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Inspired by the change of season from summer to fall, New York City is revitalized and inspired. The hot, lazy days of summer are gone and the city’s pulse is reinvigorated. NYC has an endless number of things to do and somehow autumn arrives and hooks us into believing it’s possible to take advantage of them all. How are we so easily coaxed into thinking fall is the best time to visit NYC?
Is it possible the summer heat has smoked our brains and left us all a bit crazed? Or maybe after a summer of eating BBQ foods, the first bite of NYC pizza leaves us lightheaded and swooning…
Could there actually be something more tangible about why flipping the calendar from August to September and onward makes for an excellent time to visit NYC?
5 Reasons Why Fall is the Best Time to Visit NYC
1. Summer’s stifling heat disappears.
Frigid scenes of New York City in winter leave potential visitors shaking their head in disapproval. Who would want to walk around when it’s so cold?! However, once you’ve lived or spent a length of time in NYC during the brutally hot months of summer, your feelings about cooler temperatures soften, and even, outright change.
The summer heat from the sun, the traffic, and the sheer number of bodies builds during the day and stays trapped among the tall buildings at night. Mixed up in this heat and humidity are the city’s oh so lovely smells. Trust me, the NYC oven is not filling the streets with wafts of cinnamon and sugar. Fall’s arrival brings dryer fresher air and pleasant temperatures. It’s once again enjoyable to stroll through Lower Manhattan or to ride bikes along the Hudson River instead of sweating with our noses pinched while moving from one air-conditioned location to the next.
2. The crowds are gone.
New Yorkers know there is a (brief) period of time between the beginning of the new school year in September and the Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Ceremony right after Thanksgiving when the crowds in Times Square thin out, tickets to Broadway shows and the city’s many events are easier to come by, and shopping in Soho is actually pleasurable again. First-time visitors to NYC will also navigate their way around the city much easier during this time.
Not sure of all the NYC do’s and don’ts? No worries. New York lets out a giant exhale with the exit of the summer tourism load. Lighter, more buoyant, you can navigate the sidewalks without feeling as if you’re the one holding the football with everyone around you trying to tackle you to the pavement.
3. Fall ushers in a new season of festivals, events, and celebrations.
Regardless of the season, New York City is an epicenter for events, street fairs, and a plethora of other goings-on. Autumn, though, brings with it culture and sports. September is the proper start of the new Broadway season. It’s the best time to see new plays and musicals before any TONY buzz drives seat prices higher.
The New York Film Festival shows movies and documentaries of all kinds, some of which land squarely in the Academy Award’s spotlight. OktoberFest kicks off downtown at South Street Seaport and fall is a perfect time to try out pumpkin brews and apple ales. Wear your craziest costume for Greenwich Village’s annual Halloween parade. Or how about catching a baseball, basketball, hockey or football game or even cheering on runners in the New York City Marathon?
Finally, in grand fashion, the Thanksgiving Day Parade marches from the Upper West Side to Herald Square with balloons swaying and announcing the arrival of Santa and the winter season.
Traveling to NYC soon?
4. City parks, walkways, and gardens are ablaze with the colors of autumn.
Want to know how to create your own movie-worthy New York City moment? Just stroll through Central Park among the red, orange, and yellow leaves wearing a comfy scarf, holding your favorite hot beverage, arm in arm with that someone special. As much as the city’s parks come alive with blossoms in the spring, the colors of autumn pop against a brilliant blue fall sky creating the quintessential romantic setting.
Head to the Brooklyn or New York Botanical Gardens for an absolute show of fall color! Or perhaps, you’d prefer a river view instead. Visit the Cloisters in Fort Tyron Park for fall foliage and a sweeping panorama of the Hudson River, not to mention the fantastic medieval art and architecture.
5. New York City is perfect for your fall wardrobe.
Let’s face it. Flipflops and strappy sandals are perfect for summer, but not really summer in NYC. Who really wants to expose their toes to the grimy city streets? Winter in NYC is pretty when fresh snow falls, but cold and slippery if you don’t have the right gear to be out hopping icy brown puddles. But, everyone has a perfect fall wardrobe. Jeans, leggings, tee-shirts, light sweaters, boots, loafers, and my favorite, scarves are made for cozy NYC fall outings.
So, do you think fall is the best time to visit NYC? What time of the year do you recommend a visit?
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