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Get Outside in NYC This Labor Day Weekend

We are sad to report that Summer 2014 is winding down. Soon the temperatures will dip, the days will get even shorter and we’ll all be ready to hibernate. But don’t despair! There are many great ways to get outside in NYC before the season comes to a close. And what better time to check off the last of your summer to-do list than over the long Labor Day weekend. Here are our picks for how to enjoy the great outdoors in NYC, from beaches to pools to top places for drinking and dining al fresco.


People bathe at McCarren Park Pool in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

McCarren Park Pool in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, one of our picks for the city’s best public pools (Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Yes, we all know that New York is known as a concrete jungle. But it’s also true that the city is surrounded by water, which means there are some pretty great beaches just a train ride away. We rounded up our picks for the Top 10 Beaches In and Around NYC, from Brooklyn to Queens to even Staten Island. If you want water and concrete, the city has an extensive network of public pools that are open through Labor Day.

Green space abounds as well for taking a hike or spreading out a blanket and having a picnic. We have our picks for New York’s Best Parks, which include sprawling Central Park and Prospect Park, as well as waterfront parks like Brooklyn Bridge Park and Hudson River Park on Manhattan’s west side. If you want to avoid the crowds and have a more contemplative green experience, we also found hidden parks and gardens around the city (did you know there was a waterfall in Midtown?).

Ask a New Yorker to name his or her favorite thing to do in the city during the summer, and chances are it will be drinking outside. We’ve got you covered there as well.  If an ice-cold beer is what you need to quench your thirst on a hot summer day, then try one of our picks for the 10 Best Beer Gardens in New York. Or maybe you want a skyline view to go with your cocktail. Try a spot from Best Bars and Restaurants for Rooftop Drinking. New York’s top hotels have also caught on to the “everyone wants to drink outside” trend and have added rooftop lounges that even non-guests can enjoy. Check out our roundup of 8 NYC Hotels with the Best Rooftops. Once you’ve had some drinks, it’s probably a good idea to grab some food as well. New York’s restaurants also embrace expanding their seating outside for as long as they can, whether it’s on a terrace, on the sidewalk or in the backyard. Here are our picks for the 10 Best Restaurants for Outdoor Dining in New York City.

Click here to get more ideas for what to do in NYC for Labor Day Weekend 2014.

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