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How to Cool Off in New York

Like most cities, New York comes to life during the summer. Gorgeous parks, sunsets over that famous skyline, outdoor movies, festivals, city beaches, busy markets, and awesome weather can make New York a summer dream come true. But as temperatures begin to soar, those crazy NYC streets might have you dreaming of a cool escape instead. Here are some top tips to keep you cool on blazing summer days.

A rooftop pool overlooking New York

A rooftop pool overlooking New York

Take a Jump in the Pool

Astoria Pool is the biggest outdoor pool in New York and sits between the Triborough and Hell Gate Bridges. Built on the edge of the East River but with the benefits of practically no currents, plenty 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 swimming out in the open can head to Stony Brook State Park in Danesville, New York. But if cooling off in the pool is more your thing and you don’t feel like hiking across the city, there are plenty of hotels with their own rooftop pools, including Hotel Gansevoort in the Meatpacking District.

Chill out and bike through the city this summer

Chill out and bike through the city this summer

On Your Bike

Biking in New York might sound intimidating, but the chance to escape the sweltering subway and endless traffic jams makes it a great way to see the city. Luckily, there are plenty of options for newbies. Central Park and Prospect Park both offer bike rentals and have special routes mapped out for beginners. For more experienced cyclists, hotels are more than happy to share recommendations and maps for carefully outlined bike tours of the city’s five boroughs, the Hudson River, and Staten Island.

The Refinery Rooftop restaurant

The Refinery Rooftop restaurant

Enjoy the View

Many rooftop bars and restaurants offer shaded outdoor dining with a light breeze to go along with it. Munch on Mexican food at Alma, admire the stunning New York skyline at Refinery Rooftop, see all 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 obsessed with cold brew coffee. Every coffee shop, café, and restaurant has their own version and visitors should keep an eye out for the Toddy Cold Brew or the Kyoto Cold Brew. For a sweeter and more traditional way to cool down, take a trip to The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory. The ice cream flavors are often Asian-inspired, but you can still find traditional favorites. Best sellers include lychee, pumpkin pie, Thai iced tea, jelly donut, and German chocolate cake.

After-hours rooftop movies

After-hours rooftop movies

When the Sun Goes Down

One of the greatest things about the city that never sleeps is that when it’s late and temperatures are lower, there’s always something to do. Outdoor movies have always been popular in New York and most major parks have their own screenings. Recently though, the trend has really taken off, with organizations like the Rooftop Cinema Club hosting summer screenings across the city.