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What to Pack for a Fall/Winter Break on the Upper West Side blog image

What to Pack for a Fall/Winter Break on the Upper West Side

October 15 2021

There is no season when New York isn’t popular with tourists – in fact, over 66 million tourists visit the city every single year from all over the world. But the fall and winter months are particularly impressive when the city transforms with the changing of the fall leaves and the landscape alters completely with the first snow.

Visiting NYC in fall or winter has many advantages (Halloween pop-ups, the Thanksgiving parade, alfresco ice-skating, and the Christmas lights to name a few) but not packing the right clothing or shoes can be the difference between a wonderful break away and spending the entire time cold, wet, and uncomfortable.

Packing: The Essentials

Down Coat

The cold in New York is one thing, but the arctic wind that blows through the city throughout the winter months can make it feel much colder than it really is. In the winter months New York City is home to several “wind tunnels” – especially from December through to February. The compact nature of the city’s buildings forces the wind to travel through the larger streets, creating very blustery conditions – particularly on any North-South Avenues, such as Broadway. A thick down coat is perfect for keeping out the wind and cold temperatures – and can be dressed up or down depending on what you’re doing in the city.

stock photo of brown down puffer jacket, orange ankle boots, a cream colored scarf and a small brown satchel bag on a white background.

Waterproof Jacket

If your down jacket isn’t waterproof, it’s a great idea to bring along a small waterproof coat that can be thrown in a handbag or large pocket. If it rains (or snows!) in the city, making your way through the cold wind in a wet coat or jacket is a recipe for a fever and a few days in bed. A waterproof jacket can make all the difference between enjoying your day out and wishing you’d stayed in bed, and you can take it off when it stops raining, when you jump on the subway or when you go inside a restaurant – providing instant dry comfort.


It might go without saying but an umbrella is an essential piece of kit in any New Yorker’s bag – and you’ll need one too. Avoid large umbrellas - especially if you plan on using public transport to navigate the city. It’s always a great idea to remember a small plastic bag in your own bag so you can stow your wet umbrella away without soaking the inside of your bag, or your neighbor on the subway!

Gloves, Hat and Scarf

If you’re visiting the city in the fall months you might get away with just a good coat or jacket, but as soon as November 1st arrives, gloves, hats and scarves are a must pack – especially if you’re not used to a New York winter or you’re planning any boat trips or nights ice skating under the city skyline.

Snow covered sidewalk leading towards Brooklyn Bridge at night time. Bridge lit up with the New York city lights in the background.

Thermal Socks & Rubber Sole Shoes

Whether you’re visiting NYC for the first time or the 30th, it’s likely you’re going to spend a lot of time on your feet. Being uncomfortable due to wet or cold feet can make even the shortest walk unbearable so keeping them warm and dry – even in a snowstorm – should be a priority. Thermal socks are a great way to keep your feet warm, whille rubber sole shoes should keep the water out.


If you’re visiting the city throughout fall you can still enjoy some lovely warm days, and the subway can still be stuffy and overly warm – being able to wrap up in an extra layer, or easily able to remove one makes it a lot easier to maintain a comfortable temperature throughout your day.

If you’re visiting New York City this Fall or Winter, the Hotel Beacon on Manhattan’s Upper West Side is a great “home away from home” base to see the best the city has to offer. Discover more about the apartment style suites in the heart of the city.