New York's most stylish outdoor spots

In-the-know New Yorkers head to these cool open-air venues

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RECOMMENDED: See all of New York's most stylish places

Brooklyn Bridge Park

  • Critics choice
  • Free

This bucolic spot wending its way along the East River offers gorgeous views of the Manhattan skyline and the Brooklyn Bridge, as well as ample green space on which to lounge about. Tucked among the greenery are a cafe-wine bar, a small port for kayaking, playgrounds and a shallow pool for the kids. The adjacent ice cream factory, newly refurbished Jane's Carousel and outdoor movie screenings in the summer make this the perfect staycation spot.

  1. Main St (at Fulton Ferry Landing)
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Governors Island

  • Critics choice
  • Free

A seven-minute ride on a free ferry takes you to this seasonal island sanctuary, a scant 800 yards from lower Manhattan. The verdant, 172-acre isle still retains a significant chunk of its military-era architecture, including Fort Jay, started in 1776, and Castle Williams, which was completed in 1812 and used as a prison. The 22-acre area containing the forts and historical officers’ residences is now a national landmark. Today, the island provides a peaceful setting for cycling (bring a bike on the ferry, or rent from Bike and Roll once there). The island hosts a program of events, such as concert series and art exhibitions—and where else can you have a picnic directly across from the Statue of Liberty?

  1. Governors Island
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The High Line

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Opened in 2009, this lush outdoor park sits on the elevated infrastructure built in the 1930s where commuter trains once traversed Manhattan's West Side. Today, sumptuous gardens with hidden nooks and outdoor sculpture adorn this magnificent walkway, which provides an excellent place to view the Hudson River and offers an unusual perspective on the city skyline.

  1. Gansevoort to 30th Streets (at Tenth Ave)
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La Birreria

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

This massive rooftop beer garden, located 14 stories above the Italian megastore Eataly, offers a direct line to one of the world’s most exciting new beer regions: an unprecedented stash of beers from the Boot, as well as innovative house-made ales reflecting trends on both sides of the Atlantic. But you don't have to be a beer nerd to appreciate the views of the Flatiron and Empire State Buildings while sipping suds. Snag a seat at the Carrara marble bar or one of the communal salvaged-wood tables and sample the accomplished rustic eats (fat probusto sausages, gorgeous salumi) before letting loose on the brews.

  1. 200 Fifth Ave (at 23rd St)
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The Metropolitan Museum of Art Roof Garden Café and Martini Bar

  • Price band: 4/4

Perched on top of one of the world's finest museums is one of the city's finest vantage points—from both a sight and cultural perspective. During the warm months, vistors can sip a beverage while taking in spectacular views of Central park, with the city's tony skyline beyond. Vying for the vista's wow factor are the the annual seasonal exhibits, including 2012's "Cloud City" by Tomas Saraceno, a splendid, perception-changing installation.

  1. 1000 Fifth Ave (at 82nd St)
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