When planning a trip to New York City, especially when it’s our first time, it’s normal to have a lot of questions! First of all: we will all wonder about the period of our trip to NYC. Spring? Summer? Fall? Or winter? What is really the best time to go to NYC?

After 5 trips to NYC, I’m going to tell you everything you need to know about the different periods of travel! What are the most pleasant and/or advantageous months to discover the Big Apple? From January to December, discover with me the advantages and disadvantages of each month to visit NYC. You will quickly find the most suitable period for your trip, according to your preferences and your needs 🙂

New York City in January

          • Advantages

➜ One of the cheapest times of the year for both accommodation and airfare.

➜ NYC under the snow is simply… magical! And you can enjoy the outdoor skating rinks.

➜ Few tourists.

         • Disadvantages

➜ The weather is not always easy to manage: big snowstorms are possible (beware of airport closures) and you need to have quality winter equipment (jackets, gloves, scarves, hats…).

➜ Outdoor activities are limited.

New York City in February

          • Advantages

➜ Low season rates: possibility of great deals on airfare and hotel prices!

➜ Nice atmosphere for Valentine’s Day (February 14th) and sales period for President Day (3rd Monday of February).

➜ Few tourists.

          • Disadvantages

➜ We are in the middle of winter: temperatures can be very cold in the morning (-5°C/-10°C  or 23°F/14°F are not rare) and snowstorms are always possible.

➜ Outdoor activities are always limited. Now is the time to take full advantage of the outdoor rinks.

New York City in March

          • Advantages

➜ Last moments to take advantage of the cheapest rates of the season for accommodation.

➜ Winter is slowly disappearing and some days can be very beautiful at the end of the month even if the temperatures remain cool in the morning.

➜ Few tourists.

          • Disadvantages

➜ The irregularity of the weather: winter days can alternate with spring days. It is not easy to bring a complete range of adapted clothes.

➜ Central Park is generally not out of winter yet. The trees remain bare and the lawns and flowers are not out yet.

New York City in April

         • Advantages

➜ The first real warm days of spring.

➜ The outdoor activities are now all practicable (cruises, cycling etc…)

➜ Nature awakens in New York: tulips are planted all over the city, Central Park’s trees usually start blooming at the end of the month.

          • Disadvantages

➜ Accommodation rates are starting to rise.

➜ The number of tourists is also increasing: you can no longer improvise your planning, you have to book everything in advance to avoid wasting your time in the lines.

➜ The weather can be wet and there are many rainy days.

New York City in May

          • Advantages

➜ Central Park is finally green again.

➜ Nice sales period for Memorial Day (last Monday of May).

          • Disadvantages

➜ Very humid weather: rain and thunderstorms can be regularly on the program!

➜ Between May and October, accommodation prices are the highest.

➜ It is at the very end of May that the first act of the most beautiful sunset in NYC (the Manhattanhenge) takes place. The sun sets directly in the street line, which gives a magnificent panorama to shoot.

New York City in June

          • Advantages

➜ The summer weather: it is very nice and very hot!

➜ This is the time to enjoy the longest days of the year.

          • Disadvantages

➜ The weather is nice but sometimes a little too hot! Temperatures can be very high because of the humidity. Be prepared to sweat!

➜ The prices always higher and the tourists always more abundant.

Good to know: In New York City, the sun never sets very late. At max 9pm it will be dark, even on the longest days. On the other hand, the sun rises very early in the morning, around 5 am.

New York City in July

          • Advantages

➜ The weather, very sunny and very hot.

➜ Nice sales period for the Independence Day (4th of July).

➜ Joyful atmosphere and beautiful fireworks to celebrate the Independence Day.

          • Disadvantages

➜ The heat sometimes makes outdoor activities a bit complicated. Feelings of over 40°C (104°F) are not rare. Beware of thunderstorms at the end of the day.

➜ The price of accommodation and the number of tourists.

Good to know: The second act of Manhattanhenge takes place around mid-July.

New York City in August

          • Advantages

➜ The weather, very sunny and very hot.

➜ Nice sales for “Back to school” period.

