Do you find yourself counting the days to spring each year? Ask most any New Yorker and they'll agree – once February passes and March begins – spring is one of the great New York seasons. After enduring weeks of those dreaded polar vortexes and nor'easters, springtime offers relief from the frigid weather along with a host of fun things to do in the most exciting city in the world. Here are 10 reasons why spring is the best time to visit New York – and is especially rewarding for those who live here.
No more snow (hopefully).
We did have some snow in early April this year, but snow in New York during spring isn't the norm. While we've had a nippy start to the season, warmer days are on the horizon. Even chilly weather sans snow signals that springtime is around the corner.
Blooms are everywhere.
Browse most any neighborhood, and you'll encounter tree-lined blocks and flower beds filled with buds. You'll stumble upon New York's nooks and crannies brimming with nature if you allow yourself to notice. You'll find Crabapple, Magnolia, Weeping Cherry, Dogwoods, Eastern Redbuds and more trees throughout NYC, especially in city parks (up next).
The magnificent parks – all of them.
Central Park is every New Yorker's park, but let's not forget about the dozens of other public green spaces throughout New York City. Manhattan's most notable parks include Bryant, Washington Square, Fort Tryon, Union Square and the High Line. But the other boroughs contribute their share of outdoor space to the city's collection of parks. Brooklyn's Prospect Park, for instance, gives Central Park a run for its money regarding topography, flora, monuments, programs and events, as well as open space.
Eating and drinking outdoors.
The option to dine al fresco gets us New Yorkers out of our tiny apartments and into the city to enjoy the sunshine and warmer weather, but most importantly, it forces us to be social. Once it's spring in New York, locals escape the cabin fever of their tiny apartments and get out to soak up the city. That includes sipping coffee, cocktails or wine at a sidewalk café or packing a picnic and heading for a park.
Leisurely walks anywhere in the city.
Whether you have kids, own a dog or you're single in the city, walking around town will always be one of the most enjoyable activities in New York during the spring season. I suggest donning your most comfy shoes and hitting the pavement, possibly exploring a block or neighborhood you haven't before.
Once we spring forward, days are longer and nights are shorter. That means more sunshine and hours of daylight for excursions around town and savoring every moment of spring in New York.
Temperatures tend to hover in the high 60s and low 70s most days, and evenings run cooler in the 50s. When it's spring in New York, the weather is perfect for a cardigan, pullover or denim jacket, which brings me to the next point.
New York spring fashion.
No more tights and that means bare legs for ladies, with stylish ankle booties, stilettos, ballerina flats and peep-toe wedges. Dresses paired with spring coats make for comfortable going-out ensembles. Men can pack away the bulky sweaters until next winter, creating space in their closets for blazers and vests. No more down of puffer jackets, thick layers and socks and mostly, no more waterproof winter boots. Spring style is lighter, more playful, colorful and cheery than winter fashion.
Fresh air (no heat or A/C).
Spring in New York usually means that the heat is off, the air conditioning isn't needed yet, and it's time to crack the windows. A light breeze whisks inside, tossing curtains and clearing out that mustiness of the winter months. The sounds of the city are loud and clear; the steady hum of traffic reminds us that we are indeed in NYC.
Even the crabbiest New Yorker can't resist that happy feeling that comes with a picture-perfect spring day. Temperatures in the low to mid-70s; Mr. Softee trucks sprinkled all over town; birds chirp; dogs and kids romp; outdoor cafes open – ready and waiting for customers. Most of all, the city looks brighter, smells cleaner and the energy felt on the streets is palpable.