Places for sunbathing and sunshading

We break down the best sunny and shady spots in all five boroughs, for the Donatella Versace (or Robert Pattinson) in you.



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  • The Highline; Photograph by Joel Sternfeld

  • Riverside Park

  • Jelly NYC Pool Parties at East River Park; Photograph by Kyle Dean Reinford

  • Brooklyn Bowl

  • Prospect Park

  • Green-Wood Cemetery; Photograph by Aaron Brashear

  • Astoria Park

  • Socrates Sculpture Park

  • Wave Hill; Photograph by Benjamin Swett

The Highline; Photograph by Joel Sternfeld

Manhattan | Brooklyn | Queens | Bronx | Staten Island


Sunbathing: The Highline (Gansevoort St to 20th St between Tenth and Eleventh Aves; 212-500-6035, city’s latest green hot spot has some of the best sunbathing in town. Try your luck at snagging one of the wooden lounge chairs around 15th Street, offering an expansive view of the Hudson. From your coveted seat, you can watch the crowd traverse the elevated park. (Warning: the crowd also watches you.)
Postsun spot: Exit at the Gansevoort stairwell to hit up a few boutiques, then sample a cold appetizer—like the chilled white gazpacho, with almonds, pickles, grapes and croutons ($8)—at the newly opened the Standard Grill (848 Washington St at 13th St; 212-645-4646, on the ground floor of the Standard Hotel.

Sunshading: The West 79th Street Boat Basin Caf (W 79th St at the Hudson River; 212-496-5542, frozen drinks while admiring the Hudson and marina—not to mention the scores of young, pretty people around you—from your spot under the caf’s covered rotunda. Nestled in Riverside Park, this outdoor restaurant is known for its BBQ classics. Boat Basin Caf general manager Michael Burri recommends the huckleberry lemonade ($7) and hamburgers (around $9).
Postshade spot: Amble over to Riverside Park (Pier 1 at 70th St, 212- 408-0219) to take in the free Summer on the Hudson: Acoustic Sundays concert series as the sun sets on the river. Jazz at Lincoln Center hosts pianist Jonathan Batiste Sunday 2 at 7pm.

Manhattan alternatives

Sunbathing: Battery Park (State St at Battery Pl; 212-344-3491,
Its striking waterfront location makes it the perfect spot for getting some color while taking in the Statue of Liberty.

Sunshading: Bryant Park (Sixth Ave at 40th St; 212-768-4242,
Need a breather from midtown’s hustle and bustle? Spend your lunch break people-watching from a tree-shaded bench.

View Sunbathing & sunshading in a larger map

Manhattan | Brooklyn | Queens | Bronx | Staten Island

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