When Is the Best Time to Visit New York? - Month-by-Month Guide – ESTAForm.org

Best Time to Visit New York

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New York City attracts millions of tourists all year round. There are lots of fun activities, famous locations to see, and festivals in New York year-round, so there is no particular best time to visit the city.
The best time to visit New York largely depends on what you want to do in the city, your interests, and your budget. This piece covers the best time to visit the Big Apple for specific reasons and in different seasons.

Best Time of Year to Visit New York for Different Travelers

Best Time for Good Weather: The ideal time to visit New York for perfect weather is May through June and September through October.
Best Times for Sightseeing: April, May, June, September, October, and early November are the best times to visit some of New York's top attractions like the empire state building, times square, central park, and Niagara falls.
Best Time for Honeymoon: April, May, June, September, and October.
Best Time for Nightlife: All year round.
Best Time For Festivals and Events in New York: April, July, September, November, and December.
Best Times for Saving Money: Early January into February.

Best Time to Visit New York Overall

The best time to visit New York is in the fall months of September and October. Here are some reasons we believe fall is the best season to come to NYC.
  • Fantastic Weather: Fall in NYC offers cool and clear weather. There is verylittle rainfall, and the weather is stable. The hot summer season is over, and the cold winter is yet to come.
  • The City Is Less Crowded: The summer crowd starts thining in September and isall but gone by October. The start of the school season in September is one reason for this thinning.
  • Lower Prices: Because the city is less crowded, there is a decrease in demand forhotel accommodations and other tourist facilities, causing prices to drop.
  • Picturesque Fall Colors: The multi-color Fall foliage is captivating, especially atCentral Park. You’ll get enough memories (pictures) to last a lifetime.
  • Great Festivals: There are several local festivals (like the New York Comedy Festival)to enjoy in September and October. NYC Broadway Week also holds in September. You can get 2-for-1 Broadway tickets this week.

New York in Spring

Colors start returning to New York in Spring after the ice and whiteness of winter. The city’s many parks come alive with blooming flowers and trees. New York City weather is unstable in early spring (late March through early April) but is stable, calm, and clear by May. The average high temperature in Spring is 23oC.
New York’s Cherry blossoms start blooming in late March. Central Park, New York Botanical Garden, and Roosevelt Island are the best locations to see the blossoms. The Botanical Garden hosts a Cherry Blossom Festival every April.
Spring is celebrated in New York by locals and tourists alike, although the tourist traffic is still low. They dine alfresco, shop at the street markets, walk across Brooklyn Bridge to enjoy the pleasant weather, and play chess at the parks.
Spring is also basketball and baseball season in NYC. Basketball season starts in March, and you can watch the NY Knicks and other teams play at Madison Square Garden. Baseball season begins in April, and you can watch the Yankees at Yankee Stadium.
Events like the St. Patrick's Day Parade and Fleet Week are famous NY festivals. The St. Patrick’s Day Parade is the oldest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the world and has been held annually on March 17th since 1762. The parade attracts millions of tourists yearly.
Fleet Week is celebrated every year in late May. US Coast Guard, Marines, and Navy members are honored all week. Memorial Day ushers in NYC beach season. Easter Parade on Fifth avenue, Tribeca Film Festival in lower Manhattan, and the 9th Avenue International Food Festival are also events that attract tourists to NYC in Spring.

New York in Summer

Summer is an excellent time for a family vacation in New York. The summer weather is sunny with few rainy days, although there are occasional thunderstorms. The weather is still cool in June but gets really hot in July through late August when it begins to cool again. The average high temperature in summer reaches 30oC.
New York City is a hive of tourist activity in summer. The city’s many festivals and outdoor events keep you engaged throughout the season. Some of the popular free NYC summer events are:
  • Shakespeare in the Park: Delacorte Theater in Central Park hosts free public theater performances from July through September. The tickets are usually distributed a few days before each performance. But you might have to wait in a long queue to get yours because of the summer crowds.
  • Fourth of July Fireworks: Macy’s displays spectacular fireworks every fourth of July, attracting thousands from in and around NYC. You’ll get a great view from the Brooklyn Bridge or any Manhattan and Brooklyn rooftops.
  • Restaurant Week: Over 300 restaurants in New York offer special deals this week. You can get a three-course meal (lunch) for $25 and $38 for dinner.
  • Jazz Lawn Party: This music festival is held every summer on Governors Island. It’s a fun event you won’t want to miss.
Other popular summer events are Belmont Stakes, Bastille Day on 60th street, New York International Fringe Festival, and Pride Parade.
Summer months also present the best opportunity to see New York’s islands. You can sail a ferry from Coney Island and sail around Lady Liberty.

New York in Fall

Fall is the best time to visit the Big Apple for pleasant weather and festivals. The weather is excellent, the skies are blue, and the fall colors are a wonder to behold. New York’s average temperature in Fall is 23oC high and 19oC low.
The city is cheaper in fall than summer because of fewer tourists except for festival weeks. However, fall is NYCs festival season. There is an almost unending lineup of NYC events from September through November.
The fall season opens with the Electric Zoo Festival on Randall’s Island, Broadway Week, New York Film Festival, New York Film Festival, and the Washington Outdoor Art Exhibit in September.
October comes with the Columbus Day Parade and Open House New York - an architectural weekend event where over 300 historical buildings are opened to the public for free in all five boroughs. By mid-October, the city comes alive with Halloween decorations culminating in the Village Halloween Parade in Greenwich village. The festival attracts lots of spectators annually.
November marks the end of fall and the beginning of winter. The month has its fair share of festivals. The month starts with the New York City Marathon, held every first Sunday in November, which attracts runners and spectators from around the globe. It moves to Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and ends with The Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Ceremony the Wednesday after Thanksgiving.

