Embrace the scorching summer rays as they illuminate the vibrant and buzzing streets of the concrete jungle known as New York City. Feel the city’s heartbeat quicken as July dawns upon us, unveiling a treasure trove of boundless opportunities and wondrous escapades for locals and travelers. From indulging in idyllic picnics amidst the verdant expanse of Central Park to conquering mighty waves at the sun-kissed Rockaway Beach, the Big Apple blossoms into a playground of exhilaration and discovery during this splendid time of the year. Today, we embark on an extraordinary journey as we unravel the top 25 best things to do in New York City in July.
Welcome to the month of indulgence. July unveils its glorious canvas of perfect weather and an irresistible invitation for everyone to embrace the great outdoors. Get ready to immerse yourself in the vibrant tapestry of summer in the Big Apple, where sunscreen becomes your ally and comfortable walking shoes your trusted companions. It is time to embark on a captivating journey through the bustling streets and lively parks where we delight in this sun-kissed season in New York City.
Here are the 25 Best Things to Do in New York City this July
1. Central Park Picnic
Immerse yourself in a quintessential New York City summer experience by indulging in a leisurely picnic within the iconic embrace of Central Park. Seek out a cozy spot beneath the shade of a majestic tree, and gather your loved ones for an unforgettable afternoon. Fill your picnic basket with delectable treats and refreshing beverages as you prepare to embark on a culinary adventure. As the sun’s warm rays caress your skin, you will discover a sanctuary of serenity amidst the vibrant heartbeat of the city.
Let nature’s embrace and the delectable flavors intertwine, creating cherished memories within the heart of this urban oasis.
Great Lawn — Mid-park between 79th Street and 85th Street
Sheep Meadow — Between West 66th Street and West 69th Street
Belvedere Castle — Mid-park at 79th Street
Great Hill — Between West 103rd Street and West 107th Street
Bow Bridge — Mid-park at 72nd Street
Strawberry Fields — Between West 71st Street and West 74th Street
The Pool — Between West 100th Street and West 103rd Street
2. Coney Island Beach
If you are longing for a classic beach getaway, look no further than the lively shores of Coney Island. This sun-soaked haven beckons with its irresistible allure, offering a quintessential beach experience that will make your heart sing. Dive into the refreshing waters of the Atlantic Ocean, feel the soft grains of sand beneath your feet, and let the warm sun envelop you in its golden embrace. Treat your taste buds to the legendary Nathan’s Famous hot dogs, savoring every juicy bite as you soak up the beach vibes.
And for an extra dose of exhilaration, let the amusement park rides ignite your sense of adventure, delighting both the young and the young at heart.
Coney Island Beach is a vibrant tapestry of summer thrills, where cherished memories are woven into the very fabric of your soul.
Take a Look at Our Beach Series
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3. Governors Island
Just a quick ferry ride from the heart of Manhattan, Governors Island awaits as a blissful retreat from the whirlwind of urban existence. Step into a world where history, nature, art, and breathtaking skyline vistas blend together seamlessly. Embark on an enchanting bicycle adventure, meandering through the island’s scenic trails.
Unwind with a delightful picnic, creating cherished memories with your nearest and dearest. Immerse yourself in the vibrant tapestry of cultural events and festivals that grace this island paradise throughout the summer.
Governors Island beckons, promising an unforgettable escape where tranquility and wonder embrace your senses at every turn.
4. Bike Ride on New York Bike Paths
Embark on an exhilarating two-wheeled adventure and unlock the hidden gems of New York City’s picturesque bike paths. Feel the surge of excitement as you pedal along the legendary West Side Highway, embracing the wind in your hair while marveling at the awe-inspiring cityscape that unfolds before your eyes.
For a dose of iconic splendor, venture across the majestic Brooklyn Bridge, where each turn of your pedals unveils captivating views that will leave you breathless. As you soak in the city’s beauty, savor the satisfying blend of exercise and exploration.
