New York is always a good idea—except, you know, when the RealFeel is 102 and you can practically see the heat waves coming off the trash piles. (Lovely.) But the city is full of secret oases where you can wait out the swelter, whether it’s by holing up with some AC and a glass of frosé or finding some water to dip your toes into.
The Best Places to Go When It’s Too Damn Hot Outside in NYC
The William Vale
Atop this 21-story luxury boutique hotel in Brooklyn sits a stunning 60-foot pool (the longest outdoor hotel pool in NYC) as well as panoramic views of the East River and Manhattan skyline. Non-hotel guests can score a day pass and enjoy lounging in a pergola, daybed or cabana while sipping cocktails served poolside.
111 N. 12th St., Brooklyn; thewilliamvale.com/pool
This midtown restaurant might be best known for serving tons of meaty options, but it also has a hidden backyard that’s ideal for those days when shade is at a premium. The enclosed beer garden is clad with communal-style tables perfect for large groups—and greenery that makes you feel like you’re outside.
113 E. 29th St.; cannibalnyc.com
What this rooftop lacks in bodies of water it makes up for in classic NYC views, shady nooks and frozen cocktails. With an indoor lounge, outdoor terrace and retractable roof over the main bar area, you’ll find the perfect sipping spot even in record-high temps.
63 W. 38th St.; refineryrooftop.com
Hot weather makes for the perfect treat-yourself day, especially when that means hanging out in an a 40,000-square-foot luxury spa and water wonderland. Unwind in the hydrotherapy pools or make your way to the swim-up bar for a glass of sangria.
115 E. 57th St.; premier57.com
You don’t have to head upstate or to the Hamptons to get in on some water-sports action—just head to the LIC waterfront, where you can paddle for free. This all-volunteer non-profit group lets you make a res in advance or hop into a boat on the spot. It’s also conveniently located right next to the LIC Flea, so you can grab a beer and a bite right after.
46-01 Fifth St., Queens; licboathouse.org
The Springs Brooklyn
Although this 7,000-square-foot indoor and outdoor oasis just opened a few months ago, it’s quickly become a summer staple, thanks to its kitschy ’50s-era Palm Springs vibes and a top-notch cocktail list featuring refreshers like Aperol spritz slushies. Plus, the water fountain installation is as Instagram-worthy as it gets. And did we mention it’s pet-friendly?
224 Franklin St., Brooklyn; thespringsbklyn.com
Panoramic views from a historic building are certainly one way to distract yourself from the heat. Ophelia—located atop the art deco Beekman Tower, which was originally called Panhellenic Tower and served as a residence for members of national sororities—occupies a space that was designed to resemble an illuminated “jewel box” immersed in the skyline. While sipping signature cocktails in the summer breeze, you can check out the relics displayed through the lounge, some of which are even authentic to the women who used to live in the building.
3 Mitchell Place.; opheliany.com
Loosie's Kitchen & CafÉ
This South Williamsburg hangout, situated just under the bridge, is the perfect solution when you want outdoor vibes (sunlight, plants) and indoor amenities (air conditioning). Plus, there’s an all-day Southern-style menu, which means you could very well stick around until the sun goes down (and the temperature finally drops).
91 S. Sixth St., Brooklyn; loosieskitchen.com
If you’re saddled with showing around first-time NYC visitors, they’ll likely want to be smack-dab in the center of Manhattan, inhospitable weather notwithstanding. Head over to DaDong, just west of Bryant Park. This massive, second-story 150-seat rooftop restaurant features an outdoor bar as well as dining and lounge spaces. Guests can sit above the city while sipping frosé and enjoying light bites (try the endive duck “treasures” and Beijing meatballs with mozzarella filling).
3 Bryant Park; dadongny.com
Need to kill some time before a Broadway show? Head to the top of the Sanctuary Hotel for cocktails, snacks and skyscraper views. It’s almost enough to make you forget you’re in Times Square.
132 W. 47th St.; havenrooftop.com