So, you’ve booked a trip to New York City. You’re probably planning to see the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty and perhaps even a Broadway show. However, New York is a massive city and there are so many things to see outside of the iconic tourist traps like Times Square. Being that there is so much to do, you’ll want to make sure you come in with a plan. The airports are just outside the city so make sure you have an idea of how you’ll be getting into the city and a place for luggage storage in New York City if you can’t check into your hotel right away. Also make sure you book a hotel in a location central to some of the attractions you are looking forward to. Once you have this taken care of it’s time to experience these must-see attractions in New York City.
The High Line
The High Line used to be a cargo railway but is now a 1.45-mile-long outdoor garden along the west side of Manhattan. The trail is an elevated linear park that was created on an abandoned spur and inspired by the Promenade Plantée in Paris. Since it’s conception in 2009 tourists have enjoyed walking through the park’s variety of naturalized plants while taking in the views of the city and the Hudson River. All the plants along the High Line are inspired by the natural landscaping that occurred during the years the tracks were abandoned. An average of 5 million people visit this stunning attraction annually. The Highline has also been referenced various times in pop culture such as in the television shows The Simpsons and Louie.
Once you finish your walk make sure to check out one of the many local businesses accessible from the Highline. You’ll find restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries, bookstores and even an avocado-based eatery all in walking distance.
With so many museums in New York, it can be difficult to decide which one to visit, especially if you have limited time in the city. The Guggenheim is located in a cylindrical building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright with an expertly designed ramp gallery that runs in a spiral along the outer edges of the building. The architecture itself is reason enough to pay the Guggenheim a visit, but they also house an impressive and ever-expanding collection of impressionist, post-impressionist, early Modern and contemporary art. Depending on the time of the year you visit, you will get to experience one of their special exhibitions that they host throughout the year.
One Saturday per month the tickets are on the house, so check to see if that date falls during the time you visit.
Coney Island is a famous amusement area in Brooklyn located along the boardwalk. Coney Island is home to restaurants, entertainment like the annual Mermaid Parade, and several amusement parks. There is also a museum that not only holds art exhibits but also produces a circus sideshow, film festival, and other theatrical work. This is a great option if you are traveling with younger children. Make sure to eat at Nathan’s Famous Hot dogs which is a landmark of Coney Island that started out as just a stand in 1916.
If you’re looking to get away from the more tourist attracting areas and explore New York like a local, Williamsburg is a must see. Williamsburg is a neighborhood in the borough of Brooklyn. It has a hipster vibe and is home to indie music performances, art galleries, and shops run by local artisans. Check out the locally made spirits at one of numerous distilleries and wineries throughout the neighborhood. You will also find food vendors along the riverfront as well as some of the trendiest clubs in New York. Don’t forget to check out the Williamsburg Bridge. We recommend hopping on a CITI Bike to make the ride across the bridge extra special, but you are also able to walk the bridge if you choose.
Another option for those wanting to get away from the tourist traps is the East Village. American punk rock was born here and now Poets, bohemian artists, and avant-garde filmmakers have settled in and used it as inspiration for their art. The East Village is another New York neighborhood with a vibrant nightlife scene and a wide range of different dining options. To make it a night out consider taking advantage of one of the dozens of venues where you can see a live concert or comedy show.
New York has no shortage of amazing experiences to enjoy during your visit. Be sure to add in a couple of these great options to your itinerary for a truly memorable trip.