And remember, no adventure is complete without capturing those priceless moments, so grab your camera and let the journey unfold, one snapshot at a time.
5. Bryant Park Movie Nights
Experience the epitome of summer enchantment as you venture into the whimsical realm of Bryant Park for an unforgettable movie night under the stars. Picture this: a warm summer evening, a cozy blanket unfurled, and a delightful bowl of popcorn in hand as you bask in the company of loved ones.
With a captivating lineup of vintage classics and contemporary gems, the outdoor screenings transport you to realms both familiar and uncharted. Whether you find yourself immersed in a heartwarming romance alongside your significant other or weaving cherished memories with your family. Bryant Park’s magical ambiance elevates the movie-watching experience to extraordinary heights.
Let the silver screen whisk you away on a journey beyond imagination, where the world pauses and pure cinematic bliss unfolds.
6. High Line Park
Prepare to be captivated by the extraordinary transformation of the urban landscape as you step foot on the remarkable High Line Park. A living testament to the power of revitalization. This elevated linear park gracefully meanders along the vibrant West Side. A place that invites you to wander through its enchanting pathways adorned with a kaleidoscope of vibrant flowers, captivating art installations, and awe-inspiring vistas of the cityscape.
Serving as a tranquil oasis amidst the bustling streets, this unconventional park has become a beloved haven for both locals and visitors alike. Take leisurely strides along its winding trails, relishing in the serenity it offers. Indulge in a delightful picnic surrounded by nature’s splendor, or perch on a bench and indulge in the art of people-watching, immersing yourself in the vibrant tapestry of summer’s lively atmosphere.
The High Line Park beckons, ready to embrace you in its unique charm, where urban beauty and respite converge in perfect harmony.
7. Jazz in the Park
Feel the rhythm of summertime in New York City’s parks, where the air comes alive with the soul-stirring sounds of jazz. Picture this: sprawling blankets laid out on the lush grass, delectable snacks at your side, and the wide-open sky above as you immerse yourself in the mesmerizing melodies crafted by gifted musicians.
From the iconic expanse of Central Park to the enchanting embrace of Prospect Park, these outdoor oases become stages for unforgettable performances, where world-class jazz musicians transport you to a place of pure musical bliss. Embrace the serene beauty of nature as it harmonizes with the captivating notes that dance through the air, inviting you to sway and groove along.
So pack your picnic essentials and surrender to the magic of free jazz concerts under the open sky. It is where melodies intertwine with summer’s embrace, creating memories that will linger long after the final note fades.
8. Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Step into a world of breathtaking splendor at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, where an oasis of lush greenery and vibrant blooms awaits your arrival. Indulge your senses in the kaleidoscope of colors that paint the landscape as flowers in full bloom captivate your gaze. Lose yourself in the tranquil rhythm of serene ponds, their still waters reflecting the beauty that surrounds them.
From themed gardens that transport you to distant lands to engaging family-friendly activities that ignite curiosity, there is something for everyone to discover within this urban sanctuary. Take leisurely strolls hand-in-hand with your partner, feeling the gentle embrace of nature’s serenity. Let the Brooklyn Botanic Garden become your refuge as the city’s bustling energy fades away.
It is a place where you can reconnect with the harmony of the natural world and rejuvenate your soul.
9. Shakespeare in the Park
Prepare to be whisked away to the enchanting realm of Shakespeare’s timeless tales as the Delacorte Theater in Central Park sets the stage for a summer tradition like no other. Find your perfect spot, whether it is a cozy seat or a patch of grass beneath the starlit sky, and prepare to be captivated by the extraordinary performances that unfold before your eyes.
Talented actors breathe life into the iconic characters, effortlessly transporting you to worlds filled with passion, wit, and drama. This cherished cultural tradition unites New Yorkers from every walk of life. And forges a collective appreciation for the arts as the magic of theater unfolds against the backdrop of a balmy summer night.
So, join the audience and let yourself be swept away on a journey of imagination and emotion as the spirit of Shakespeare comes alive in Central Park’s hallowed Delacorte Theater.
