Hot City, Cool Oasis for Travelers

Skeptical about visiting New York during the dog days of August? No worries: just chill out at these great spots around town.

It’s easy to forget in the asphalt jungle that Manhattan is actually an island. Dive right into the aquatic attractions along our scenic coastline: In the summer heat, these spots are lifesavers.

Booze Cruise

Some things are simply sexier on a yacht. Especially drinking. Hornblower Cruises has a lush scalawag’s back with cocktail cruise programs that depart from South Street Seaport’s Pier 15 (near South & John sts., 212.337.0001): Alive After Five (Tues-Sun, 6-8 p.m.) and Rock the Yacht! (Tues-Sat, 9 p.m.-midnight). Not to be outdone, World Yacht sends its fleet’s largest boat, The Duchess, out from Pier 81 (at W. 41st St. & 12th Ave., 212.630.8100) multiple times weekly for sip sessions in the Duchess Lounge. The buzz hits like a starboard wave.

Riverside Restos

“Isn’t the view just lovely, darling?” is the refrain at Boat Basin Café (W. 79th St., at Henry Hudson Pkwy., 212.496.5542), where barbecue is made better by Hudson River views. Meanwhile, under the Brooklyn Bridge, The River Café (1 Water St., at Old Fulton St., Red Hook, Brooklyn, 718.522.5200) serves American dishes in a scenic space in sight of passing boats. 

Buoyant Bars

Once a sunken 1929 lightship, the Frying Pan (Hudson River Park, at W. 26th St., 212.989.6363) gives a divey intro to pirate-style inebriation. Newcomer Grand Banks (Pier 25, North Moore St. & Hudson River, 212.960.3390) is making serious waves with a 20-seat bar in a docked schooner. If you’re a landlubber, hit Pier i Cafe (W. 70th St. & Riverside Blvd., 212.362.4450) for sweet sunset views and drinks on the patio.

Nautical Culture

Coast life isn’t just about eating and imbibing. Red Hook, Brooklyn’s Waterfront Barge Museum (290 Conover St., at Pier 44, 718.624.4719), itself a converted barge, explores the area’s boating history, while the South Street Seaport Museum (12 Fulton St., btw South & Front sts., 212.748.8600) delves into the port’s sea-merchant past.