In 2017, the city of New York reported having over 62 million tourists visit.
If you’re looking to visit this amazing city, you may be wondering when the best time to go to New York City is.
To give some insight, we’ve gathered everything you need to know to get the most out of your trip.
Keep reading to figure out when you should schedule your trip to see the Big Apple.
New York Seasons
As with any tourist destination, New York has three basic seasons that you need to be aware of. Let’s take a closer look at each of these.
This is the busiest time of the year to visit New York City because it’s when most tourists flock to the area. Hotels tend to go up in price and it can be harder to enjoy some attractions because of the crowds.
However, it’s also when there’s a lot of excitement in the city and when the weather is typically the best. New York City has two peak seasons.
June through August are popular times to visit NYC because the weather is nice and many of the beaches and other attractions are open to the public.
Late November through the beginning of January are also popular because of the holidays. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve are all momentous occasions in the Big Apple.
These are the times of year between peak season and low season. For many people, these are the ideal times to go because the weather is usually pretty agreeable but there aren’t as many crowds.
The shoulder seasons in New York are May and September through mid-November.
This time of year, New York comparatively feels like a ghost time. Even many New Yorkers tend to stay inside to avoid inclement weather.
If you don’t mind missing out on some attractions or braving the rain or cold, January through April is a great time to go to New York if you want to avoid the big crowds.
The Best Time to Go to New York City Based on Attractions
If you go to New York when there aren’t any crowds may be nice, but if you can’t see some of the attractions you want to see, the money you save on a hotel won’t help much.
For that reason, we’re going to look at some of the reasons people visit New York and discuss when the best time to visit is so you don’t miss out on any of the experiences you want to have.
Shows and Entertainment
To catch a particular show on Broadway, you’ll have to go when it’s showing. That obviously goes for other concerts and events as well.
In most cases, you’ll want to book your tickets for the show you want to see before your plane tickets. This will ensure that you know exactly when you need to travel to see a certain show, concert, game, or another event.
One of the best times to go shopping in New York is in December. The streets and stores are all decked out for Christmas and it feels like something right out of a movie.
Just keep in mind that New Yorkers are doing their holiday shopping as well!
Another time to take advantage of shopping in New York is summertime. Then, you’ll find outdoor markets and various festivals throughout the warmer months that offer a wide variety of options for visitors and natives alike.
Because most dining happens indoors, you should be able to enjoy any of the fine dining New York has to offer any time of the year. Of course, if you’re looking at outdoor dining, then you’ll want to avoid winter.
With so many great places to choose from, you may want to make your own list of places to check out so you don’t miss any. Don’t forget to make reservations as far in advance as possible since many of these places have long waiting lists.
By far the biggest holiday celebrations in New York City are Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and ball drop at midnight on December 31st both draw thousands of people from around the world every year.
As we’ve already mentioned, Christmastime is another good time to visit NYC because of the holiday displays, including the massive Rockafeller Center Tree and breathtaking light shows.
Another holiday that’s often overlooked by visitors is Independence Day. On July 4th, the skyline is lit up with a magnificent fireworks display unlike any other. It’s by far one of the best ways to celebrate America’s birthday.
Kids and Family
If you’re traveling to New York with your family, you’ll be thrilled to know there are a myriad of family-friendly attractions. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Take a guided tour of the city
- Check out the Children’s Museum of Manhattan
- Go to Central Park
- Visit the Bronx Zoo
- Pick up something at Dylan’s Candy Bar
Consider helping your kids pick one activity each they want to do before you book your trip. This will ensure every member of the family gets to do at least one thing that they really want to do.
This is another part of New York that you can experience any time of the year, and there are plenty of options for those with a wild side.
It’s arguably better in the warmer months when it’s easier for people to walk to the bars, but you can safely assume that the City that Never Sleeps will be busy during the night even in the dead of winter.
This location is one of many where people have enjoyed their honeymoons. You can book a room any time of the year, so you’ll want to consider what you and your future spouse want to do while in New York.
As you can imagine, going any time of the year will provide plenty of options for a newlywed couple to spend time seeing the sights and celebrating their marriage.
Want More Travel Destinations?
Now you know when is the best time to go to New York City. As you can see, when you go will depend on what you plan on doing while there and how many other tourists you want to see.
If you’re looking for more destinations, check out the world travel section of our blog. We have a ton of information that will help you figure out where to go next!