It’s that time of the year again. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and the unmistakable aroma of vaporized trash odor and god knows what else wafts through the open Manhattan air. It’s summer!  

With the heat quickly sneaking up on us, it’s time we talk about a very serious and important subject – how does one enjoy the water in NYC while avoiding a Toxic Avenger mutation situation? Are there activities in NYC you can use to cool down that won’t cause low-grade chemical burns? Luckily for you, there actually are! Here are some of our favorites…

Pine Meadow Lake


PC: SeeSwim

We’ve mentioned Harriman State Park in a few articles in the past, and for good reason. The park has thousands of miles of trails and 31 different lakes and reservoirs. It’s an awesome place to enjoy a beautiful hike and then cool off with a refreshing dip.

If you take the Pine Meadow path, you’ll find several cascading brooks that lead to the lake. The water is clear, it’s relatively quiet and serene, and you may even get to see some Evil Knievel wannabes jumping from the cliff faces. Less than a two-hour drive away, this is a great place for a weekend or even day trip.

Rockaway Beach


PC: Surf Mei Mei

If you want to escape the hustle of the city and hit the beach, try Rockaway Beach on the south shore of Long Island in Queens. You can get a 59-minute ferry from Pier 11 downtown for just $2.75 one way, or simply get the A train to Broad Channel and change to the S line. 

The beach is free and spacious, offering plenty of room for a colorful assortment of umbrellas. For great food and drink options, try Tacoway Beach or Riis Park Beach Bazaar.

Astoria Park Pool

astoria park


Nestled beneath the Triborough Bridge is the Astoria Park Pool. As one of the largest public pools in the city, up to 6,200 swimmers may enjoy the over 50,000 square feet of swimming pool. While you splash around (or float lazily around on a blow-up float – we’re not judging), take in the gorgeous views of the East River framed by the one-of-a-kind Manhattan skyline. The pool is open from 11AM-7PM daily during its open season.

The Beach at the Dream Hotel

PC: The Coolist

If you aren’t one for taming Mother Nature and conquering the water in state parks and rivers, we totally understand. Part of the point of getting in the water is to wind down and relax. If that last bit has your ears perked up, then The Beach at the Dream Hotel might be right up your alley. The best part is that you don’t even have to leave Manhattan.

Located between Chelsea and the Meatpacking District, this rooftop pool and bar is the ultimate chic summer hangout. It even has sand imported from Montauk to contribute to the urban oasis vibe.  

Surrounding the pool are private cabanas with flat screen TVs that can be rented out while you take a break from the pool to enjoy a few cocktails. You can purchase a day pass to the popular hangout spot for $65, Monday through Friday, 11AM to sunset. Although it’s a little steep, luxury does come at a cost. And with 4,800 square feet of pool space, we think it’s worth it