          • Disadvantages

➜ The heat sometimes makes outdoor activities a bit complicated. Feelings of over 40°C (104°F) are not rare. Beware of thunderstorms at the end of the day.

➜ The price of accommodation and the number of tourists.

Good to know: August is also the month when many New Yorkers leave the city! This is particularly true in the upscale districts where families own villas outside the city.

New York City in September

          • Advantages

➜ Probably the best period for the weather: days are sunny and pleasantly temperate (around 25°C/77°F), much less humidity in the air).

➜ Sales for “Back to school” period and Labor Day.

          • Disadvantages

➜ The high season continues and so do the high prices that go with it.

New York City in October

          • Advantages

➜ Last moments to enjoy beautiful days in New York. Temperatures are generally mild (around 20°C/68°F).

➜ Festive atmosphere and iconic parade for Halloween.

➜ Depending on the year, Central Park’s fall colors can be seen between late October and early November.

          • Disadvantages

➜ This is the last month of the high season, accommodation prices are still high.

New York City in November

          • Advantages

➜ Finally, it is possible again to find hotels with interesting rates! The same goes for flights (except for the Thanksgiving period if you come from another state in the United States).

➜ This is the time to enjoy the famous Thanksgiving Day Parade (the third Thursday of November) and discover one of the most symbolic holidays of the American calendar.

➜ Black Friday, the huge sale day to make the best shopping deals of the year!

          • Disadvantages

➜ The climate can be quite humid and there are many rainy days.

New York City in December

          • Advantages

➜ Christmas atmosphere and festive decorations from the beginning of December. Return of the outdoor skating rinks (Rockefeller Center, Central Park and Bryant Park).

➜ Boxing Day for great deals on December 26.

          • Disadvantages

➜ During the holiday season, flight and accommodation rates are at their highest levels of the year.

➜ Temperatures become cold again (about 5°C/41°F during the day, often less in the morning) and snow can sometimes fall.

When to go to New York City ? My opinion

In my opinion, there is not only one good time to visit NYC but several. In fact, it all depends on the factors that are most important to you. As I usually say on my blogs, it’s all about priorities! People who want to discover New York City outside of the busy tourist season will obviously avoid the period between May and September.

On the other hand, those who are looking for good weather during their stay will be more likely to have good weather conditions between June and September. Another possibility: if you are really afraid of heat and humidity, avoid NYC in July and August! Finally, if you want to travel to New York on a tight budget, there is nothing like the months between November and March.

According to different factors, here are the most suitable periods:

  • For the best weather: June and September.
  • To save money as much as possible: from November to March (excluding the holiday season).
  • To have less affluence: from November to March as well (excluding Thanksgiving and Christmas periods).
  • For good shopping deals: November (for its Black Friday), December with the year-end sales and July for Independence Day.

Finally, regardless of these factors and after 5 trips to New York at different times, here are my favorite months to discover and visit NYC:

     ➜ June:

The temperatures are warm but pleasant, the days long, and the crowds already a bit but not as much as during July and August. Outdoor activities are all open and practicable and the parks are full of shady spots to come and rest. The only drawback is that the NBA season is over, so you can’t come to Madison Square Garden to support the Knicks. Anyway, this is a great reason to go to a baseball game and support the famous New York Yankees!

     ➜ September:

Temperatures become mild again after the soaring summer weather. At this time, there is much less humidity in the air so also much less instability. The outdoor activities are all open and a little less crowded than in July and August. Also, the NBA season starts again in September!

     ➜ December:

And to discover the city in an absolutely magical and unforgettable atmosphere, there is nothing like a little trip during the holiday season! I personally love winter and I don’t mind the cold temperatures. If you are planning a family trip, this will probably be the best time to see stars in your children’s eyes. If you have the budget, do it!

That’s it! I hope this article has helped you to see more clearly the best times to visit New York City! If you still have questions on the subject, ask them in the comments 🙂

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I’m a french travel blogger, crazy about New York City! Since I discovered NYC in 2014, each trip is an opportunity to learn more about the secrets of this fantastic city. I wish you a pleasant visit on my blog, with I hope, a lot of beautiful discoveries!