THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO THINGS TO DO IN NEW YORK
New York City never sleeps, and rightfully so! Its vibrancy continues to echo even after the clock strikes midnight and the rest of the world is in deep slumber. From popular events, festivals, tourist attractions, and mesmerizing sights, New York has something for everyone.
Are you traveling to New York for the first time, or are you a ‘New York’ novice yet to get the hang of the place? If yes, this blog will help you easily navigate the charted and uncharted territories of New York and induce further enthusiasm.
All the places and activities mentioned in the blog are comprehensively curated by our avid travelers, some of whom are hardcore New Yorkers. From family-friendly activities to adventures that are best embarked on solo, we have covered almost everything. So, without further ado, let us get going!
THE TOP FIVE ATTRACTIONS OF NEW YORK CITY
The Empire State Building
Any list of things to do in New York is incomplete without mentioning the monumental and magnanimous Empire State Building. The view from the Empire State Building’s observation platform is, indeed, breathtaking.
It is an unforgettable experience when the elevator doors open up on the 86th floor of the skyscraper, and you have an enthralling bird’s eye view of the sprawling New York City at 1250 feet above sea level.
Iconic and incredible views of the World Trade Center, the Hudson and the East River, Central Park, and the charismatic Chrystal Building will surely stun you to the core and provide the experience of a lifetime.
MySittiVacation Pro Tip: Go to the Empire State Building early or very late at night to make the most of your experience.
The second thing that you must do on your trip to New York is visit the world-famous Brooklyn Bridge. It is a landmark immortalized in a range of films, such as John Wick, I am Legend, Sophie’s Choice, and more, and a walk across the bridge will surely make you feel like you are in a movie yourself!
Brooklyn Bridge is the world’s first steel-wire suspension bridge, and its history spans over 125 years. It stretches over the East River, connecting the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn. Walking across the bridge provides an ethereal view of the New York skyline, especially in the early evening hours.
Recently, the bridge has become a hotspot for runners, photoshoots, proposals, and Instagrammers. The easily accessible pedestrian walkway makes this possible! So, be sure to take out your camera and click some great photographs in this picturesque location.
MySittiVacations Pro Travel Tip: You will not regret checking out the beautiful Brooklyn Bridge Park. In addition, if you time your trip perfectly, you can stroll back across the Brooklyn Bridge at sunset, when the sights are exceptionally scenic and mesmerizing.
Very few parks are as interesting as the High Line in New York. It was an elevated The High Line is an elevated rail that was revamped into a green public space in 2009. It stretches from the Meat Meatpacking District all the way to Hudson yards-34th Street. Despite its recent introduction, the average daily visitor count to the High Line Park is a whopping 40000 during weekends, which can peak at 60000 people on certain days.
The High Line Provides impressive views of the city and has become the quintessential place for locals and tourists to relax and unwind. The park’s plant life is directly based on what was already growing in the area when it was abandoned, providing it with a unique and pristine aura.
While visiting the High Line, you can walk through magnificent gardens, view art, enjoy a performance, indulge in delicacies, or simply chat with the neighbors. It is interesting to note that the High Line is both a nonprofit organization and a public park on the West Side of Manhattan. The organization reimagines public spaces and strives to create connected, healthy, and sustainable neighborhoods and cities.
With a visitor count of 42 million per annum, Central Park is one of the towering highlights of New York. It is an urban park that spans from Midtown Manhattan all the way up to Harlem and encompasses 340 hectares of land. The tranquility of Central Park is, indeed, unparalleled. In addition, the tons of green spaces, walking lanes, and bike lanes make it the ideal spot for the locals to indulge in some adrenaline rush.
One of the salient features of Central Park is that it is not only a tourist destination but a spot where local New Yorkers flock in massive numbers. For instance, out of the 40 million annual visitors, only 14 percent are first-timers, meaning that the vast majority of people who go to Central Park are city inhabitants.
Did you know that Central Park is the world’s most filmed location? It has played a part in more than 200 different films since the turn of the 20th century. Nevertheless, one of the first things you should do on your visit to New York is head to Central Park, bask in its beauty, and explore spots such as the Sheep’s Meadow, Bethesda Terrace, and Terrace Park Zoo, located inside the park.
Some of the other fun and touristy activities that you can do in Central Park include:
- Renting a row boat to cruise around the Central Park Lake
- Head to Strawberry Fields, where fans of John Lennon meet at the Imagine Mosaic and sing together.
- Visit the famous café – Le Pain Quotidien, located just north of the Sheep Meadow, and enjoy a cup of coffee or a delicious piece of cake.
- In case you are visiting New York during the winter, do not forget to ice skate at the Woolman Rink inside Central Park.
The first must-visit tourist attraction of New York has to be Roosevelt Island Tramway. It is the perfect getaway from the bustle and din of the city for a few hours. However, you might be surprised to know that most NYC visitors are unaware of the tramway that leaves from Manhattan and halts at the small Roosevelt Island, which is its final destination.
