5 New York Activities That Are Better in the Fall

New Yorkers and visitors alike, rejoice! Summer is over, August’s soul-crushing heat is on its way out the door, and it’s officially autumn in the city. To celebrate, we’ve rounded up a few things you probably would have done this summer, were it not for the oppressive humidity and unidentifiable smells rising from the subway into your innocent nostrils. Take a breath of below-90-degree air, kick up a few leaves, and enjoy.

View from High Line park looking towards the NY streets in fall.
Visiting in fall gives you a better chance to actually stroll the High Line. Photo © Janifest/iStock.

1. Rooftop bars

Popular opinion would have it that prime rooftop season is spring and summer, but we beg to differ: September and October are just as good, if not better. The weather has cooled down just enough, the crowds have begun to dissipate, and with the days starting to get just a little shorter, you might catch both sunset over the city and happy hour at the same time. A+.

2. Tourist destinations

Namely, all of them. More specifically, NYC-bucket-list spots like the High Line. Again, this one comes down to crowds; summer is easily the most popular season for tourists to visit New York. And look, we get it—school is out, business is having a summertime slump, the sun is (finally) out, etc. But come fall, the majority of out-of-towners have returned home, the weather is still beautiful, and you’re more likely to be able to actually stroll the High Line. Go ahead and take in the view—with a little room to breathe.

3. The parks

Need we say more? While the season for picnics and rosé all day is on its way out, there’s still every reason to spend time in New York’s beautiful public parks. The crisp autumn air, the leaves changing all around you, a cup of hot cider…and maybe a hot date? It’s all so romantic, in the cheesiest, most perfect way.

4. Special events

Autumn in New York brings all kinds of special events to town. Just to name a few: The New York City Wine and Food Festival, Fashion Week, Comic Con, and the New York City Marathon. Never a dull moment.

5. Doing all of these things outside!

It’s true that summer in the city is practically overflowing with food and drink festivals, outdoor concerts galore, and more. And far be it for us to forego any of them. But there’s a special place in our hearts for the occasions that fall brings: Halloween, harvest festivals, Oktoberfest, and oh so much more. And the ability to celebrate them outdoors without instantly melting into a puddle of condensation? There’s just no comparison.

This fall, when it comes to walking the city, we’ve got you covered.

For more ideas on the best things to do in New York, both outdoors and in, check out: