If you’re looking for things to do in NYC this summer, look no further. Below, you’ll find our pick of the best restaurants, bars, beaches and events to make sure that this year, you really do have the best summer ever. What are you waiting for? Get out there!
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to things to do in the summer in NYC
Ways to have the best summer ever
Summer means rooftop bar season, and this is one of our new favorites. Fruity tipples come with a side of stunning downtown views at this drinking spot overlooking the Hudson River waterfront. Sample cocktails like the Topsy Turvy (vodka, orange liqueur and white cranberry), Cool as Cucumber (gin, St. Germain and lemon) and Lime in Coconut (vanilla vodka, rum and pineapple juice).
Newly reopened, Danny Meyer’s wildly popular Madison Square Park concession stand is mobbed with hour-long lines during this time of year, but it's worth the wait—it just isn't summer without a double Shack in the park. Frozen-custard shakes also hit the spot, and there’s beer and wine to boot.
The crackling aura surrounding Father John Misty extends beyond his past life as a member of Fleet Foxes to the music he’s now releasing as a solo artist. Get the full experience as he takes the mainstage in Central Park during one of the city's key outdoor music series.
A seven-minute ride on a free ferry takes you to this seasonal island sanctuary, a scant 800 yards from lower Manhattan. With more than 30 acres of space to spread your blanket and snacks available from both the Liggett Terrace food court and a selection of food trucks that inlcudes Blue Marble ice cream, this one is a summer must.
Once summer ends, this installation—which is actually designed as an artificial reef for aquatic life—will be lowered into New York Harbor, where it will hopefully attract oysters. It’s an effort to repopulate the waters around Gotham with the bivalves that once numbered in the millions, if not billions, before industry and toxic waste drove them out. It's also stunning.
Get your giggles in at one of the biggest comedy events of the summer. The Upright Citizens Brigade hosts this 56-hour-long marathon dedicated to Del Close, the grandfather of long-form improv. This year's lineup of more than 600 shows includes performances by Bobby Moynihan, Ellie Kemper, Mike Birbiglia, Sasheer Zamata, Nick Kroll and the original UCB4: Amy Poehler, Matt Walsh, Ian Roberts and Matt Besser.
Feel like you took a trip to Mexico with a visit to this show at the New York Botanical Garden. Twelve original paintings, including her lesser-known still lifes, will be on display, as well as a revocation of her home garden at her Casa Azul.