The Guide to Visiting New York City in Summer

The Lovin’ Spoonful weren’t wrong when they sang, “Hot town, summer in the city,” all those years ago. If you travel to NYC in the summer months, you’ll likely encounter some hot temperatures. But don’t let that stop you for one second, as there are plenty of ways to cool down, and plenty of cool activities, too. If you’ll be visiting New York City in the summer, here’s what you need to know.

Average Weather

New York City’s average temperature in June hovers in the mid-60s to high-70s. While lows remain in the mid-60s, July and August typically reach highs in the low- to mid-80s. The “dog days” of summer can hit at any time though, with temperatures reaching into the 90s and rarely, low 100s. Know that the city does get humid, which makes temps feel warmer.

Speaking of humidity (the water levels in the air), average monthly precipitation in NYC is roughly 4 inches year-round, so you’re just as likely to encounter a rainy day as a sunny one. On the hot summer days when temperatures climb, expect a thunderstorm later in the day and plan accordingly.

Clothing You’ll Need

When it comes to clothing, you’ll definitely want to pack lightweight shirts and pants; and skirts if you wear them. Shorts and T-shirts are acceptable in museums and landmarks, as well as casual restaurants. However, bring a sweater, sweatshirt and/or jacket, as everybody cranks the air conditioning at full blast in the summer. If you can be comfortable in long pants or jeans outside in the heat, they’ll serve you well inside in the A/C.

Young woman travelling to USA

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Sandals are acceptable footwear in most places in NYC, but make sure they’re good for walking. If not, consider sneakers or a comfortable walking shoe, as you’ll likely be exploring far and wide in the city, and blisters on your feet will limit your exploration, and fun.

Lastly, consider your plans in New York when you’re packing. If you’re planning on going to any place fancy, like the opera or a five-star restaurant, you’ll need to pack appropriate clothing (dresses, suits), including shoes. You may also want to throw a rainproof jacket into the luggage, just in case.

Seasonal Activities in NYC

It’s always a great time to visit New York City, and summer is no exception. Besides the usual museums, theaters, sports venues and landmarks, here are some summer-only events and activities to consider.


When the weather gets warm, New Yorkers head outside. And one of the places they go to year after year is SummerStage. Taking place at various city parks throughout the city, SummerStage features concerts of all types of music — popular, classical, opera, etc. — most of them free.

Summer in NYC

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Rooftop Cinema Club

The closest thing to a drive-in movie theater in the heart of NYC, the Rooftop Cinema Club features a lineup of both classic and recent movies, watched on the roof of Skylawn at Embassy Suites by Hilton. For the $20 ticket price you get a movie, a lawn chair, wireless headphones and a fantastic view of the city at night.

Mermaid Parade

Coney Island is a New York icon, especially in the summer. Go for the beaches and the amusement parks on any warm summer day, but try to attend (or participate in) the Mermaid Parade. In 2018, it takes place on June 16.

Marmeid Parade

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Summer Streets

If you find yourself in NYC in August, consider a stroll, bike ride, or jog along “Summer Streets,” without having to compete with vehicle traffic. Summer Streets happens the first three Saturdays in August, from 7:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Nearly seven miles of city roads are blocked to traffic and open to everybody else.

Summer Streets

Credit: Donald Bowers Photography /

US Open

Late summer sees the international tennis elite descend on New York — specifically, the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows. If you’re a tennis fan and will be visiting from August 27-September 9, 2018, get your tickets now!

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