The Best Time Of Year To Visit New York City

There really is no wrong time to visit New York City. From its iconic entertainment venues and celebrated museums to its vibrant nightlife and stellar international cuisine, NYC is simply an exciting place to visit. That said, there's something about the shoulder seasons of spring and fall in NYC that are especially pleasant. Although the thinner crowds and moderate weather are perks, shoulder seasons shine the apple in other ways.

Every year, New York City welcomes millions of visitors, and by the end of 2022, the city expects 56.4 million visitors by year's end. While this number isn't quite the pre-pandemic tourism average, NYC's quick rebound is a testament to the city's vibrancy. If you're planning a trip to NYC this year, whether for the first time or the hundredth, consider exploring the Big Apple in an "off-season," if there is such a thing. The city doesn't sleep during this time, either.

Fall back into iconic NYC events

In fall, the weather is pretty ideal in the city. Trading summer's concrete heat for crisp autumn air, the fall weather tends to make NYC feel almost calm. The vibrant oranges, yellows, and reds of Central Park invite leaf-peepers and photographers to spend the afternoon strolling through the massive, world-famous park. But make sure to bring an umbrella, as the fall season can usher in days of rainy weather, says U.S. News and World Report. 

There are also plenty of events during NYC's autumn. For visiting cinephiles, the New York Film Festival, one of the world's most prestigious film festivals, typically runs for a few weeks in October. Sports fans can catch a New York Yankees or Mets game. If you're lucky, MLB's post-season in NYC can be downright magical. Or, as the NFL kicks off, take a day trip to the Meadowlands to root on the New York Giants or Jets. We won't judge.

For those who appreciate the holiday season in NYC but not holiday crowds, you may consider attending the Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in Rockefeller Center, which typically occurs at the end of November.

Blossom into New York spring

One of the first signs of spring in New York City are the cherry blossoms. Whether you visit Central Park, Sakura Park (named for the Yoshino cherry trees) in Manhattan, or Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, the parks of New York City fill with pink and white, indicating the transition from winter to spring, says the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation.

While every day in NYC is a literal international food bonanza, serious foodies may enjoy visiting New York City in spring for the Ninth Avenue International Food Festival. The festival is considered the oldest and largest continually running food festival in the city. For those who wish to taste the diversity of NYC's food, the festival is a delicious springtime activity.

NYC is also a mecca for artists and art enthusiasts, and the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit is a must for those who wish to immerse into the vibrant art scene. A tradition since 1931, the art exhibit typically takes place at the end of May. Fortunately, for visitors who visit NYC during the shoulder seasons, Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit also reappears each September.