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How to cool off in New York

Like most cities, New York comes into its own during the summer. Gorgeous parks, sunsets over that famous skyline, outdoor theatre, festivals, city beaches, bustling markets, and glorious weather can make New York a summer delight. Still, with temperatures climbing high, those hectic NYC streets might have you yearning for a cool escape; here are some top tips to keep you cool on an intense summer’s day.

A rooftop pool overlooking New York

A rooftop pool overlooking New York

Jump in the pool

Astoria Pool is the biggest outdoor pool in New York and sits between the Triborough Bridge and Hell Gate Bridges. Built into the river but with the benefits of next to no currents, lots of lifeguards, and a great view of the Upper East Side, it’s a great option for families. Another popular spot with locals is the Floating Pool, now permanently based in The Bronx.

Fans of true wild-swimming can head to the Stony Brook State Park in Danesville, New York, and for those who fancy cooling off in the pool but don’t fancy a trek across the city, there are plenty of hotels with their own rooftop pools such as Hotel Gansevoort in the Meatpacking district

Chill out and cycle through the city this summer

Chill out and cycle through the city this summer

On your bike

Cycling in New York may be intimidating but the chance to escape the sweltering subway and endless traffic jams make it a great way to see the city. Thankfully there are plenty of options for newbie cyclists; Central Park and Prospect Park both offer bike rental and have special routes laid out for beginners. For more experienced cyclists hotel staff are happy to offer insights and maps for carefully-plotted bike tours of the city’s five boroughs, the Henry Hudson River, and Staten Island.

The Refinery Rooftop restaurant

The Refinery Rooftop restaurant

Get high

Rooftop bars and restaurants offer shaded al fresco dining accompanied by a light breeze. Munch on Mexican food at Alma, admire the stunning New York skyline at Refinery Rooftop, take in the lights of Times Square at The Knickerbocker, or sip cocktails in the rooftop hot tub at The Standard High Line in the Meatpacking district.

A double-scoop ice cream cone in Chinatown NYC

A double-scoop ice cream cone in Chinatown NYC

I-C-E (feels so nice)

New York is a city obsessed with cold brew coffee. Every coffee shop, café, and canteen has their own variation and visitors should look out for the Toddy Cold Brew or the Kyoto Cold Brew. For those in search of a sweeter and more traditional way to cool down, take a trip to The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory. The ice cream flavours usually come with an East-Asian twist although traditional Western favourites are well-represented. Favourites include lychee, pumpkin pie, Thai iced tea, jelly doughnut, and German chocolate cake.

Rooftop cinema after hours

Rooftop cinema after hours

When the sun goes down

One of the many great things about the city that never sleeps is that when it’s late and temperatures are lower, there’s always something to do. Outdoor cinema has always been popular in New York; all the major parks have their own programmes and recent years have seen this trend take to the skies with organisations like the Rooftop Cinema Club hosting summer programmes across the city.