The fine folks over at /r/travel on reddit were suggesting the kind of places most tourists don’t catch unless they’ve got locals guiding their visit. I was born in New York City, so it’s got a special place in my heart (not far from the heart on my “I <3 NY” shirt). It seemed like the perfect way to start a series about hotspots we love and all the places your fancy guidebook may not mention, but the locals love.
Sure, you could see a Broadway musical (Billy Elliot, perhaps?), visit the top of the Empire State Building, or maybe walk/ride through Central Park, but then you’d have the same story as everyone else who’s visited New York City.
This is by no means a comprehensive list, but we hope it gets your creative juices flowing. Did we miss anything, New Yorkers? Let us know in the comments!
- Tickets for The Daily Show & The Colbert Report (both claim to be unavailable atm)
- Beer much? Visit Brooklyn Brewery for a tour
- Walk the HighLine on a lovely day or evening
- Staten Island Ferry for a great view and hard to beat price (it’s free!)
- Into music? Visit BoweryPresents.com to find all the live music you need
- Upright Citizens Brigade Theater
- MOMA Free Friday Night
- Into Indie movies? The cool kids watch at the Angelika
- Pack a camera (or iPhone with Hipstamatic) for Coney Island
- Take a stroll through anything south of 14th St. — bonus points if it’s after sunset
- Shop at Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co. for a fantastic new costume and know that all the profits are helping local kids become better writers.
- Wait on line for a Shake Shack burger in Madison Square Park. Worth the wait (great cheese fries & shroom burger for vegetarians, too!).
Edit: Our fabulous commenters argue that BRGR is the optimal burger joint in the city. Why not try both and let us know which you prefer?
- The Cloisters: so serene you won’t believe you’re still in Manhattan
- Wander through Prospect Park, the Central Park of Brooklyn. You can even ice skate there, too!
- Stroll the Brooklyn Heights Promenade for all those stunning views of the cityscape you can’t possibly get from Manhattan.
- The Hispanic Society on 158th is free and full of delicious knowledge
- Visit Governors Island. It’s not big, but it makes up for it.
- Forget Chinatown in Manhattan. Want authentic? Get your dim sum in Flushing!
- Take the magical ferry from downtown to the Red Hook Ikea.
- Savor a coffee at Cafe Sabarsky in the Neue Gallerie on 86th & 5th and pretend you’re in Vienna — only everyone is speaking English or at least not-German.
- Feeling adventurous? Visit Dia: Beacon and Storm King – it’s 50miles north of the city, but take Metro North from Grand Central for a lovely ride to bask in your glory for having visited all the places your friends didn’t see in New York City.
Please: Stay away from Times Square. You deserve better.
Special thanks to Elizabeth, Erik, Huu, Sabriya, and Scott for their feedback & suggestions.