New York in Winter

New York is a white wonderland in winter and bustles with activities in early winter (late November through December) before it gets frigid in January. The cold and snowfall are milder in the holiday season, but it gets severe in January with average temperatures of 5oC high and -2oC low.
The Holiday season in New York is its peak tourism season. The city's holiday decorations and tree lighting give it a colorful glow throughout the Christmas season, especially at night. It’s no surprise that so many travellers from all around the globe choose to visit New York for Christmas and experience its enchanting atmosphere firsthand.
Several exciting indoor and outdoor activities will keep you busy throughout the holiday. You can go from ice skating on the Rockefeller Center’s ice rink to shopping at the iconic Christmas markets in Bryant Park, Columbus Circle, and Union Square.
Indulge in one of New York’s oldest traditions by attending the Radio City Christmas Spectacular from mid-November to New Year’s at the Radio City Music Hall. Don’t miss New Year’s eve spectacular fireworks display at Times Square and Central Park.
And if you’re a theater lover, you can watch the New York City Ballet’s performance of the classic holiday show, the Nutcracker. You can also get Broadway tickets at discounted rates during Broadway week in January.
Although extremely cold, January and February have many activities that’ll make you forget the cold. The Greenwich Village's Winter Jazz Fest, New York Fashion Week, the Chinese New Year festivities, and the Westminster Kennel Club Show are a few of them. Tourists' crowds are the smallest in mid to late winter, and hotel prices are the cheapest.

High Season in New York

Summer and early winter are New York’s high tourist seasons, with summer attracting the highest number of vacationing families. The city’s population in summer is predominantly tourists as locals often leave the city for the coasts, especially on Labor Day, making the city less crowded. New York City is packed the most during Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons. The holiday festivities attract many tourists, and the locals are also actively involved. Hotel accommodations and flight tickets are most expensive in the busy holiday season, but you’ll secure better deals when you book in advance.

Shoulder Season in New York

Spring and fall are NYC’s shoulder seasons. The good weather makes this season ideal for touring the city on foot while enjoying the blooming trees and flowers in spring or the fascinating colors of fall. Tourists are fewer than in summer, and during the holiday season, the weather is pleasant, and parks and gardens are a delightful array of natural colors.
The numerous spring and fall events and festivals draw a significant crowd but never as large as the high season. Accommodation, flights, and tickets to shows and performances are still in high demand, but you’ll find cheaper deals than in the high season.

Low Season in New York

New York is icy at the peak of winter (January through early March) and sees the least amount of tourists. Snowfall is frequent, and the weather is not optimal for outdoor activities, but the city is the cheapest this season. If you do not mind the cold, the low season is the best time to visit New York City on a budget. Hotel occupancy rates are down, flights are more available, and there are no crowds. The low tourist population decreases demand for accommodations, theater tickets, and restaurant reservations, forcing down their prices. And while many outdoor activities are not feasible, you can enjoy countless indoor activities like visiting New York’s Museums and Theaters.

What Do You Need to Meet the Entry Requirements for New York?

NYC fans will be glad to know that reaching US destinations has become a bit easier with the introduction of ESTA - an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation. This system applies to citizens of 40 countries that participate in the Visa Waiver Program. If this is the case, and the purpose of your trip is either tourism or business, you’re eligible for an ESTA.
This process is quick and easy and you don’t have to obtain a traditional visa. Instead, you can apply for ESTA for NY and complete the entire process online within just 20 minutes, hassle-free.

So, When Is the Best Time to Visit New York?

From all we know about New York, it’s safe to say every time is the best time to visit NYC. The city has so much to excite you every time of the year, but if you’re looking for fewer crowds and pleasant weather, visit during spring or fall. Deciding when you should visit depends on your budget and interests.

Written by Abisola Fikayomi

Abisola is an accomplished writer interested in US Travel, immigration, passports and visas. She’s passionate about exploring new places and cultures and willing to share her experiences, expertize and findings with others. That is her primary drive for specialising in this industry.


The best month to go to New York is in October. The weather is great, prices are fair, and activities are abundant.
January is the cheapest month to go to NYC. Tourists are few, reasonable accommodations are available, and flight and train tickets are more affordable.
May and October are the best times to visit New York City for great weather. The weather is incredible, and the city is aglow with spring and fall colors.
The hottest month in New York City is July through early August. The temperature is hot and humid, with average temperatures of 30oC high and 21oC low.
February is the snowiest month in New York, with snowfalls reaching 3inches some days.
Summer is the best time for a family visit to New York. There are many fun, family-friendly activities for people visiting New York with kids to create lasting memories.
High-end NY boutiques’ sales season is April - May, and November-December. Outlet stores like Loehmann’s and Century 21 offer discounts on designer goods all year round.
The best time to enjoy New York’s festivals is summer and fall. These seasons host the highest number of events and festivals in NYC.
It depends on why you’re visiting the city. You’ll need three to seven days to explore much of New York's wonders.
The warmest months in New York is mid-June through early September, July being the hottest and August the most humid. The average summer temperature in NYC is 30oC high and 21oC low.

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