Pier 45

Park in West Village, Chelsea & Meatpacking District

Still known to many as the Christopher St Pier, this is an 850ft-long finger of concrete, spiffily renovated with a grass lawn, flowerbeds, a comfort station, an outdoor cafe, tented shade shelters and a stop for the New York Water Taxi.

Now part of the Hudson River Park, it's a magnet for downtowners of all stripes, from local families with toddlers in daylight to mobs of young gay kids who flock here at night from all over the city (and beyond) thanks to the pier’s long-­established history as a gay cruising hangout. The spot offers sweeping views of the Hudson and cool, relieving breezes in the thick of summer.