1. Summer Street
For three Saturdays in August, the city closes the main thoroughfares
to vehicles of any kind from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. This gives you
seven miles of open streets to explore the city. Go on foot or rent
a bike and take a cruise before the day heats up. Summer Streets
begins at the Brooklyn Bridge and continues on to Central Park
along Park Avenue and connecting streets. Plan a trip as long or
short as you wish.
2. Coney Island Beach and Boardwalk
There's a theory that the locals are tired of the beach by August.
Test it and cool off with a day at Coney Island. Three miles of
sandy beaches and a sea breeze is the perfect respite from the
steamy city. Coney Island also has recreational opportunities for
volleyball, handball, and basketball with open courts. The amusement
rides and boardwalk provide more fun.
3. Free Shakespeare in Central Park
The annual Shakespeare in the Park festival begins in mid-July and
continues through the first half of August. Getting the free tickets
can be tricky, but it is a unique event and worth the effort. It's
where some superb actors like Meryl Streep, Denzel Washington, and
Al Pacino got their start. The show begins in the cool of the
evening at 8 p.m.
4. Harlem Week
One of the most popular August events in New York City, Harlem
week lasts an entire month. Learn the local history and culture
through performances, tributes, sports events, and a special
children's festival. Go self-guided or pick a walking or food tour.
5. Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival
This annual event takes place at Flushing-Meadows Corona Park on a
weekend around mid-August. The free festival lets you experience a
little of the culture of Hong Kong while exploring the borough of
Queens. Over 170 teams race long boats on huge Lake Meadows as they
paddle to the beat of the boat's drummer. Afterwards, enjoy music,
dance, and martial arts performances. Food vendors are on-site
selling delicious Asian cuisine.
6. NYC Rooftop Bars
Cool off after sunset at one of the city's many rooftop bars.
Sipping a signature cocktail amid warm breezes and twinkling lights
will have you falling in love with New York. One of the best is the
Strand Hotel's 21-st floor bar with a perfect view of the Empire
State Building. To the left is the lit-up crown of Langham Place on
Fifth Avenue, and to the right is the sparkling double-fin roof of
For an eclectic mix of Old New York and the future, end the day at
the St. Cloud Lounge atop the historic Knickerbocker Hotel. The hotel
was once a haunt of elites like F. Scott Fitzgerald and John D.
Rockefeller. Today the outdoor space has plushy "sky pods" built
into the corners of the roof and wood floors with a metallic finish.