times Square and the theater district. Another possibility is to stay on the Upper West Side, where a quick bus ride across the park brings you to the museums and you also have easy subway connections to Broadway. The Excelsior Hotel on West 81st Street or the Beacon on Broadway at 75th Street are good options. Restaurant choices abound near all these hotels. Look at theatermania.com or Broadwaybox.com for discounts on tickets to War Paint and other Broadway shows.
Hi Dave, we’re visiting New York in September of this year between the 1st and the 7th from Ireland and I’ve just realized its Labor Day weekend. I was just wondering will this have a massive effect on opening & closing times of stores and restaurants. Also, we were planning on visiting Jersey Gardens on Labor Day itself, wondering is this a good or bad choice? Thank you in advance!
Labor Day weekend is a fine time to visit. The city is often a bit less crowded than usual because many local residents are off on a last summer weekend. While that Monday is a national holiday with banks closed, stores, restaurants, and museums are open—in fact, many stores offer special sales. Jersey Gardens mall will definitely be open every day. Many Broadway theaters are always off on Monday but will follow regular schedules the rest of the weekend. The annual Labor Day parade traditionally takes place on Saturday, and will march up Fifth Avenue on September 3, starting at 44th Street at 10 a.m.. The one change you will find is that trains and buses will follow Sunday schedules on that Monday, meaning that you may have to wait a bit longer between rides. As compensation, early September usually brings fine weather. If you happen to be sports fans, note that you can see American baseball that weekend at Yankee Stadium or Citi Field and the U.S. Open Tennis championships will be action at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens.
I am travelling to New York from the UK in mid August this year with my husband and two teenage kids. We would love to go on a good tour of New York? As we will be in New York for a few days is there a 2 or 3 day tour?
Also, my son would love to watch a professional baseball match. Is it possible to book tickets when we arrive or do we need to buy in advance
You’ll always be able to find some baseball tickets by using Stubhub but tickets will be cheaper if you book in advance at yankees.mlb.com or mets.mlb.com. Getyourguide.com has lots of great tours but I do not know of any multiday NYC tours. That said, if you’re willing to pay I have no doubt you could find a private tour company that would make a customized tour of the New York for you.
What type of prices can I expect on hotels for the later part of March, and what kind of weather?
March is an average month for hotel prices (not low, not high). For weather, expect (and pack for) anything in March.
We’re planning a trip from Ireland to New York in November arriving the day before Thanksgiving. Although we are looking forward to the Thanksgiving experience we’re worried we might lose a day of sightseeing or shopping. Will tourist spots & stores open on Thanksgiving & will it be hard to get around the city with the parade. Also is shopping on Black Friday a Yes or a No… will it be really crazy? Lorraine
Traffic on Thanksgiving morning is concentrated on the city’s west side; where the parade takes place. East side traffic moves fairly normally and everything goes back to normal soon after the festivities end at noon. Most stores do close on Thanksgiving Day, but you will still have the pleasure of seeing the holiday window displays and a number of restaurants offer special Thanksgiving dinners. On Wednesday from around 3 p.m. to 10 p.m, you can join the crowds having fun watching the giant parade balloons being inflated on the Upper West Side along West 77th and W. 81st streets, between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue. A few Broadways shows do perform on Thanksgiving; as do the Rockettes at Radio City’s famous Christmas show. Many shows that close on Thursday add a matinee on Friday instead. As for Black Friday shopping, the big stores are definitely crazy—maybe concentrate on streets with smaller shops like Columbus Avenue between 72nd and 86th streets or in Greenwich Village and SoHo. Or you can use the day to catch a matinee or a museum exhibit. Museum shops in the city also are great places to find unusual gift ideas.
Dave, my wife and I are planning a 7 day vacation in New York. What months would you recommend between June, July, or August? Claudio
June is a better time to visit than July or August for two big reasons: better weather and fewer tourists. While there can be some warm spells, June temperatures normally are pleasant; averaging 79 to 64F (26-18C). Uncomfortable heat and humidity hit their peak in mid-summer, with July the hottest month of the year. Since many school years don’t end until late June, the first weeks of the month avoid family vacation crowds. An alternate suggestion is late August, when the first signs of fall weather often appear and many families have children who are either back to school or getting ready to return.
