7 Great Summer Experiences in NYC

Great Summer Experiences in New York City
In search of the greatest summertime experiences in NYC.

The big city of dreams never disappoints when it comes to entertaining guests and this past weekend was no exception. Some friends and I took a mini road trip downstate to experience summer on the exotic island of Manhattan and I figured I’d share some of the highlights from one wild weekend in New York City.

The toughest things about visiting New York is that there’s so much to see and do, so it can be overwhelming when it comes to plan a short trip (on a budget). If you do a bit of planning you can do it without killing your wallet and there are plenty of cheap New York hotels to choose from to help you save costs.

Another option for good deals is to look at holidays to New York by Travelbag. Hopefully this little list will give you a few good ideas the next time you want to travel deeper in New York City.

So here they are, 7 great summertime experiences in New York City…

The High Line

The High Line in New York City
The High Line in New York City (photo via ngm.nationalgeographic.com)

The concept and development of The High Line on Manhattan’s lower west side embodies the greatness of New York City. The old railroad spur, turned “aerial greenway” park is as inspiring as it is innovative. The park stretches a mile from Gansevoort Street north to 30th street, turning at the Hudson Yards development project to the Javits Convention Center on 34th street.

The High Line provides great views of the city streets below, the Hudson River in the distance and tons of plants along the walk. All of which make for a lovely location for a summer evening stroll.

Fuerza Bruta

Fuerza Bruta in New York City
Women slip-n-slide above you as the ceiling lowers to within reach. Amazing show.

Take 1 part Cirque du Soleil, 1 part group shower and 2 parts DJ induced dance party and you will begin to understand what Fuerza Bruta is all about. I first heard about the show living in Buenos Aires, but never had the opportunity to attend until now.

If you ever have a chance to go see it, I would highly recommend going because it’s nothing like a Broadway show. You’re standing, moving and dancing almost the entire time and you leave feeling so refreshed after they turn the sprinkler system on for the final dance party at the end. Perfect after a long day walking around the city.

Shows run Wednesday through Sunday and you can usually find great deals on tickets. I got ours for almost 50% off with a promo code I found online.

Free Concerts in Central Park

SummerStage Concert Series in New York City's Central Park
Watching Alabama Shakes at the SummerStage venue in Central Park.

The SummerStage in Central Park puts on a free concert series all summer long and they boast a pretty solid line-up. Sunday we spent most of the day cruising around Central Park and got to see Alabama Shakes perform to a packed crowd.

Although the entrance is free (they ask for donations), the beer and food isn’t cheap (but real good). $8 beers add up real quick when you’re jamming to some funky grooves in the park.

Here is the SummerStage Summer Concert Schedule

Katz’s Delicatessen

Katz's Delicatessen in New York City
Summer wouldn't be the same without a great sandwich.

I’ve been to New York City many times, but never had the chance to experience one of the city’s most recognized culinary institutions until this trip. Katz’s Deli is located on E. Houston Street in Manhattan and has been slinging cured meats and juicy pickles since 1888.  Many New Yorkers consider Katz’s as the best deli in New York City and now I finally understand why. Pastrami so good it will make your face melt.

Rooftop Bars in Manhattan

Rooftop bars in New York City
The view of the Empire State Building from the 230 Fifth rooftop bar in Manhattan

When comes to summertime boozing in New York City, staying on ground level is for amateurs. There are so many incredible rooftop venues with ridiculous views and killer cocktails in Manhattan that if you’re not partying 20 floors or higher, you’re doing something wrong.

The Gansevoort Rooftop Bar is straight from the pages of Sex and the City and 230 Fifth is a happening rooftop scene on Sunday nights.

Check out more NYC Rooftop Bar Options

Beekman Beer Garden @ Seaport

The Beekman Beer Garden at Seaport in New York City
The Ultimate Summertime Bar - The Beekman Beer Garden at Seaport

I know I said you have to be elevated to enjoy the best of an NYC summer, but my last two recommendations are the exceptions to that rule. If you’re not sipping suds up on a rooftop garden somewhere, you need to get your ass down by the water and experience some of the sick waterfront setups downtown. The Beekman Beer Garden at the Seaport complex is one of the coolest bars I’ve ever seen, period. Crush some Coronas around beautiful people while playing Ping-Pong and listening to good beats as the Brooklyn Bridge provides a baller-like backdrop. Thank me later.

The Frying Pan

View of the Frying Pan on the Hudson River in New York City
View of the Frying Pan on the Hudson River in New York City (photo via rsvlts.com)

Like the High Line, the Frying Pan in the Hudson River Park was once a New York City resource that has since been transformed into another one of Manhattan’s great playgrounds. The Frying Pan is a ship originally used by the US Coast Guard as a lightship (like a floating lighthouse) to guard other ships from running aground when they came into the NYC harbors. Now it has been resorted and turned into a sweet bar & grill so you can go get tuned up like the drunken sailors it used to protect.

What are your favorite summer experiences in New York City?

My name is Gareth Leonard, a Marketing Director turned World Traveler with a passion for slow, meaningful travel. I have been traveling the world full-time for the past 9+ years and document it all on Instagram and YouTube. Come join me!


    1. It’s really something. The bands are incredible and the venue is perfect in the summertime. The food and beer is what gets you though ($$$).

    1. Couldn’t agree more Antoinette. When visiting NYC, I like to go heavy on the pre-gaming and light on the ordering once I arrive at one of the many awesome rooftop hot spots.

  1. Great list! The highline is my favorite spot in my favorite city. other things not to miss: union square farmers market (great for breakfast), free admission to MOMA on fridays (if that still goes on), and a slice of pizza from Artichoke… so good you’ll want to cry.

  2. All the experience given in the site is very amazing. This is very helpful for tourist also. I really thankful for nice information.

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