By Alana Doyle

Congratulations! You just landed a summer internship in the Big Apple. On top of the opportunity to practice your professional skills, you want to make sure this summer is memorable and authentic.  From one intern to the next, here is how to do a summer in NYC the right way.

Live in a student dorm.

One of the most significant aspects of my summer experience was living in a student dorm with other people my age. It was how I met friends. The dorm I lived in even had events so that students could meet each other when they moved in. Though there are several ways to snag student housing, I used a company called Educational Housing Services which has locations across the city.

Hit up popular student bars

Phebe’s and B-Bar are two popular bars that are located across the street from one another in the East Village. The crowd is filled with students, interns and young professionals. The line may look long, but it moves quick!

Take the trip to Coney Island.

Yes, it may be a bit of a subway ride, but you can make an entire day out of it. Spend a few hours laying by the ocean and imagining you are in Malibu. From there, grab your things and head to the amusement park part of the island. The rides can be expensive, but at least plan to make one round on the classic Coney Island ferris wheel. As the sun sets, catch the views from the pier before heading back to the city.

Head to The Standard for all your social needs.

This location is truly all encompassing. Downstairs, there is an outdoor biergarten complete with boots and all! Head upstairs to experience the lively rooftop portion of the hotel. Inside, there is a little hot tub and outside there is typically a house DJ accompanied by a bar and creperie.

Pro tip: make sure you dress up for the occasion if you’re headed to the rooftop! Jeans and a t-shirt won’t cut it.  

Buy the month pass for the subway. You’ll use it.

If you are truly committed to experiencing the city, get the unlimited monthly subway pass. You will be grateful you did when your friends decide they want to have happy hour in the Financial District, dinner on the Upper East Side and a night out in the East Village. Don’t just stick to your comfort zone – or your zip code –  experience it all!

Get up and get ready for Pride!

Deck out in rainbow colors and line the streets of New York City to show LGBTQ+ pride. Allies are welcome. The march typically starts near Fifth Avenue and ends in Greenwich Village. Pridefest has vendors, food trucks and even a concert for attendees!

Snag a ticket to Shakespeare in the Park.

Classic Shakespeare plays are performed in the middle of Central Park. It is worth the wait. Tickets are free but based on a first come, first serve basis.

Go to an EDM boat party. So. Worth. It.

My friends, and I actually stumbled upon the boat party cruise concept while enjoying a night in DUMBO, Brooklyn. We heard EDM music passing by and saw people dancing on a boat. From that moment, there was no stopping us from finding a boat party of our own. Complete with a DJ, several floors and reasonably priced bars, this is an experience you don’t want to miss. The boat takes you past some of New York’s most legendary locations, including the Statue of Liberty. Plus, it only costs $35!

Go to private concerts, award shows and live TV filmings.

If you, ever wondered how people get chosen to go to live tapings and award shows, here is your answer: 1iota. It casts people to attend these shows and fill spaces for different entertainment purposes.

Pig out at Smorgasburg.

In one of the most poppin’ parts of Brooklyn is Smorgasburg, the largest, weekly open-air market in America. There are over 100 local vendors that set up tents at this event which attracts thousands of visitors every weekend.

Pro tip: Don’t eat before going to Smorgasburg. There are too many unique foods to try there!

Comedy shows are a must. Find some that won’t break the bank.

There are comedy shows everywhere in the city, several of which are even free. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience some stand-up comedy from local comedians. Tips are occasionally recommended or drink minimums are required, but tickets are not. Search through a variety of options online to find the perfect show for you and your budget.

Kayaking on the Hudson River is a must.

Head over to Pier 26 to take advantage of the opportunity to kayak for free! All you need to do is sign a waiver, be able to swim and wear a life jacket. It’s a perfect way to start off a Sunday morning.

Pro tip: Wear clothes you are willing to have get wet.

Do a happy hour bar crawl on Stone Street

Long day at work? You can instantly improve your day at Stone Street in the Financial District. It is right around the corner from Wall Street and is normally filled with people taking advantage of happy hour deals. There are lights lining the street and a variety of different types of restaurants to take advantage of.

Drag shows at the Stonewall Inn.

The Stonewall Inn is not only a popular gay bar, it is also a national landmark as a monumental location in the 1969 riots that launched the gay rights movement. The Greenwich Village bar hosts drag shows and even a competition for Miss Stonewall in which drag queens from across the city compete for the coveted title.

Chinatown and Little Italy.

Looking for authentic Chinese or Italian food? There is no better place for it than in these neighboring areas in lower Manhattan. Since these areas are adjacent to each other, enjoy some homemade pasta at Aunt Jake’s followed by a stop at Taiyaki to enjoy the legendary fish-shaped ice cream cones in Chinatown.

Walk the Brooklyn Bridge at sunset.

Travel from Manhattan’s Financial District and head to DUMBO, Brooklyn by walking one mile over the East River. When you finish your stroll, make your way to the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory to cool down under the Brooklyn Bridge.

Spend your day at Governor’s Island.

Governors Island is a 172-acre island in the heart of the New York Harbor. It offers endless activities and new parts of the city to be discovered. If you feel the need to get away from mile-high towers and subway rides, Governor’s Island is the place to be for fresh air and a new setting.

Bagels and Pizza.

If someone tells you that you can’t survive off of bagels and pizza, they are wrong. Find these two items on every corner and take advantage of them. Your wallet and your stomach will thank you.