I’m planning a trip mid-May, how are the tourist levels then? I’m hoping to see all the big attractions over 5 days using the New York Pass, but reviewers say that lineups prevent you from having enough time to do several in one day, therefore not being worth the money for the pass. Is that correct or just poor planning on their part? Am I able to plan around lineups with the Pass, or is it a necessary hassle?
May is a wonderful time to see the city, the weather is usually mild and the summer crowds have not arrived. Almost every place has lines these days for security checks of bags, but usually they move quickly. A few iconic sites like the Statue of Liberty, the 9/11 Memorial Museum, and the Empire State Building do have long lines for admission so don’t plan too many sights on those days. It would be difficult to do more than the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island in a day anyway because of the time it takes for security xrays and to travel by boat. Otherwise, while city traffic can slow getting around town, two or three stops in a day is realistic. To make the most of your time, plan visits in the same area of the city on the same day and use the subway when possible to avoid traffic (being sure to avoid rush hours!). To cut down on waits at the most popular sites, avoid weekends and plan to arrive early or late in the day. Should you decide not to use the Pass, buy admissions online in advance to avoid ticket lines and remember that many museums offer free admission days or evenings. If you want to get to crown (the highest point) of the Statue of Liberty you need a separate ticket that should be booked ASAP.
Im planning to do 3 weeks from mid December covering Christmas and New year a special trip for my 50th and eldest sons 18th. 5 days NYC, 2 day trip to Washington, week in Florida and remaining days on a beach Keys area. Need to watch Baltimore Ravens NFL game too so a night or two in Baltimore possibly. I know it will be more expensive but is it worth it with the crowds etc or is it better to go at a different time of year? So confused…. any advice gratefully received.
NYC is really busy around Christmas and New Years (I’m here right now). Sidewalks are packed and restaurants busy. Lots of fun if that’s what you’re looking for but there are better times if you prefer a more relaxed atmosphere.
I’m planning on visiting New York next year for five to six days in late September to early October. Would it be better to visit attractions on weekdays or weekends? I’m getting a three day New York City pass and want to know what the best days to use it are.
For most people there is not a huge difference between a weekday or weekend visit. The two big differences: hotels will be a little cheaper on weekends, and museums and big name attractions will be busier on weekends. Neighborhoods will have a bit more activity on weekends (which can be good or bad depending on your tastes). For the NYC city pass I would choose Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday (though be aware a few things could be closed on Monday but those should be easy to plan around).
Hi can you tell me where’s the best place in New York to stay. 4 Adults arriving in April looking to rent a proprty not a hotel. Many thanks
AirBnb is good for medium-term rentals. Craigslist for longer term.
I am looking to travel next year to NYC. This would be our first trip there along with our 9yr old and 2yr old. We would like to go when weather isn’t crazy cold but possibly where we can see the snow barely falling. Is there a time of the year where we can catch this?
Weather is never predictable, but the odds are best in December or early March, the beginning and end of winter. The average is under 5 inches of snow during December and less than 4 inches in March. The city is less crowded in March, but it does tend to be quite windy. If you choose December, everyone will enjoy the holiday decorations and the giant tree in Rockefeller Center.
For me summer is the best time to visit NYC. Concerts, beaches, films and Fourth of July festivities, are just some of the joys that a summer in the city has to offer. We went to NYC last summer, it was very hot and humid but we still enjoyed our trip. We saved a lot on accommodation since we stayed in a hostel. We also had city pass so we were able to see a lot of attractions. New York City may be known as the most expensive city in USA, but there’s also no shortage of free things to do. I already visited some museums, Time Square and Statue of Liberty. I also went to a lot of diners and clubs and I watched free concerts at Central Park after checking out the NYC Parks events website.
Hi Dave. We will be in New York in mid July. We have booked on a tour that will take us on a 2 day tour of New York city itself so we would be covering the main iconic sights in those 2 days. We have one full day post tour and would like to walk around the various parts of New York to get a feel for the city. Any suggestions on interesting areas to walk around? Would love to pop into a deli and have an awesome pastrami sandwich (never had one of those!). We love our food, wine and people watching! Thanks
Walking is the best way to get a sense of the city. One day is a short time for New York’s many facets, but below are a few routes to consider. For detailed routes, you might want to invest in a book of New York walking tours or research free self-guided routes.
As for that pastrami sandwich, the two legendary New York spots are the Carnegie Deli on Seventh Avenue and 55th Street (expect a line) or Katz’s Delicatessen on Houston Street on the Lower East Side.
