Where To Sunbathe In New York!

by Afrodet Zuri · June 7, 2011

Summer's here and it's time to catch some rays. You need to show off your newest bikini (or scope out hotties in their new bikinis), and that streaky orange self tanner look has not caught on. Get your tan on (safely!) at these following places.

Central Park

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The Great Lawn, located at the center of the park between 80th and 84th Streets, is an obvious and very popular choice for sunbathers, but there are other (perhaps greener) pastures. The East Green at 72nd street and the East Meadow at 100th Street are both great locations for tanning and sometimes offer a bit more privacy and breathing room. The Sheep Meadow on the west side of the park between 67th and 71st streets is a popular spot for getting tan while working on your laptop, since WiFi is available.

Bryant Park

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The park serves as the backyard of the New York Public Library. Book lovers can often be spotted on the lawn, enjoying Anna Karenina or faking it in order to impress the scantily clad female sunbathers. The library and the park are located between 5th and 6th Avenues and 40th and 42nd Streets. Free WiFi access is available within the park.

Holiday Inn Midtown

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The Midtown location’s airy rooftop pool and sundeck at 440 West 57th Street is open late May through Labor Day from 10am to 5pm with a $70 admission. NYMAG.com claims that, "The spot does attract hordes of twentysomethings on weekends, but it’s not a pickup scene." New York is one big pickup scene! Try your luck and prove them wrong!

Russian & Turkish Baths

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This East Village bathhouse located between 1st Avenue and Avenue A boasts a sundeck that is open every day with an admission of $30 which gives you access to the sauna, ice cold pool, aromatherapy room, and steam room. Make sure you check the website before you go since two days of the week are reserved for only men or only women; the rest of the time is is co-ed.

The High Line

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Although this is not the traditional sprawling grass-filled venue that New Yorkers have come to associate with a park, here sunbathing comes with wooden lounge chairs lining the length of the elevated park. Bask in the sun while overlooking the West Side Highway and Hudson River.  Entry points are located at Gansevoort Street, 14th Street, 16th Street, 18th Street, and 20th Street. The only drawback is you must leave your pooch (your dog, not the extra 10 pounds you gained this winter) at home.

Sky Terrace at Hudson Hotel

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Sunbathing at this midtown hotel is not just for guests. The 15th-floor sundeck is open to the public and does not charge admission! Enjoy views of the Hudson River and the city itself while relaxing in a quiet environment. If that weren't reason enough, there is a bar to grab a cocktail or 10.

Battery Park

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Located at Battery Pl. and Whitehall St. in downtown Manhattan, this park includes in-ground fountains to cool off with. Here sunbathing comes with a lovely view of Lady Liberty and a few eateries found throughout the park.

SoHo House

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This is a private club in MePa where members and their guests can lie on lounges, relax in chairs or sit at tables for drinks and dinner. The heated swimming pool is open year-round, with views of the Hudson River and West Village. During the summer, full waiter service is available.

Astoria Park

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Located in Astoria, Queens at 23rd Dr. and 19th St., this is the city's largest and oldest pool. Outdoor tennis courts, a track, a bandstand, multiple trails, basketball courts, and playgrounds attract visitors from all over the city. If you aren't sick of the view of New York City yet, this pool has some beautiful ones since it is located under the Triborough Bridge.

Brighton Beach

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If you need more space to sunbathe or perhaps some actual sand to encourage your summer nirvana, take the Q train down to Brooklyn's Brighton Beach. The sound of seabirds will lull you to sleep and the smell of Russian foods emanating from the restaurants on the boardwalk will awaken your appetite.

Governor's Island

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Accessible by free ferries from Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn, the island is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays and holiday Mondays through Sept. 25. When you grow bored of sunbathing on the sandy beach, there is a miniature golf course designed by artists, a beer garden, trapeze performances, a fort restored just in time for its bicentennial this year, polo, big-name concerts, an organic farm and the largest outdoor presentation of Mark di Suvero’s monumental sculptures in the city in four decades.

Gowanus Canal

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If every place mentioned above is too mainstream and you are of the adventurous spirit, you may want to join the ranks of a group of Brooklynites who have spent the last year living on four houseboats moored on the ultra-toxic Gowanus Canal.  They’ve been floating under the radar of city agencies that monitor safety regulations. The NY Post reports, "Neighbors said they’re known for late-night canal parties and pretty girls sunbathing on the decks." Sounds like a party to me!

Don't Forget: Bathing NUDE in NYC is Illegal! Cover up!

If looking bronzed and delicious wasn't enough of an incentive to sunbathe, check out these sun benefits:

May help you avoid winter depression, also known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

Higher core body temperatures facilitate increased cell function and higher energy.

Increases our detoxification and purification systems. Want to get over that hangover?

Boosted core temperatures increase cortisol levels during the day, ushering more relaxation and deeper sleep during the night.

Vitamin D is most known to regulate calcium levels and absorption for healthy bones and teeth