It may sound strange, a New York City vacation may be best planned for autumn (not summer). Fall is the city’s peak season. The leaves are an attractive yellow and orange and the weather stays at an acceptable temperature (say, sweater or light jacket weather). There’s something romantic about this time in New York and hotels know this, which is why you should expect to pay the highest prices during the autumn. Foliage changes vary each year, but the best time to visit New York City in the fall is October—especially if the Yankees are having a good year. Christmas and New Years Eve are huge in New York—locals will tell you to avoid Times Square. The best time to visit New York at Christmas is the weeks leading up to the holiday, but expect snarled transit and airport delays in the days leading up to the 25th.
New York City travel during the winter can be either a freezing nightmare or quite mild and tolerable. And there’s no predicting which way it will go. Generally, there’s one massive everything-comes-to-a-halt snowstorm every year. And if you come during the off-season, you’ll be lucky to avoid it. The cold weather months are the cheapest time to visit New York—hotel rates drop—but at the same time some of New York’s pleasures—are hard to appreciate. Shoppers may want to take advantage of this time of year—after the holidays can be the best time to visit New York for sales.
The weather during late spring and early summer can be quite tolerable, but as the summer drones on, the humidity picks up and by August, the air is heavy and moist and uncomfortable. For that reason, the city empties out in August, as New Yorkers flee to the coastal climates of the Hamptons on Long Island. The good news is there are fewer lines and the sidewalks aren’t as clogged. Your only enemy will be the oppressive humidity. If heat isn't your thing, the best time to visit New York in the summer is usually June. Street fairs, activities in Central Park and ferry rides to Staten Island and the Statue of Liberty make summer one of the best times to visit New York with kids.