Walking Routes for New York
Route 1: Take a walk on the High Line, New York’s extraordinary elevated park, exit at the southern end to see the high end boutiques and eateries of the gentrified Meat Packing District, and continue walking east for the lively, charming streets of Greenwich Village, and into Washington Square, great spot for people-watching. Bleeker Street in the Village offers lots of dining and wining spots.
Route 2: Stroll bustling Chinatown and the few streets left of Little Italy to the Civic Center and New York’s 1812 City Hall. If time permits and the day is fine, you can take a walk on the Brooklyn Bridge near the Civic Center The photos of the Lower Manhattan Skyline from the bridge are fabulous.
3. Residential New York. Start on 79th Street on the Upper East Side to see former mansions now serving as consulates as well as apartment buildings where today’s New Yorkers live. Walk across Central Park (with plenty of time to explore its beauty) to the Upper West Side where you can admire the grand towered apartments on Central Park West and the handsome brownstones on the side streets. On Broadway, join the shoppers at Zabars, one of the city’s lavish food emporiums. And if you can’t make the other locations, Artie’s Deli may lack the ambiance of the more famous places, but makes a quite good pastrami sandwich,
4. 42nd Street If you haven’t already taken in these sights, the walk on 42nd from Fifth Avenue east lets you look into some of the city’s architectural treasures—the Beaux Arts library, the grand spaces of Grand Central Terminal, the Art Deco library of the Chrysler Building, the indoor garden of the Ford Foundation and the headquarters of the United Nations.
Any tips or suggestions for winter holidays in New York City? We’ll be in the city from mid-December until early January.
–What are the best seasonal events to take in?
–Are there still Broadway shows during the holiday season?
–Is Times Square during New Years Eve worth the hassle or something else you’d suggest?
The holidays are a wonderful time to visit, well worth putting up with crowds to see New York aglow with lights and decorations. Don’t miss the glittering Christmas tree towering over the skating rink in Rockefeller Center. Two other trees worth a trip are the magnificent angel tree and Neapolitan crèche at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the origami tree at the American Museum of Natural History.
Take a stroll on Fifth Avenue to see the window displays at Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord and Taylor and check out the Macy’s windows at Herald Square. Santa is also waiting at Macy’s to collect a wish list from good little boys and girls.
December brings several excellent outdoor shopping bazaars filled with dozens of booths with original crafts. Columbus Circle and Bryant Park boast many vendors and Union Square hosts the biggest event of them all. If the weather is discouraging, try the annual Holiday Fair inside Grand Central Terminal.
Another Grand Central lure is the annual free model train display at the Transit Museum. A king-size train display also goes up each year at the New York Botanical Garden, where trains whiz around city building landmarks all made of natural materials.
Many churches have wonderful free holiday music during this season, and the Messiah performance at David Geffen Hall is one of many around the city, including an annual Messiah sing-along at Carnegie Hall. Paul Winter’s 36th annual gala Winter Solstice Concert will be hold at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine December 17-19. Check the Friday New York Times for complete listings.
Broadway shows are most definitely on during the holidays though tickets can be hard to get for the biggest hits. Order well in advance if your heart is set on a particular show. Try your luck at the TKTS booth near Times Square for half-price offerings on older shows.
Don’t forget the annual Holiday Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall, which seems to get more spectacular every year. Another much-loved holiday tradition, the New York City Ballet’s lavish production of The Nutcracker, will be on through December 31.
If you want to have the experience of New Year’s Eve in Times Square, be prepared to arrive by mid-afternoon, as the street is already filled by then and will be roped off. That means standing for many many hours in the cold. If you are game, it may be worth it. Many New Yorkers choose to go to the theater or a holiday performance on New Year’s Eve, when tickets are a bit easier to get because so many people have other plans that night. It’s a much calmer way to celebrate and you can watch the ball drop later in the warmth of your hotel.
We are doing an east coast tour (from London) of Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC. It is my husband and I along with our 12 year old daughter. Would you suggest July or August to do sightseeing in these cities? And also, we don’t have a particular interest but would like to see the major sights, museums, and historical attractions in each place. We’ll have 15 days. How much time would you spend in each city?