10. Kayaking on the Hudson River
Gear up for an exhilarating and rejuvenating escapade as you hop into a kayak and embark on an unforgettable journey along the awe-inspiring Hudson River. Brace yourself for a visual feast, as the magnificent Manhattan skyline, renowned bridges, and the iconic Statue of Liberty reveal themselves in all their glory, their splendor enhanced by the serene waters that cradle your vessel.
Whether you are a seasoned paddler or a curious novice, this adventure promises an unparalleled perspective of the city. It allows you to immerse yourself in the river’s natural splendor. Feel the warm caress of sunshine on your skin, surrender to the peaceful rhythm of the gentle currents, and let your senses awaken to the beauty that surrounds you.
Soak in the tranquility, embrace the sense of freedom that comes with each stroke, and forge memories that will forever be etched in your heart.
11. Luna Park
Get ready to unleash your inner thrill-seeker and immerse yourself in a world of excitement and wonder at Luna Park, nestled within the vibrant tapestry of Coney Island. This beloved amusement park is a gateway to pure joy, inviting visitors of all ages to embark on a thrilling adventure. Feel the adrenaline surge as you brave the twists and turns of the vintage wooden roller coaster. Or embrace heart-pounding excitement on the array of exhilarating rides that beckon you.
Luna Park promises a day filled with laughter, unforgettable moments, and delectable treats that tantalize your taste buds. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere and create memories that will be cherished for a lifetime. Whether surrounded by the laughter of family or the camaraderie of friends, it is the perfect place to explore.
Let Luna Park be your playground of delight, where the legacy of Coney Island’s rich history intertwines with the joy of the present, creating an experience that will leave you with a heart full of happiness.
Luna Park in Coney Island
1000 Surf Avenue — Brooklyn
12. SummerStage Concerts
Prepare to immerse yourself in the vibrant symphony of New York City’s music scene as you join the electrifying atmosphere of a SummerStage concert. With venues sprawled across the five boroughs, these outdoor spectacles celebrate the diverse tapestry of musical genres and showcase a blend of established artists and rising stars.
Best of all, most of these concerts are free, inviting music lovers of all backgrounds to revel in the harmonious melodies that fill the air. So, grab a cozy blanket, let the rhythm guide your body, and surrender to the enchantment of live music under a twinkling summer sky.
The stage is set for an unforgettable experience where melodies unite souls, and the joyous energy of the crowd ignites a palpable sense of bliss.
13. Rooftop Bar Hopping
As the sun bids farewell, a whole new world of enchantment awaits amidst the captivating skyline of New York City. Embrace the vibrant nightlife and embark on a thrilling adventure through the realm of rooftop bars. From one trendy hotspot to the next, immerse yourself in a sensory journey of refreshing cocktails, lively conversations, and jaw-dropping vistas. Places that showcase the city’s sparkling majesty.
Whether you find yourself amidst the chic elegance of Manhattan or the hidden gems of Brooklyn, each rooftop bar offers a unique fusion of sophistication, relaxation, and excitement. Engage in spirited conversations with locals and fellow travelers as you savor the harmonious blend of laughter, clinking glasses, and the gentle caress of warm summer breezes.
Let the breathtaking panoramic views of the cityscape be your backdrop, creating unforgettable moments that blend sophistication with a touch of whimsy. So, ascend to the heavens of New York’s rooftop bars and let the city’s nightlife scene unveil its dazzling allure. You are invited to dance beneath the stars and create memories that will linger long after the night fades away.
Read About the Best Rooftops
- Experience the Best Rooftops in Brooklyn: Top 30 Picks
- Best Places to Eat with Stunning Views in New York City
14. Circle Line Harbor Lights Cruise
Ignite the flames of romance with an unforgettable voyage aboard the Circle Line Harbor Lights Cruise. A place where love and enchantment intertwine amidst the shimmering waters that embrace Manhattan. As the sun paints the sky in hues of orange and pink, you and your significant other will embark on a journey that transcends time.