The Roosevelt Island Tramway is an aerial tramway that spans across the East River. It is perched atop a height of 80 meters, meaning you can enjoy stunning views of the East River towards Downtown and Upper Manhattan, and much more.
While riding the tramway is already a once-in-a-lifetime experience, Roosevelt Island is also worth exploring. For instance, at the southern end of Roosevelt Island, you will find the Louis-Kahn-designed Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park, a spot that will surely bring out the inner child in you.
MySittiVacations Pro Tip: While riding the tramway, make sure to stand close to the doors for the best views of the New York City skyline.
After a comprehensive summation of the five must-visit tourist attractions of New York, let us look at a few of the invigorating outdoor activities that you can indulge in on your trip. Also check out our guide on things to make solo female new york trip
THE BEST SIX OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES IN NEW YORK
- Drink at an Outdoor Rooftop Bar – Cocktails on clouds, a wonderful combination, indeed. If you are of age and enjoy alcohol occasionally, you can head to the rooftop bars in New York for a fun-filled and memorable experience. The New York skyline, coupled with some shots, is a duo that undoubtedly, delivers a unique life experience.
- Dine at a Waterfront Restaurant – Whether you are traveling solo, with a partner, or with friends, dining at a waterfront restaurant along the Hudson or East Rivers or the Atlantic Ocean is an exhilarating outdoor experience. Nothing beats dinner on the water, with ocean breezes and beautiful views amplifying the ordeal.
- Hunt Down Flea Markets – Your New York shopping spree is incomplete without some vintage sifting at some of the world’s best flea markets and thrift stores. From craft jewels to antiques and second-hand clothing items, you can find everything in this labyrinth of a market. In addition, you can take a break from your shopping by indulging in some gourmet street food in between.
- Spark Some Old-School Romance at Coney Island – One of the most fun outdoor activities in New York has to be a day out to Coney Island. It is a nationally beloved kitschy playground adored by locals and tourists alike. There is an excellent time to be had at every turn: Luna Park features a few of the mightiest roller coasters in the world, including the century-old Cyclone. So, if you are an adventure junky, then Coney Island will win your heart. Moreover, you can also watch the dames of Burlesque at the Beach perform wild routines irrespective of your visit time. Lastly, stuff some Authentic Nathan’s Hot Dog on your trip to Coney Island.
- Sunbathe in the Beaches – When we say that New York has got the best of both worlds, we mean it! You can easily take a subway to a few of the best beaches in New York. There is probably a sandy shore for every mood. For instance, Jacob Riis Park Beach will be your go-to if you are in a headspace for a party. Likewise, Tilden is the best bet for those looking to relax and get away from thronging crowds.
- Ignite the Adventure Junky in You With Free Kayaking – Contrary to popular belief. The East River and Hudson River are thriving and brimming with life. So, on your trip to New York, you can hit the water for a riveting time and enjoy some excellent city views. Kayaking along New York’s water bodies is an experience you will cherish forever. In addition, many of the city’s most popular boathouses offer free rides, so there is no reason to miss out on the 20-minute adrenaline rush on water.
Let us wrap up the article by looking at some of the best places to eat in Downtown New York.
FIVE BEST PLACES TO EAT IN DOWNTOWN NEW YORK
New York is a food lover’s paradise. There are many different types of cuisines you can try throughout the city. The best thing is that you can get whatever kind of food you want at all times of the day (or night.
- Saint Ambroeus at Brookfield Place – It is a place for Italian lovers. They have a little bit of everything on the menu, including gelato and confetti. Their namesake signature drink is a must-try, like a cappuccino and hot chocolate mixed into one!
- PJ Clarke’s at Brookfield Place – It is an eatery that has been serving some of the best burgers in New York since 1884. Your trip to New York is incomplete without snacking on a PJ Clark’s burger and enjoying the sunset views across the Hudson River.
- Ampia Rooftop and Restaurant – It is a former bank transformed into a Mediterranean paradise by Italian chefs. Ampia serves delicious Italian delicacies, and it also has a rooftop. So, what else could you ask for!
- The Green Piers 17 – The fourth eatery on our list is Green Piers 17. It has a diverse menu of seasonal dishes and festive dishes that you can enjoy from your rooftop cabin.
- Los Tacos No.1 – A list of the best places to eat in Downtown New York is incomplete without a quick bite from Los Tacos. It offers authentic Mexican tacos that are tasty and affordable. In addition, the drinks the great as well.
So, there we have it, the ultimate guide to the things that you must do in New York. Of course, in a city that never sleeps, finding quiet can be difficult. But we have given you an option for that, as well. So, your next trip to New York is all set after reading this article. If you are interested to know about attractions in portland oregon check out our guide on things to see in portland.