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Autumn in New York City

a large body of water with a city in the background

a large body of water with a city in the background

Autumn in New York City is a sight to behold. As the leaves turn their brilliant colors, the city transforms into a cultural cacophony of sights, smells and sounds. You’ll find everything from breathtaking walks through Central Park to intimate dinners with friends at some of New York’s best restaurants. Below are our favorite ways to experience this season in our fair city.

Take in the city al fresco

There are so many different ways to see New York City during the fall. If you’re looking for a relaxing day, why not take a walk? Autumn is one of the best times to visit, with trees changing color and crisp air all around. The paths are much less crowded than they are during the summer and spring, making it easy to enjoy your surroundings. The best part about fall in New York City is that you can enjoy all the sights and sounds without sweating your face off—the weather is cool enough for a light jacket or hoodie, but warm enough that you don’t need more than that. Here are a few of our favorite places to take a stroll:

  • Take a walk in Central Park . You’ll find yourself surrounded by nature, but still close enough to the city that you can hear the hustle and bustle of the streets. If you’re lucky, the leaves will have just begun to change color and fall from the trees.
  • Explore Brooklyn Bridge Park . This beautiful park is a great place to take a walk or jog, especially in the fall when the weather is still warm. You can also rent bikes or boats at several locations within the park.
  • Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge . This iconic bridge is a beautiful place to walk across, especially when the weather starts to cool down and the leaves begin to change colors. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also take an elevator all the way up to the top of one of the towers for incredible views of Manhattan and Brooklyn.
  • Walk along the High Line . This park is built on top of an abandoned railroad line and offers stunning views. As you walk along the path, you can see the city below and enjoy beautiful gardens, sculptures, and art installations. You can check out the High Line on our Chelsea Market, High Line, & Hudson Yards Food & History Tour!
  • Walk along the Hudson River Park (or just enjoy its views from a bench) This waterfront park is a great place to relax and watch ships coming in and out of the harbor. You can also rent boats or take a ride on a ferry if you’re feeling adventurous.

Get out of Manhattan and discover the real New York

If you’re only visiting Manhattan, you are missing out on a lot of the city’s charm. Take a day trip to Brooklyn or Queens and get to know some of the other boroughs. There’s plenty to see and do in Brooklyn and Queens, including visiting Coney Island, taking a ferry to Manhattan or seeing the sights at the Empire State Building. If you’re looking for an affordable way to get around the city, try renting a bike. There are hundreds of rental shops throughout New York that will provide you with all the essentials needed for a fun ride through the city streets.

  • Go on a ferry ride to Staten Island or to one of the city’s other boroughs. The views are beautiful and you’ll get a chance to see how people live outside of Manhattan.
  • Go on a food tour of New York City. You’ll get a chance to try out some of the best food in the city, learn about its history and get an insider’s look at how it’s made. If you’re looking for something more casual, stop by one of the many food carts located throughout Manhattan to grab a quick bite. Looking for a food tour? We have 6 different public tours to choose from this fall!
  • Go on a walking tour of New York City. There are plenty of walking tours available to choose from that will take you through all the major sights in Manhattan and allow you to learn about its history. If you’re looking for ideas, we recommend this Midtown Architecture tour!
  • Go on a bike tour of New York City. You’ll get to see the city at a slower pace and learn more about it as you ride around.

Late summer in New York City

In late summer, you’ll have the same warm weather as you do in spring, with temperatures in the 70s and 80s. You’ll also have fewer crowds than during tourist season, which means plenty of breathing room at museums and parks.

If you’re visiting New York City in early September, visit these attractions:

  • The National September 11 Memorial & Museum is open on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., so you can take your time without feeling rushed.
  • Take advantage of free admission to the Museum of Modern Art from 5 p.m.–8 p.m., when its iconic sculpture garden will be open until 9 p.m..
  • For dinner, head over to Brooklyn’s restaurants like Roberta’s or Trestle on Tenth Street for some locally sourced cuisine (both are great spots for brunch too!).

Late-summer visitors can also enjoy many of the city’s outdoor activities. Take a bike ride or jog through Central Park, explore Manhattan’s art galleries on the Upper East Side, or spend an afternoon sunbathing at Coney Island Beach. Just remember to wear sunscreen!

Everyone should experience autumn in New York City at least once

Whether you’re visiting from another part of the country or just need some inspiration for a post-Halloween evening stroll, if you’re lucky enough to visit New York in the fall, make sure to take it all in. The city has so much to offer and the best way to experience it is by getting lost in its neighborhoods. There are so many hidden gems that you won’t find if you stick to Manhattan! There are so many things to do in New York City that we couldn’t even begin to name them all. The city has something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a cultural experience or just want to take part in some of the best food and drink that the world has to offer.