When it comes to New York, there is so much to experience. In this city that truly never sleeps, there is always something to do! Nearly endless possibilities and activities can be quite overwhelming to a newcomer. A first instinct is to try and see as many of the mains sites and “tourist attractions” as you possibly can. But there is so much more to do than visit our beautiful monuments, and countless other ways to experience it than climbing to the 102nd floor of the Empire State Building.
Where to Eat
New York is a haven of interesting, gastronomical experiences and some downright good food. There are a number of dishes that are so classically “New York”. Do your best to taste as many as you can, and you will not leave disappointed… or hungry!
There is nothing like an East Coast bagel, and no better place to get it than in New York. They say it’s our water that makes them so good. Whatever it is, places like Black Seed Bagels and Tompkins Sq Bagels are solid options in NYC. Order it like a true New Yorker – with cream cheese and lox. And get a Black and White to go (It’s a cookie!).
When it comes to lunch time, there are even more options. You can try a Dirty Water Dog (hot dog from a local street vendor) or a famous slice of New York pizza, from Patsy’s in East Harlem or Lombardi’s – the oldest pizzeria in Manhattan. But there’s nothing more New York than a sandwich from Katz Delicatessen. Corned beef or pastrami piled high on rye bread, Katz is a staple to a New Yorkers diet.
Where to Stay
Where to stay in New York City is an age-old question that often can’t be answered. Everyone has their favorite neighborhood or preferred spot on the map. Because there is so much to do in New York, there’s not even a “best” neighborhood closest to the attractions! If the touristy sites and monuments are high on your list (think Time Square, Broadway, Madison Square Garden or Rockefeller Center) than staying in Midtown is your best bet. A little neighborhood called Murray Hill is a nice option close enough to the lights of Time Square but far enough from the commotion. A personal favorite? The West Village. It’s quiet and charming, and offers a side of New York City that most visitors don’t see. Some other options include TriBeCa and Gramercy Park in Manhattan or Williamsburg and Dumbo in Brooklyn.
What to See
Oh the sites to see! Whether it’s the twinkling ceiling of Grand Central Terminal or the bright lights of Broadway, there is so much to soak in during your time in New York. Check out the cobblestone streets and lavish dining scene of the Meatpacking District. Have a picnic on the Great Lawn in the iconic Central Park, a beautiful oasis amidst the concrete jungle. Visit the famous Bronx Zoo and admire the animals, or take the ferry to Staten Island or Brooklyn and get fantastic views of the skyline. New York City is more than just the island of Manhattan… there are five boroughs to explore and experience, and five times the sites to see!
Photo by Nastasia Wong
What to Do
So much to do, so little time! Whether you choose to window shop or actually drop bills, 5th Avenue is a million dollar stroll. You can also take your steps above the concrete streets and walk around Highline Park, the elevated footpath filled with greenery and benches, food vendors and local art.
Photo by Nastasia Wong
Walking over the Brooklyn Bridge is another famous attraction. Although the footpath can get crowded, it’s a really beautiful experience and chance to admire the architecture of this landmark. There’s plenty to do once you arrive in BK, from riding the carousel, lounging in the park, or finding a flea market…
If you’re doing too much walking, just look for a Metro. You have to ride the New York subway system at least once, it’s iconic! And makes traveling around NYC easy and budget-friendly. For $2.50 a ticket, you can access tons of subway lines that will bring you as far as Coney Island or up to the Bronx… catch a Yankee game (aka the Bronx Bombers) while you’re there!
Don’t let the possibilities overwhelm you… whatever you don’t get to see this time is the perfect excuse to come back and see another time.