⇥ Dress: Banana Republic (old, similar here) | Denim Sandals | Bag: Henri Bendel (also comes in red/white)
Although it might be the end of July, summer is still far from over! This season is also one of the best times to explore the city, especially with someone special. Personally, I find doing activities on dates allows for both parties to better interact & get to know each other at a stronger level.
Whether you’ve been dating for a while or involved with someone brand new, here are some fun date ideas to do this summer that won’t break the bank to have a good time!
HIT THE BEACH
Soak up the sun for the day. NYC has its share of beaches to enjoy in several boroughs:
The Bronx – Orchard Beach
If you’re feeling adventurous, venture a little farther out of the city to Sandy Hook Beach National Park in New Jersey. You can take a beautiful (less than 1 hour) ferry trip aboard the Seastreak, which gives you a breathtaking view of the city skyline. The boat has an outdoor roof with seating as well as a full-service bar on board. Upon arrival, enjoy 7 miles of gorgeous beaches to choose from.
Monday – Friday: 8:45am & 9:00am | 11:15am & 10:50am
Saturday – Sunday: 8:00am & 8:15am | 10:30am & 11:00am | 1:20pm & 1:35pm
*I strongly advise getting to the dock(s) early, as these ferries get very packed on the weekends
Click to see Full Schedule & Fares
MOVIE UNDER THE STARS
Several parks in the NYC area host free movies during the week to enjoy. Pack a blanket, get some takeout, & watch that movie you missed when it was in theaters. Click here for 2018 schedule & locations.
PICNIC IN THE PARK
Pack a basket and find a spot to settle down in one of NYC’s beautiful parks. Here are some of the one’s I recommend, depending on the vibe you’re looking for:
Sheep’s Meadow in Central Park – large & open enough to not feel crowded.
Madison Square Park – quieter, most lawns open to find a spot to sit on.
Battery Park – beautiful view of the water, Governor’s Island, & The Statue of Liberty.
WALK THE HIGH LINE
This stretch of park, raised 30 feet above street level, used to be an old rail line that ran from the Lower West Side through Meatpacking & Chelsea and ending at the northern edge of the West Side Yard on 34th St (near Javits Center.)
Today you can walk the 1.45 mile long stretch of linear park, enjoying river & city views along the way. It is wheelchair accessible & offers several accessible locations along with stair entrances.
34th St & 12th Ave
30th St (b/t 10th & 11th Aves)
23rd St & 10th Ave
16th St & 10th Ave
14th St & 10th Ave
Gansevoort & Washington St
30th St & 11th Ave
28th St & 10th Ave
26th St & 10th Ave
20th St & 10th Ave
17th St & 10th
TAKE A CITY BUS TOUR
This is still on my tourist bucket list & I’m definitely going to make it a goal of mine to do this summer, no matter what!
CitySightsNY offers an unlimited hop-on, hop-off tour that covers 4 loops – Downtown, Uptown, Brooklyn, & Night Tour. You also get a couple free inclusions with your purchase, including admission to the Empire State Building, Museum of the City of New York or New York Historical Society, & Top of the Rock to name a few.
VISIT CONEY ISLAND
Another bucket list destination of mine, that I’m 100% making happen this summer as well, is visiting Coney Island. I’ve been once before to shoot blog photos during the off season but have always wanted to experience going to Luna Park. Who wouldn’t want to go to a theme park, especially one as historic as this!?
Ps, anyone else getting Uptown Girls vibes when thinking about it?
Hours of Operation
[July]: 11am – 10pm
[August]: 10am – 10pm
[September]: 11am – 12am
EXPLORE THE BOTANICAL GARDEN / BRONX ZOO
Both these destinations are a bit of a hike to get to, but totally worth it once you arrive. I could spend an entire day at each, but you will definitely need (2) days to tackle both.
Featured Event: Georgia O’Keeffe Visions of Hawai’i (through October 28)
Hours of Operation: 10am – 6pm
See daily schedule for events/exhibitions
Hours of Operation: 10am – 5pm
RENT A BOAT IN CENTRAL PARK
Grab an oar & rent a rowboat from 10am til sundown for $15/hour, channeling your inner romantic movie moment every second. Not gonna lie, I’m secretly wishing I’ll be surprised with such a gesture in the future.
After you’ve had enough rowing for the day, grab a bite at The Boathouse Lakeside Restaurant overlooking the body water you just spent x amount of time on; it’s very beautiful, in all seriousness.
*I recommend making a reservation in advance.
Ps, remember the place whereCarrie & Big went swimming? Looks familiar, huh.
SMORGASBURG FOOD FESTIVAL
Smorgasburg is the largest weekly open-air food market in America, attracting 20,000-30,000 people to Brooklyn each weekend to eat from 100 local vendors. Think of it as the “Woodstock of eating.” It launched May 21, 2011, as a spinoff of Brooklyn Flea, and has since launched dozens of small businesses and attracted millions of visitors.
Saturdays in Williamsburg: East River State Park
Sundays in Prospect Park: Prospect Park – Breeze Hill