5 years, 9 months ago
Words and images by the very talented photo blogger Kirsten Alana, exclusively for Trip+ as part of our #housetripping series.
New York City comes alive in the summer time. It is more crowded than at any other time of year, for a reason. There are perhaps more things to do, more places to go and more ways to see and be seen than during any other season.
It is also when the city is most patriotic. From Memorial Day to Labour Day and especially over the 4th of July — New York buzzes with the excitement of parades, fireworks, festivals, carnivals, street fairs and green markets highlighting the history and culture of not just the United States but of all the countries which New York City residents represent.
Patriotism is at fever pace in the five boroughs around the 4th of July when the Macy’s Fireworks erupt over the Hudson River on the west side of Manhattan and a lightshow colours the top of the Empire State Building. If you’re in town, the best place to view the fireworks is along 12th Avenue between 24th Street and 59th Street.
The High Line also provides a wonderful, festive view of the fireworks but you’ll have to share it with eager crowds of locals and visitors.
Get some sand between your toes during your summer holiday in New York City by taking advantage of package deals like the Long Island Railroad’s combo ticket which gives you free access to Long Beach and return transportation on the train from Manhattan or Brooklyn.
Alternatively, if you’re looking to escape from the busy city life at the end of the day you can opt to stay on the water among the islands of Jamaica Bay in Queens. A cluster of wetlands and wildlife parks, Jamaica Bay is a peaceful spot for fishing and boating, with a boulevard running through the middle connecting mainland Queens with Long Island. HouseTrip.com offers this beautiful waterfront home, which can sleep up to eight people from £116/night, which includes a beautiful waterfront terrace with stunning views of Manhattan, parking and WIFI.
Enjoy a sporting afternoon watching a game at one of the city’s several baseball stadiums. A cold beer and hot dog are one of the most authentic of America’s summer pastimes. No matter which team you’re rooting for, it’s difficult to have a bad experience at a ballpark.
If all-American fare is what you are craving, and you don’t make it to a game, the city’s hot dog trucks can set you right for just a few dollars. There’s one on almost every corner, and that should always be followed by a visit to a ‘Mister Softee’ ice cream truck. Rainbow coloured sprinkles are optional!
Battery Park during sunset is an ideal place to be for viewing the Statue of Liberty but the best way to see her without visiting Liberty Island itself is to take a free ride on the Staten Island Ferry, which gives you unobstructed views of Ellis Island and the stunning downtown skyline.
Governor’s Island is a wonderful place to learn about the history of New York.
Historians in period dress are available all summer long to help any visitor learn about the city’s vibrant past.
It also hosts the Jazz Age Lawn Party two times during the summer months, when the island is overtaken by costumed partiers all recalling the glory of the roaring twenties.
The vibrant Mermaid Parade, festive Puerto Rican Parade and riotous Gay Pride Parade all take place in June so if parades get you excited, plan your visit accordingly.
The Stone Street Historic District houses some of the city’s oldest buildings and is a wonderful place to eat and drink while taking a break from sightseeing.
The Dubliner Pub serves up traditional Irish fare like Guinness stew and Shepherd’s Pie that will remind you of New York’s immigrant history.
South Street Seaport, one of the oldest districts in New York City, sustained damage during the course of Hurricane Sandy but it’s rebuilding and while doing so is coming back more vibrant than ever. Here, the city’s nautical past and present is on daily display and you can still ride the schooner ‘Pioneer’ which was launched back in 1885.
It’s not just Europe that is renowned for antiques; the east coast of the United States has dealers who specialize in everything from clothes to furniture to vinyl records and that trend has caught on in the boroughs as well. Check out the Brooklyn Flea, LIC Flea, Chelsea Antiques Garage or the East 67th Street Market for your chance to take home the perfect vintage Americana souvenir.
Markets are a great place to mix with locals as well, where you can chat to the vendors and really get a feel for an area.
Brooklyn, especially, is emerging as a family-friendly neighbourhood and an authentic place to stay to really live like a local, compared with the fast-paced and more ‘touristy’ Manhattan.
HouseTrip offers some great family rentals such as this apartment in a traditional Brownstone in the Brooklyn neighbourhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant. It sleeps up to six people from £116/night and has great transport links for visiting Manhattan as well as the Brooklyn Museum, Botanical Gardens and Prospect Park.
If you plan your holiday around visiting historical landmarks, Manhattan will provide. Trinity Church is a beautiful oasis almost in the middle of the city’s steel and glass Financial District. The nearby Stock Exchange building is significant both to the city’s past and present and the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the most well-known city bridges in the world.
If you’re only in New York for a short break and sightseeing is top of your agenda, then it’s a great idea to stay right in the heart of it. This luxurious six-bedroom house is tucked away in an unassuming Brownstone building in the Gramercy Park area of Manhattan, and is perfect for a group stay sleeping up to 17 Guests. It’s well located for visiting all the sights of Manhattan and includes an amazing terrace for relaxing with a drink in the evenings. It is available to book through HouseTrip from £1,003/night.
Perhaps no landmark is as patriotic now as the National September 11 Memorial and the One World Trade building, which lights up in the colours of the American flag every evening. Together they anchor downtown Manhattan and provide a place for both residents and visitors alike to learn and to pay tribute.
No summer time visit to New York City could be complete without a visit to Central Park. Historic buildings like the Loeb Boathouse, places like Bethesda Fountain — which have been featured in countless movies — and peaceful green spaces like Strawberry Fields,
are at their best in the warm months of summer.
Book your New York City apartment on HouseTrip.com, so you can enjoy the best the city has to offer in the summer, like a local!