Prepare to be mesmerized as the illuminated city skyline dances before your eyes, revealing iconic landmarks like the majestic Statue of Liberty and the elegant arches of the Brooklyn Bridge. The gentle lull of the waves and the cool breeze that caresses your skin set the stage for an intimate experience. Where love blossoms against the backdrop of New York City’s unparalleled beauty.
Cherish the moments as you create memories that will forever be etched in your hearts, enveloped in the enchantment of this magical cruise. So, embark on this voyage of love. And let the Circle Line Harbor Lights Cruise become the catalyst for a romantic escapade that transcends ordinary moments and celebrates the extraordinary bond you share.
15. The Metropolitan Museum of Art
New York City is home to many iconic museums. Prepare to embark on an extraordinary journey through time and human imagination as you step into the splendid embrace of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, lovingly known as the Met. A haven of respite from the summer heat, this renowned institution boasts a staggering collection of over two million art pieces representing diverse eras and civilizations that have shaped our world.
Brace yourself for an enthralling voyage through the corridors of creativity, where ancient Egyptian antiquities intertwine with contemporary masterpieces. Wander through the galleries, allowing your eyes to feast upon the boundless talent of artists past and present. Feel the weight of history as you immerse yourself in each artwork, transporting yourself to distant lands and bygone eras.
The Met is not just a museum; it is a portal to explore the wonders of human expression and the unending depths of our collective imagination. So, let the allure of the Met beckon you, and prepare to lose yourself in a realm where art becomes a time machine, connecting you to the vibrant tapestry of our shared heritage.
The Met Fifth Avenue
1000 Fifth Avenue — Manhattan
The Met Cloisters
99 Margaret Corbin Drive — Fort Tryon Park
16. Brooklyn Bridge Park
Escape to the idyllic oasis of Brooklyn Bridge Park, nestled along the East River. A place where stunning vistas of the iconic Manhattan skyline and the world-famous Brooklyn Bridge unfold before your eyes. Take a leisurely stroll along the promenade, feeling the gentle river breeze kiss your skin, as the cityscape paints a mesmerizing backdrop.
Find a cozy spot on the lush green lawns, and indulge in a delightful picnic surrounded by the lush beauty of nature. For the adventurous souls, engage in thrilling recreational activities like kayaking or volleyball, embracing the exhilaration that comes with each spirited moment. But the park does not stop there. Brace yourself for a calendar packed with exciting events and vibrant concerts, adding an extra layer of liveliness to the summer atmosphere.
Brooklyn Bridge Park is a haven where families and singles alike can revel in the joy of the season, creating memories that will warm the heart for years to come. So, surrender to the allure of this waterfront gem, where breathtaking views, recreational delights, and a vibrant ambiance await your arrival, promising an unforgettable summer experience.
17. Snorkeling in the Rockaways
Beat the summer heat and set your sights on the Rockaways, an exquisite coastal gem nestled within the borough of Queens. Here, a world of breathtaking beaches awaits, ready to whisk you away into a realm of sun-soaked tranquility. Prepare for an aquatic adventure like no other as you don your snorkeling gear and dive beneath the surface of the crystal-clear waters.
Discover a vibrant underwater wonderland where bustling marine life and majestic coral reefs paint a mesmerizing portrait of nature’s brilliance. Spot an array of colorful fish gracefully navigating their underwater playground, and feel a sense of serenity wash over you as you become one with this natural paradise.
Snorkeling in the Rockaways offers a refreshing and immersive experience, making it an absolute must for both nature enthusiasts and those seeking a thrilling escapade.
So, grab your gear, embrace the allure of the sea, and prepare to be enchanted by the hidden treasures that await beneath the surface.
18. Broadway Shows
Prepare to be swept away by the dazzling magic of Broadway, an essential experience for both visitors and locals alike in the magnificent tapestry of New York City. Here, the world’s finest theater takes center stage, showcasing a breathtaking array of classic productions and cutting-edge performances that push the boundaries of artistic expression.
