New York City is known as the “city that never sleeps”, and as a native myself I can confirm that this holds true. With five large borough’s, over 8 million residents, and skyscrapers as far as the eye can see, NYC is truly one of the most magnificent and diverse places in the U.S., maybe even the world.
If you’re not a native, are planning on visiting, have visited but was overwhelmed by the thousands of things to do, or just are in the mood to explore a new city and New York has always been on your list, than it’s important to look into some of the amazing attractions that NYC has to offer. A lot of the typical tourism spots in New York do hold true to the photos online, however, they really aren’t the star of the show. NYC is HUGE and there’s an endless amount of possibilities when it comes to what to do when you find yourself exploring this concrete jungle.
Central Park is the most popular park in NYC, and rightfully so, if you’ve ever seen an aerial shot of the city, it’s absolutely magnificent how contained this massive plot of nature remains in an otherwise industrial landscape. However, there are plenty of other beautiful parks in New York that don’t get as much attention, but truly deserve to. Bryant Park is an obvious runner up, as it has an endless amount of eateries surrounding the perimeter, and plenty of seating to enjoy the views on a nice day. In the winter, the park also has ice skating and the occasional concert in the park (concerts occur throughout the entire year it just depends on the day).
If you want to go the more historical and artsy route, NYC has one of the widest selections of museums that one could dream of. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the most magnificent museums in the country. The MET holds a myriad of artwork extending from the dawn of man, to modern examples of pop art by Andy Warhol himself. The vast size of the amount of artwork the MET has curated throughout the years is astounding, and a majority of it is on display. The best part? Entry is only $25, and for the amount to be seen within the museum, it’s definitely worth it.
Other notable and exciting museums that one should visit in the city include; The Museum of Natural History, The Museum of Modern Art, The Museum of Sex, The Museum of Ice Cream, The Guggenheim, and plenty more!
Some more underrated attractions that one may not initially think of when planning their trip to New York City includes taking a ride on the Staten Island Ferry! Many don’t realize that the ferry itself travels on a route that allows passengers to see Brooklyn, the Statue of Liberty (without the overwhelming tourist energy), and lower Manhattan!
Brooklyn itself has truly built up a representation as being flooded with hipsters and artisanal cheeses, however, the art and culture that’s circulating throughout these boroughs streets is truly astounding. Brooklyn Flea is the epicenter of all of it. Filled with up-cycled clothing stores, unique cafes and an endless amount of artwork, you can’t go wrong with a day of hipster magic and good food.
The West Village
The West Village is another beautiful little piece of NYC that deserves to be explored. In fact you could spend a whole day just walking around the village and you’ll definitely find plenty to do without all the noise and congestion that one would find in Times Square. Something unique to the West Village as well is their Midnight Movies at the IFC Center. IFC often roles through a whole slew of titles for their late night movie showings; including classics such as Jurassic Park and The Shining.
Chinatown is to New York City as peanut butter is to jelly, however, if you’re looking for the greatest Chinatown/NYC experience, no other beats that of Flushing’s Chinatown. This location specifically stands out because of all the amazing food and restaurants that are bustling throughout the streets. Even more so, they have the New World Mall Food Court, a must see in terms of NYC eating.
Finally, The Bronx. No, nothing in particular, but the Bronx in general is one of the most underrated boroughs throughout NYC and it’s no thanks to a lot of ignorant representation in the media. The Bronx has way more to offer than just the zoo as well. Home of the Yankee’s, the NYC Botanical Gardens, and several Victorian mansions, the Bronx has become a cultural hub for the history of the city, and has plenty to offer in terms of things to do.
There’s a billion possibilities when it comes to exploring New York City. The key is figuring out what specific kind of experience you want to get out of it. Once you figure that out, there’s plenty of online resources to connect you to the perfect attraction to get the most out of your time in NYC.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.