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A Guide to Manhattanhenge 2023 in NYC

One of the best things to take a picture of during summer in the city is Manhattanhenge—NYC’s gorgeous sunset seen on the cross streets of Manhattan.

Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner
Written by
Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner

One of the city’s most beautiful summer traditions is on its way, and you won’t want to miss this free viewing experience.

Manhattanhenge, the phenomenon when the sun sets along with Manhattan's grid, making it appear like the orange orb is sinking between the skyscrapers, occurs every summer. It's a special time when pedestrian traffic slows, and everyone's temporarily aware of their surroundings to observe the gorgeous natural occurrence. It's time to BeReal, no phones required (but you know you're hoping for the alert this year), though the photos can be epic.

NYC offers plenty of viewing spots, including rooftop bars as well as elevated NYC Parks like The High Line for capturing the perfectly pink-and-orange colored sky. However, there are specific streets (at very specific times) you should hit.

Here's when and where to observe Manhattanhenge

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to things to do in summer in NYC

What is Manhattanhenge?

Manhattanhenge is an incredibly photogenic event that happens when the setting sun perfectly aligns with Manhattan’s east-west grid. It's nicknamed this way as a nod to Stonehenge, the prehistoric observatory located in Wiltshire, England. It's also nicknamed Manhattan's Solstice. 

When is Manhattanhenge?

According to the Farmers' Almanac, the two best days (known as “full sun on the grid”) take place on Monday, May 29 at 8:13 pm (half sun) and on May 30 at 8:12 pm (full sun). 

It happens again on July 12 at 8:20 pm (full sun) and on July 13 at 8:21 pm (half sun).

Note that inclement weather can affect the experience. 

What are the best streets to see Manhattanhenge?

According to Neil deGrasse Tyson, the best cross streets are 14th, 34th, 42nd, 57th and 79th Streets, as they’re wide blocks with interesting buildings for framing your photos. It is recommended to go east for the best views. 

Neil DeGrasse Tyson notes, "The Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building render 34th Street and 42nd Street especially striking vistas."

Manhattanhenge in NYC