So you’re planning a trip to New York City? Here are some ideas of what to do + non-touristy things too
Whether you are a tourist visiting for the first time, someone coming back but wants to see a different side of the city, there is something for everyone. We have compiled a list of classic, must-see attractions, as well as some favourite activities that locals prefer, if you’re looking for less-touristy things to do.
If you’re traveling by bus or train to New York, then you’ll arrive at Penn Station. One of the first things you can check out closeby the station is Koreatown, a few avenues up on 32nd Street. If you’re hungry, you definitely have to try the most authentic Korean food in the city.
Visit Central Park – Central Park is one of the most famous parks in the world and is filled with lush greenery, walking trails, and lakes. It’s a classic for a reason, and still very instagram-wrorthy. Along the way, you’ll see sculptures, bridges, and arches, and there are also tons of playgrounds if you’re visiting with kids! Not to mention a winter ice-skating rink and a zoo . Enjoy a picnic with some delicious food around the corner while you relax on the Great Lawn or take a leisurely stroll through Strawberry Fields.
See a Broadway Show. It might seem like an obvious tip but there’s a reason that this is a must-see in New York, regardless if you’re a first time goer or not. The city is home to some of the world’s most renowned theaters and has some of the best shows with something for everyone. Whether you’re a fan of musicals or plays, there are plenty of productions for all types of theater lovers.
The Whitney Museum of American Art is a great place to explore the richness and diversity of American art. From painting and sculpture to works on paper, film, video, and digital art, you can experience the full range of American artistic production from colonial times to the present. With exhibitions that span centuries and styles, you’ll never run out of new things to discover. The museum also hosts numerous events throughout the year, including educational lectures, performances, and workshops – perfect for visitors of all ages! Plus, with its stunning views of New York City from the terrace, it’s a great spot to take in the sights from above. Whether you’re an avid art enthusiast or just looking for a fun and educational day out, the Whitney Museum of American Art is sure to be an unforgettable experience.
Visit the New York Botanical Garden. Located in the Bronx, this breathtaking 250-acre oasis is home to over one million plants and 50 gardens and landscapes. Take a stroll through the beautiful rose garden, discover rare tropical species in the rainforest exhibit, or explore cultural landscapes from around the world. With its rich history and diverse plant life, this paradise can provide an afternoon of serenity or an opportunity to learn about the diversity of plants throughout nature. With activities for all ages, from guided tours and special events to seasonal festivals , New York Botanical Garden is a must-see for any visitor.
Do what the locals do – enjoy a (boozy) brunch! New York has some of the best food, that’s no secret. If you’re not looking to overspend on food while visiting, brunch is a great option. There are several Instagrammable restaurants to choose from that will keep you satisfied and tie you over until dinner.
Explore the Metropolitan Museum of Art.The Met has been the cultural epicenter of New York City for nearly 150 years, thanks to its forward-thinking exhibitions and extensive permanent collection.This Gothic-Revival building has iconic tiered steps and a prime location in Central Park. But step inside its Great Hall—as a ceaseless parade of museumgoers move to-and-fro—and you’ll feel the overwhelming sense of possibility and discovery that lays beyond. Start with the Temple of Dendur, a 2,000-year-old soaring Egyptian temple (the only complete one in the Western Hemisphere) if you’re limited on time.
Visit the shops at Fifth Avenue. Even if you’re not ready to splurge, it’s worth checking out. Fifth Avenue is home to some of New York’s most luxurious shopping experiences, from designer clothing boutiques to high-end department stores. Who knows, maybe you’ll find a deal!
Grab drinks at a hidden speakeasy. As you may already know, speakeasies haven’t been a thing since the 30s, but there’s something about going inside a phonebooth to get to a secret place that’s a must on the bucket list. Luckily for tourists and locals, there are plenty of great speakeasies in New York City – you just have to know where to look. We did some digging – here are a few that are worth checking out.
Take in a View From the Top of the Empire State Building – The 86th Floor Observatory offers some of the best views of Manhattan and beyond, and it should definitely be on your list of things to do in New York City. Get there at night for an unforgettable sight as the city lights up around you.
These are just a few of the activities that you can enjoy during your visit to New York City; there are so many more attractions and experiences waiting for you. Since it’s such a vibrant and diverse city, you’ll never run out of exciting things to do.
Time to book your tickets and get packing!