New York City is alive throughout the year but in the springtime the city becomes vibrant in a variety of ways. The chilly windy days of winter disappear and are replaced by the warmer temperatures and relaxing breezes.
The early days of spring in the Big Apple feel like a rebirthing as people spend more time outside and enjoy the many places the city has to offer. Here are a few of my top picks of what to do if you are visiting New York City in the spring:
Walk the City Blocks
Springtime is generally a beautiful season in the northeast because of the warmer, yet still mild, temperatures. The way I see it, the best way to experience the beauty of New York City is to hit the pavement, and what better time than spring? When you wander through the many sections of the city, you get a front row view of all the hustle and bustle which makes the city come alive. It's a lot of walking, but a great way to get acquainted (or revisit) the city. You can experience first-hand all the incredible scents, sights and sounds.
Central Park is one of the Big Apple's most visited destinations. You can visit the famous Central Park Zoo or go on a walking tour. The park, which is a huge nature's paradise nestled in the midst of one of the world's busiest cities, is a fantastic place to wander around in the spring. You can take a horse-drawn carriage ride, enjoy the serenity of the Conservatory or Shakespeare Gardens, visit the Nature Conservatory or just take the kids to the playground to romp around or play ball. There is plenty to do in Central Park, these suggestions are only a sample of what you can choose to see or do. 1
South Street Seaport
The South Street Seaport is located at Fulton and South Streets on Pier 17. Whether you like to learn about history, go shopping or simple enjoy the river views, the South Street Seaport has it all.
Located just below the famed Wall Street financial district, the South Street Seaport offers fun entertainment, great food and plenty of places to shop for souvenirs. Nearby on Fulton Street is the South Street Seaport Museum for history enthusiasts. You can walk around and view the boats or just enjoy the spring air. It is relaxing to just sit outside along the river and gaze upon the Brooklyn Bridge and watch the traffic flow. A stop at this pier is worth a look in the spring.
This photo was taken at South Street Seaport in winter 2005
The Circle Line cruises are a great way to see a good overview of the city from the outside looking in. The warmer months are the perfect time to sit back, bask in the pleasant temperatures and enjoy the ride. I haven't done this in years, but always enjoyed this trip. The company offers a variety of cruises to choose from and you can easily find one which suits your schedule and type of tour you want to take. 2
Times Square is fascinating any time of the year in my opinion, but anyone who's wandered these blocks during the coldest of winter probably will agree the springtime is a more delightful time to explore this historical and vibrant area of the city. You can eat, shop or just soak in the myriad of activity constantly occurring in this popular section of the city. With the traffic, people and all those intriguing flashing billboards, what better way to spend some time than experiencing the excitement of Times Square.
Times Square as it appeared in 2005
Explore the Neighborhoods
Another consideration is the various neighborhoods you can wander through. This is something I regret not doing nearly enough of when I lived in New York State and used to hop the train to the city. You may want to consider lunch in Chinatown or dinner in Little Italy. I highly recommended you have pizza - at least once. There is no pizza in the world that matches the taste of a New York pizza (except maybe New Jersey rivals it), especially if you've never had authentic N.Y. pizza.
Slices of New York City pizza - pizza just doesn't taste the same anywhere else!
Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
A trip on the ferry to get to the Statue of Liberty is a great trip to take in the spring. If you choose to do this, you may want to consider getting an early start so you can get tickets. Many of the boat rides sell out quickly during peak times. If you want to climb the statue into its crown, definitely pre-arrange those tickets. I looked into it recently and they were sold out for a couple of months. If you just want to see it close up and enjoy the island, this is also a great activity. We did this on a whim last May and had a great time. I've never had the opportunity to actually go up inside the statue as we never wanted to wait in line, thinking "oh we'll do this next time". Should have, could have...now that I no longer live here.
After you've finished exploring Liberty Island you can hop the ferry and then go ahead to Ellis Island and learn about the immigration to have entry to the United States in the latter 19th and earlier 20th centuries. The museum is interesting for those who enjoy learning about history or genealogy.
Springtime is renowned for baseball and New Yorkers do love their teams. If you're a baseball fan and the season has started, why not consider a trip to Yankee Stadium or Citi Field? You can experience firsthand the passion for baseball that occurs in these stadiums. It'll be double the fun if one of your own hometown teams is playing (that is if you're tough enough to handle the heckling from Yankee fans….can't speak for Mets fans though).
Derek Jeter at bat (in this photo the Yankees were playing in Washington D.C.). Thousands of Yankees fans made the trek to Washington to see this game a few years back.
New York City in the spring is fabulous and if you are considering a visit, there is much more to see and do. In addition to the landmarks and attractions listed above, there are also numerous museums, memorials, and smaller parks you can explore.
The possibilities for a spring visit to the city are endless! It is almost impossible to see everything, especially if you're in town for just a short trip, so it is a good idea to try to narrow down what you want to see before you head off on your trip.
While I absolutely love New York in the spring, I must admit my favorite time of year to visit the Big Apple is in the winter.