• Summer in the City: Beaches, Markets, Rooftops, and More!

    Summer in the City: Beaches, Markets, Rooftops, and More!

Experience a vibrant summer in the Big Apple. Discover hidden gems, enjoy live music, relax on the beach, and more — all with The James NoMad as your homebase!

Summer in the City: Beaches, Markets, Rooftops, and More!
Summer in the Concrete Jungle

New York City summers are truly magical. Sun lovers return to the beaches and parks in all five boroughs, alfresco dinners and cafes spill out onto the sidewalks; meanwhile, outdoor festivals, concerts and movies are in full swing. It’s the perfect time to explore all the hidden gems in the city parks, catch a ball at Citi Field or make a day trip to Coney Island to ride the wooden tracks of the Cyclone roller coaster. Whatever your favorite way of spending the summer is, New York City has you covered. In this guide, we’ll highlight some of the must-see attractions and events that will make your summer in the city unforgettable.

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Outdoor Concerts

The official start of summer is June 21st, however, even before the Summer Equinox, New York City is already gearing up for the warm weather with a series of concerts. Here are some noteworthy events to add to your itinerary:

  • Park Jams: a Juneteenth Celebration of Hip-Hop (June 19th, Central Park): Don’t miss this ticketed event featuring renowned hip-hop artists like DJ Premier, Kid Capri, and Grandmaster Flash.
  • Attacca Quartet (June 22nd, Wave Hill Public Garden):  Enjoy a free concert by the Grammy award-winning Attacca Quartet on the Great Lawn of Wave Hill Public Garden. This collaboration with Carnegie Hall promises a delightful blend of classical music and beautiful weather.
  • Picnic Performances at Bryant Park: Bryant Park, which is a short walk from the James NoMad, features a series of Picnic Performances throughout the summer which are always a highlight of the season. This free outdoor festival welcomes New Yorkers and visitors alike to experience the city’s vibrant arts and culture. The lineup consists of dance artists, including performances by the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Carnegie Hall Citywide highlights like Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, and even opera performances from the New York City Opera. Check out the rest of the Picnic Performances series at Bryant Park, and start adding some of these amazing shows to your list.
  • Summerstage in Central Park: Summerstage presents over 75 free and benefit performances in Central Park and neighborhood parks across all five boroughs. The 37th installment of Summerstage brings salsa, jazz, indie-rock, country, afrobeats, opera and much more. This festival fills a vital niche in New York City’s art festival landscape, you’ll be able to enjoy a variety of musical offerings with most of them being free of charge! Check out the schedule and start planning your vacation around your favorite artist.
  • Live Music at the Seville: If you’re looking to escape the heat and hustle and bustle of the city, then The Seville it’s the perfect place to quench your thirst with a delicious cocktail paired expertly with live music. This summer we have a line-up of amazing musicians and DJs, they’ll be spinning an energetic mix of funk, rock, and soul. The best part about The Seville? You don’t have to worry about getting home, it’s right here in the lower level of The James NoMad!

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Nice weather means open-air markets that dot the city with amazing vendors of all kinds. Whether you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind souvenir or a tasty bite, you’ll be sure to find it at one of these varied events. The markets are often scheduled to happen on the weekends, with the occasional Friday ones

  • Smorgasburg: Taking place on weekends, Smorgasburg offers a traveling food market experience. Sample a variety of culinary delights, from empanadas and dumplings to barbecue and tacos. Locations include Westfield World Trade Center on Fridays, Marsha P. Johnson State Park in Williamsburg on Saturdays, and Prospect Park in Brooklyn on Sundays.
  • Brooklyn Flea: Open on Saturdays and Sundays in Dumbo — beneath the Manhattan Bridge — the Brooklyn Flea is a treasure trove for thrift-shoppers and antique enthusiasts. This market also features tons of local artists selling their paintings, photographs, tapestries, and ceramics. This market is a nice excuse to take a trip over the bridge and walk around the Brooklyn Promenade on a nice and sunny summer day. 
  • Grand Bazaar NYC:  Centrally located near Central Park and the Museum of Natural History, Grand Bazaar NYC has been a bustling market since 1985. Browse through vintage clothing, home decor, handcrafted art, handmade skin-care products, and unique gifts from around the world. It’s the ideal place to spend a leisurely Sunday afternoon. This open-air market is a 30-minute subway ride from The James NoMad and the ideal place to spend a Sunday afternoon.