Secure your tickets to a mesmerizing musical, a captivating play, or a spellbinding dance performance, and brace yourself for an evening of pure enchantment. Watch in awe as actors, singers, and dancers pour their hearts and souls into their craft, effortlessly transporting you to realms of emotion, laughter, and inspiration.
Let the vibrant energy of Broadway’s hallowed theaters wash over you as you surrender to the palpable excitement in the air. As the curtains rise, allow yourself to become immersed in the enthralling atmosphere. Each scene unfolds before your eyes, creating lifelong memories that will forever be etched in your heart.
Broadway beckons, ready to ignite your passion for the performing arts and envelop you in a world where dreams come alive.
19. Bronx Zoo
Embark on a thrilling wildlife escapade as you leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind and step into the captivating realm of the Bronx Zoo. Prepare to be awestruck by the sheer diversity of life that awaits within its gates, with over 10,000 animals from all corners of the globe. Unleash your spirit of adventure as you wander through the exhibits, encountering majestic lions, waddling penguins, and graceful giraffes along the way.
Do not miss the exhilarating animal feedings and captivating shows that bring you closer to these fascinating creatures. For an extra dash of excitement, hop aboard the Wild Asia Monorail and immerse yourself in the wonders of the animal kingdom from a unique vantage point. If you crave a deeper understanding of the zoo’s residents, join a tour led by knowledgeable guides who will unveil the secrets and stories behind each fascinating species.
The Bronx Zoo promises a day filled with endless discoveries, education, and a profound appreciation for the intricate beauty of the natural world.
So, grab your binoculars and embark on an unforgettable journey that will ignite your curiosity, touch your heart, and create cherished memories that will last a lifetime.
20. Chelsea Market
Prepare your taste buds for an unforgettable culinary adventure as you dive into the bustling tapestry of Chelsea Market. It is a haven for food enthusiasts nestled in the vibrant heart of Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. This gastronomic paradise beckons with an enticing array of vendors, each offering a distinct and delightful experience.
From artisanal bakeries that fill the air with the intoxicating aroma of freshly baked goods to seafood stalls showcasing the treasures of the ocean, the options are as diverse as they are mouthwatering. Indulge in a world of flavors as you sample delectable treats, tantalizing your palate with every bite. Discover hidden gems and savor the opportunity to purchase fresh, high-quality ingredients that will elevate your own culinary creations.
But Chelsea Market is more than just a foodie’s haven — it is an immersive experience that envelops you in a vibrant atmosphere, where the laughter of fellow food lovers and the sizzle of cooking ignite a contagious energy. So, venture into this culinary wonderland, where your senses will be enchanted, your taste buds tantalized, and your spirit invigorated by the richness of flavors that abound.
Chelsea Market awaits, ready to take you on a mouthwatering journey through the heart of New York City’s culinary landscape.
75 Ninth Avenue (between 15th & 16th St.) — New York
21. Sunset Salsa at Hudson River Park
Get ready to ignite your passion for dance and immerse yourself in the pulsating rhythms of Sunset Salsa at Hudson River Park. Set against the backdrop of a shimmering skyline, this weekly event transforms the park into a mesmerizing dance floor, where the magic of salsa comes alive under the twinkling stars. Feel the vibrant energy radiate through the air as you join a spirited crowd, all swaying and grooving to the irresistible beats of salsa music.
Fear not if you are a beginner — talented instructors are there to guide you every step of the way. Whether you arrive with a partner or dance solo, the contagious spirit of camaraderie and joy will envelop you. Let the music guide your every move as you surrender to the rhythm and create memories that will last a lifetime.
Sunset Salsa is a celebration of life, love, and the vibrant spirit of New York City, beckoning you to let loose, let go, and be swept away by the magic of dance. So mark your calendar and get ready to experience the enchantment of Sunset Salsa, where the rhythm of your heart syncs with the pulse of the city, creating an unforgettable summer night to remember.
