Best Places to Tan

212Access May 22, 2012 2

Best Places to Get a Tan in New York City

The Hamptons, Fire Island, Long Beach- it’s great if you can get away for a day of sun, but some weekends that’s not possible. Between weekend errands, work and hangover recoveries, there comes a point when every New Yorker will have to settle for a day of tanning in the City.

For a woman, tanning in the City is not exactly a day in the sun. We have to shed the shorts and peel off the shirt for what amounts to a crowd of strangers. How comfortable would you feel walking around in your bra and underwear? And it only takes one purveyor to ruin the experience for everyone.

This is why most women don’t like tanning in the City, but sometimes, we don’t have a choice. When that happens, return to this list to find the best places to tan in New York City. I’ve been to all of these parks and patches of grass in pursuit of my perfect base. Here is my list of the best and worst places to sun bathe in New York City.


Best Places to Sun Bathe in New York City


Central Park – 830 5th Ave: Sheep Meadow is not the largest section of grass for tanning, but it is the best. It’s also a great place for picnics, playing sports, and relaxing. The section of Sheep Meadow allows you to escape in solitude or move into the shade, depending on the strength of the sun. It’s also always buzzing with energy, so you might be able to make friends if you take a minute to pull off the shades and smile to a stranger.

High Line Park – 529 W 20th St: Grab a wooden lounge chair, sit back, relax and take in the views of the Hudson at the High Line Park.  On hot summer days there is usually a cool breeze from the Hudson that makes the heat a little more bearable.  It is the ultimate park, and it’s located on a rooftop.

Hudson Hotel Sky Terrace – 356 W 58th St: If you have the opportunity to stay at the Hudson or a friend rents a room then make sure you check out the Sky Terrace. A little known secret to locals: it is open to the public.  Located on the 15th floor the Sky Terrace is a large, beautifully landscaped terrace with an amazing view of the city and the Hudson River.  It is the perfect place to soak up with sun and enjoy a cocktail on a hot summer day.  Both quiet and very peaceful the terrace is ideal for catching up on much needed rest all while admiring the beautiful view.

Riverside Park: If you’re looking to get away from the purveyors of NYC then check this park out. It’s private enough to let you feel like you are tanning in your own back yard. It’s very secluded and doesn’t get as packed as some of the other parks when the weather is beautiful.  For those of you who want to stay away from tourists then this is your spot.

Battery Park – Lowest tip of Manhattan: You will definitely find a spot to sunbathe in this 25-acre public park located at the southern tip of Manhattan. This waterfront location is the perfect spot for getting some color while checking out the Statue of Liberty. You can also play a game of football or have lunch with friends, turning sun tanning into a group experience.

Soho House – 29 Ninth Ave: We’ve seen the Soho House on Sex and the City and read about it on Page Six. If Samantha wanted to sneak inside this private club, that’s enough information to put this pool on our must-see list. Of course, the Soho House is a private club where only members can get in, but New York is a small town. If you start to leverage your friendships, I’m sure you can find someone who is a member. In the process of researching this story, I only had to talk to one person to find a Soho House member. And now, it’s only a matter of time before I subtly hint that I would like to see what this private pool is like.

Press Lounge at Ink 48 – 653 11th Ave: Yes, we are open to the public, but the hotel’s policy is on a first-come first-serve basis. It heats up pretty fast on weekends so make sure to get there to secure your spot on the 10,000 square-foot deck.  It’s perfect for sunbathing and cocktails with friends.  There is seating for more than 150 guests against an insane view of the skyline and a 20-foot reflecting pool.  After a long day in the sun head down to the hotel’s restaurant for a delicious lunch or dinner that you’ll be sure to enjoy.


Worst Places to Suntan


Union Square Park – E 14th St & Broadway: Very crowded. The grass is brown. You may as well be lying on dirt, surrounded by a slab of concrete with kids on skateboards surrounding you.  With all the subways circling to Union Square, people from every direction flock here for sun, but there isn’t any sun because the large trees block the best rays.  In other words don’t waste your time coming here.

Herald Square Park – Broadway & 34th St: Although great for an afternoon lunch outdoors, this is not the place to sunbathe.  Almost as crazy as Times Square it’s still complete madness with many tourists all over the place.  Avoid this place, especially if you like laying out in a bikini.

Bryant Park – 40W 40th St: Filled with businessmen coming from work, families, and tourists. Stay away if you hate crowds. Go here if you like brown grass with little shade. You will not find a place to enjoy the sun at Bryant Park and will probably get annoyed with the constant noise.