Summertime in New York City is the best time to visit. New Yorkers emerge from their apartments and coops and seem to spend all day outside doing stuff. While it can be humid, the weather is usually great and the combination of sunshine, outdoor dining and the world’s best museums and culture make it the ultimate summer destination.
I just returned from a wonderful luxury getaway to the Big Apple exploring a few of the city’s best hotels and restaurants. Here’s a guide to help you plan your own summertime adventure to Manhattan.
Spend as much time in Central Park as possible. The vast green space is filled with miles of car-less pathways perfect for strolling, running, biking or roller-blading. Staying on the Upper West Side meant we got to traverse the park by foot each day to get to Museum row, on the Upper East Side.
Walk everywhere. You can walk from one side of the city to another in about an hour and from one end of Manhattan to the other in about three. Avoid the subway and try to walk everywhere you can. Uber is another great transportation option if you get tired, their pool shared ride option makes it quite cheap.
No visit to the city is complete with a trip to the amazing world of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. You can spend days exploring the museum’s vast collections. I tend to try to focus on one or two eras per visit. This time I spent most of my time in the Greek and Roman galleries and the Egyptian section. I also paid a visit to my favorite part of the museum, their vast Luce Visible Storage area. Instead of keeping items not currently on exhibit hidden away in storerooms, many items are stored in row after row of glass cases.
We also took a sobering walk to the Freedom Tower and the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. The Freedom Tower now rises majestically above the site of the former World Trade Center and has one of the city’s highest observation decks. The memorial consists of two large, square fountains, with the surrounding stone railing carved with the names of the victims. A few female names with the “and her unborn child” tacked on hit us especially hard.
I like to do a little old school and a little new school on my NY adventures. I had an epic dinner at the iconic 21 Club. The restaurant started as a speakeasy in the 1920s and retains a secret wine cellar hidden behind a two-ton door made from stone.
For a more modern dining experience, I headed uptown to Masseria Dei Vini on the Upper West Side near Columbus Circle. This is a casual wine bar and restaurant from the La Masseria team, one of the city’s best Italian spots. The owners and chef are from the Italian region of Puglia and bring the area’s amazing Neapolitan pizza to NYC.