22. New York Botanical Garden
Immerse yourself in a breathtaking oasis nestled within the Bronx — the enchanting New York Botanical Garden. Step into a world of meticulously manicured gardens, where vibrant flower displays paint a kaleidoscope of colors, and tranquil trails invite you to wander through nature’s embrace. With each step, you will discover a treasure trove of botanical wonders, from exotic plant species to the delicate fragrance of blooming roses.
Let the serenity of the garden envelop you as the rustling leaves and the melodious symphony of birds create a soothing soundtrack to your exploration. This sanctuary of serenity serves as a respite from the bustling city, offering an opportunity to reconnect with the profound beauty of the natural world.
So, escape to the New York Botanical Garden and let nature’s embrace transport you to a realm of tranquility and wonder where time slows down. The beauty of each petal and leaf reminds us of the exquisite harmony that exists in our world.
2900 Southern Boulevard — Bronx
23. New York City Restaurant Week: Summer Edition
Attention, food lovers. Get your taste buds ready for an epicurean adventure like no other during the highly anticipated New York City Summer Restaurant Week. From July 24 to August 20, over 380 culinary havens across the city will fling open their doors, beckoning you to savor mouthwatering meals at unbeatable prices.
Prepare to be tantalized by a feast of flavors as you explore a diverse array of cuisines. Whether your heart desires the tantalizing twirl of Italian pasta, the succulent sizzle of steaks, or the exquisite freshness of seafood. This event promises an unforgettable dining experience to suit every palate.
Gather your loved ones and embark on a delightful evening where vibrant tastes harmonize with impeccable service, a hallmark of New York City’s world-class restaurant scene. So, mark your calendar, unleash your inner foodie, and immerse yourself in the culinary wonders that await during New York City Summer Restaurant Week.
It is time to treat yourself to a culinary extravaganza that will leave you craving more.
24. Times Square
Prepare to be swept away by the undeniable allure of Times Square, a global icon that pulsates with an energy like no other. Brace yourself for a sensory overload as you step into the heart of this vibrant destination. A place where colossal displays illuminate the night sky, talented performers captivate passersby, and an infectious buzz of activity fills the air.
Every corner reveals a new adventure, with iconic Broadway theaters beckoning theater enthusiasts, renowned eateries tempting taste buds, and flagship stores offering a paradise for shopaholics. The sights and sounds of Times Square dance harmoniously, creating an atmosphere that is both exhilarating and exhilaratingly overwhelming.
No visit to New York City is complete without surrendering to the electric vibe of this extraordinary hotspot. So, dive headfirst into the intoxicating rhythm of Times Square. And let its vibrant tapestry envelop you, leaving you in awe of its grandeur and etching memories that will last a lifetime.
25. Embark on the Staten Island Ferry
Embark on an extraordinary maritime adventure as you step aboard the iconic Staten Island Ferry. It is not just a mode of transportation but a gateway to unforgettable experiences in the heart of New York City. Set sail across the harbor, and be prepared to have your senses dazzled by jaw-dropping panoramas of the majestic Statue of Liberty, the historic Ellis Island, and the breathtaking Manhattan skyline.
As you glide across the sparkling waters, take out your camera and capture stunning photos of Lady Liberty, a symbol of freedom and resilience. Immerse yourself in the rich history of Ellis Island, where countless immigrants embarked on their American dream. And do not forget to marvel at the towering skyscrapers that define the Manhattan skyline, a testament to human ingenuity and architectural prowess.
The best part? This remarkable voyage will not put a dent in your wallet. Making it an incredibly budget-friendly way to immerse yourself in the undeniable charm and grandeur of New York City. So, hop aboard, let the gentle sea breeze caress your face, and revel in the captivating sights that await you on this unforgettable ferry ride.
It is an experience that will forever be etched in your memory as a quintessential New York City adventure.