What a wonderful trip you have planned-much of-the best of the U.S. past and present. Summer is definitely warm, especially farther south in Washington, DC where the humidity is high. July is generally the warmest month of the year, temperatures can be between 25 and 30 C. But by mid-August, there is often a drop and by the end of the month, maybe even a slight touch of fall in the air. No guarantees with weather, of course, but if you can travel the last two weeks of August, you may just get a break from the heat. It is also a bit less crowded by then, as many U.S. families are getting ready for the start of school (or in some districts it’s even started) and are not traveling.
As for dividing your time, Boston and Philadelphia are compact cities and three days should allow enough time to take in their lively Early American history and excellent art and science museums. In Philadelphia, along with the larger museums, don’t overlook the Barnes and its world-famous collection of Impressionist art. Walk some of the charming historic neighborhoods such as Boston’s Beacon Hill, and Society Hill and Eldreth’s Alley in Philadelphia to see how people lived in Early America.
Think of allowing five days for New York, where you will learn about America’s continuing role as a magnet for immigration at sights such as the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. That should leave time for the trove of art treasures, the 9-11 memorial, the many parks and neighborhoods to explore and the bright lights and theaters of Broadway. And that will give you four days for the government buildings and the White House, the memorials and the many (free!) Smithsonian museums in Washington. One museum that you may find worth the price of admission in DC is the Newseum – to see history as it has been told by the media.
All of these cities are baseball meccas, and summer is the time if you want to experience this very American pastime. Also, if you happen to be tennis fans, the U.S. Open brings the world’s best players to New York in late August. Even with 15 days you may find that you wish for more time everywhere.
While travel between these cities is quick and easy with good train connections on Amtrak, you can save money by looking
into bus service from companies like Bolt or Megabus. They offer frequent comfortable trips at a considerable discount. Just be sure to avoid morning and evening rush hours when road traffic slows the trip.
My husband and I will be visiting New York sometime in Spring. I know there are no guarantees with weather but when can we be reasonably certain of decent warmish weather that’s good for walking outdoors. Would you suggest April, May, or June? Hopefully with little rain and before it gets too hot. Do crowds change much each month or does that stay pretty consistent? Also, if you were to recommend one or two areas to stay that are easy for walking to many sights and fun shops and restaurants, where would it be? Although we don’t mind taking the subway once or twice a day, we are great walkers and would like that to be our main form of transport.
Your odds are definitely better in June, when days are usually warm but not hot and humidity is low. While you can never be absolutely sure of weather, average temperatures are daytime highs of 79, evening lows of 61. If you can come early in the month before school is out, you’ll beat the crowds. You’ll find that New York is a great city for walkers no matter where you stay. If you have never been to the city, you might want to locate at one of the many hotels in the restaurant-packed West 40s near Times Square that allow you to walk to Fifth Avenue shopping by day and Broadway theaters at night. You can see many landmarks by walking east on 42nd Street past the New York Public Library, Grand Central Terminal and the United Nations headquarters. Walk north and Central Park is less than a mile away. For a trendier, less crowded part of the city, check out hotels in Tribeca, a dining mecca. Headquartered here, you can walk east to historic City Hall and the city’s Civic Center as well to Chinatown. Many subway lines converge at the Civic Center to take you all over town. On foot, you can take one of the city’s classic walks, across the Brooklyn Bridge. South of Tribeca are the new Freedom Tower, the 9/11 memorial and Brookfield Place, (formerly known as the World Financial Center). Continue walking and you’ll reach Battery Park to board boats to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island or the free Staten Island ferry.
I’m planning a trip to New York this year and would like sunny summery weather. When would you visit for the best mix of warm summer weather but not too busy and not crazy humid?
September and early October are the best times to visit New York. Average temperatures in September are 75 high and 61 low, ideal walking weather, and generally there is very little humidity The days get a little cooler in October, but are still mild early in the month and there’s a nice crispness in the air. While there is no guarantee, this also tends to be a time with less rainfall. Since most children are back in school, there are few crowds. If you’re traveling with children and have to consider school you might aim for June. Evenings are still cool, but the days are generally warm and sunny and the bigger crowds come later in the summer. Whenever you travel, a rain jacket is a good idea, just in case.
Is Labor Day Weekend a good time to visit New York? I expect that it is very busy but wanted to ask.
Labor Day Weekend is actually surprisingly “quiet” for New York City. Many New Yorkers head out of town for the weekend and it’s a good time to snag popular theater tickets. The weather is usually great too.