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Not a lot of people visit New York and think of it as a beachy destination, but the truth is, there are plenty of spots in New York City to enjoy a beach day, after all, Manhattan is an island and the city is home to almost 14 miles of sand. Public beaches in New York are open from Memorial Day Weekend until just after Labor Day. They offer a much-needed break from the humidity of the concrete jungle, so make sure to pack your sunscreen and bathing suit and hit these spots. Here are a few recommendations.

  • Coney Island: Known for its nostalgic charm, Coney Island offers a lively boardwalk with beachside food options and the famous Coney Island’s amusement park, Luna Park. Whether you’re indulging in Nathan’s Famous hotdogs or taking a dip in the Atlantic, Coney Island promises a fun-filled day trip. The trip from The James NoMad takes no more than an hour in the car, as well as in the subway.
  • Rockaway Beach: New York City’s  very active and dedicated surfer community loves flocking to Rockaway Beach year-round for its fantastic waves. But with miles of coastline on the Rockaway Peninsula, there’s more than enough room for the non-surfing crowd. If you’re interested in just spending a hot summer day tanning by the ocean then head over to Jacob Riis Park, nicknamed the People’s Beach, it’s the smaller cousin of Rockaway Beach. Designed by Robert Moses, the same person who designed Central Park and Prospect Park, it can be reached by bus, subway, car or ferry and it’s a popular spot for the LGBTQ+ community in the summer to gather and enjoy the ocean.
  • Manhattan Beach: For a more serene experience, head over to Manhattan Beach. Originally a private resort, this Beach is now fully open to the public. Manhattan Beach sees less visitors than Coney Island and features volleyball, tennis, handball and even basketball courts.

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Rooftop Bars

If you ask us, enjoying a drink in a rooftop bar in New York City in the summer is one of the best ways to enjoy the city. If you’re looking for the perfect rooftop to raise a glass, here are a few spots to start:

  • 230 Fifth Rooftop Bar: This famous rooftop bar offers stunning views of the Empire State Building, ample outdoor seating, and delicious cocktails. A reservation is always a must, especially if you want to snag one of the coveted outside spots. 230 Fifth is also the place to go if what you’re looking for is to dance the night away atop the city that never sleeps, they regularly feature amazing DJs and weekend parties.
  • Ophelia: Located atop the historic Beekman Tower in Midtown East, Ophelia combines old-school glamour with contemporary cocktails. With its velvet seating and preserved 1928 features, Ophelia is the perfect place to celebrate special occasions and enjoy panoramic views of the city. Indulge in classic cocktails like Old-Fashions and Martinis, or try their signature drink, Ophelia’s Ascension. Whatever you order or celebrate here is bound to feel extra special with its views and old-school charm.
  • Rooftop Reds: Wine lovers will delight in Rooftop Reds, the world’s first commercially viable urban rooftop vineyard. Located in Brooklyn, this is the perfect place to sip a rosé while swaying the evening away in one of their hammocks — all while taking in jaw dropping views of the Manhattan skyline. It’s the perfect way to spend a summer night, sipping wine made right in the city.
New York, New York

The James NoMad offers a central location in Manhattan, making it an ideal base for exploring all that New York City has to offer during the summer. Book a James or Jimmy Suite to act as your oasis during the summer months in the heart of the city. Check out our Hotel Happenings as well, for a truly unforgettable experience at The James NoMad.

Make the most of your summer in the city, filled with outdoor concerts, vibrant markets, beach days, and rooftop bar adventures. New York City is ready to provide you with unforgettable memories. We look forward to welcoming you to The James NoMad for an exceptional summer experience!

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