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Best Places for Sunbathing in NYC

It's Always Sunny in New York

New York might not be one of the most conventional places for summer vacation, but its charm can still be seen throughout the summer months. You can also get an urban tan while you are perusing the city, and sunbathe in one of the city’s many parks and walkways.

Whether uptown or downtown, you don’t want to miss out on these exquisite spots.

1. Central Park – Uptown/Midtown

Best Places for Sunbathing in NYC - Central Park - uptown/midtown

Central Park is the classic spot for New Yorkers to enjoy the sunshine.  It comprises 843 acres and it is the most visited urban park in the United States.

Located between the Upper West Side and Upper East Side,  Central Park is home to any locations for visitors to relax and absorb the warm New York Sun.

You can try the famed Sheep’s Meadow (shown below) on the west side of the East Meadow, on the east side of the park.

Sheep’s MeadowW 67th St (between West & East Dr), New York, NY

East Meadow(5th Ave between 98th & 101st St), New York, NY

2. Chelsea Piers, Pier 45, Hudson River Park – Lower West Side 

Best Places for Sunbathing in NYC - Chelsea piers, pier 45, hudson river park
The West Side provides some of the most exceptional views of the city

Chelsea Piers and Pier 45 are both located right on the Hudson River and intersect the pathway of Hudson River Park, which runs all the way down the island of Manhattan to Battery Park.

The sights of the city and the view of the Statue of Liberty are most breathtaking at sunset, which gives a certain glow to all the outcroppings of trees and meadows that are down the Hudson River Park’s path.

Hudson River Park: West St (between Battery Pl & W 59th St), New York, NY

Chelsea Piers: 62 Chelsea Piers (between 17th & 23rd St.), New York, NY

Pier 45West St (Christopher St), New York, NY

3. Governor’s Island – Picnic Point

Best Places for Sunbathing in NYC - Governor's Island

Just minutes from lower Manhattan by ferry, Governor’s Island is a favorite of New Yorkers for sunbathing, concert-going, and picnicking.

Picnic Point is true to its name on the island. The site offers picnic tables, hammocks, and views of the Statue of Liberty. Feel free to bring a picnic blanket or a bicycle to spend a relaxing day just far enough away from the city itself.  

4. Brighton Beach – Brooklyn

Best Places for Sunbathing in NYC - Brighton Beach

Brighton Beach is an oceanside neighborhood in Brooklyn, located right along the Coney Island peninsula. It’s a common summer destination for many New Yorkers and is but a brief subway ride away from Midtown. You can traverse the beaches, walk the scenic boardwalk, or head to the famous Coney Island amusement park.

5. Carl Schurz Park – Uptown/Yorkville

Best Places for Sunbathing in NYC - Carl Scurz park

This park is 14.9 acres of riverside views, dog runs, and scenic spots in the Yorkville neighborhood of Manhattan. It was named for the German-born Secretary of the Interior Carl Schurz in 1910, which reflected the community at the time of German-Americans. The park contains also Gracie Mansion, the official residence of the Mayor of New York.

599 E 86th St (at East End Ave), New York, NY

6. Tompkins Square Park – Lower East Side

Best Places for Sunbathing in NYC - Tompkins Square Park - lower east side
Sunbathers in action at Tompkins Square Park

This historic park spans 10.5 acres in the Alphabet City portion of East Village, Manhattan. It’s bounded by East 10th Street on the north side, Avenue B on the east,  East 7th Street in the south, and on the west by Avenue A. You can sunbathe here and absorb the eclectic scenes of Alphabet city, and attend the farmer’s market in the park, too.

Location – E 7th St to E 10th St (between Ave A & B), New York, NY

7. Riverside Park – Upper West Side

Best Places for Sunbathing in NYC - Riverside park

Riverside Park is a scenic waterfront public park on the Upper West Side, right near the area of Morningside Heights. It’s widely regarded as Manhattan’s most spectacular waterfront park and features playgrounds, walkways, and lounge areas.

Riverside Dr (between W 59th St & St. Clair Pl), New York, NY

8. North Meadow – Battery Park City

This park is a nice escape in the heart of Tribeca. The expansive lawn is perfect for frisbee, sunbathing, and many other summer activities if you are too far away from Central Park

9. Bryant Park – Midtown

This famous park is bordered by the Main Branch of the New York Public. You can grab a good book and position yourself on the lawn or at any of the little cafe tables that surround it. This park is always busy, and perfect for people-watching as well.

E 42nd St (between 5th & 6th Ave), New York, NY

Best Places for Sunbathing in NYC- Bryant Park - midtown

10. Astoria Park – Queens

Best Places for Sunbathing in NYC - Astoria Park / Queens

Astoria Park is one of the largest open spaces in Queens, a 59.96-acre  park located along the East River. The park contains New York City’s oldest and largest swimming pool, which was used for qualifiers in the 1936 and 1964 Summer Olympics.

Best Places for Sunbathing in NYC - Astoria Parks in Queens

This park also features bocce and tennis courts, playgrounds, basketball courts, a track for running, and a skatepark.

Astoria Park: 19 19th St, Queens, NY 11105

Best Places for Sunbathing in NYC

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