Top Ten Things To Do In New York Off The Beaten Path
Everybody knows New York’s famous attractions such as the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty, Central Park and Times Square, Wall Street, Brooklyn Bridge and etc. They are all great and worth seeing. However, if you’ve seen all them and want to do something more unique or see more of New York, the following top ten things to do in New York off the beaten path will help you to get started. Most of these activities are free and can be easily included in your itinerary if you visit New York City on a budget.
Staten Island Ferry Ride
The 5 mile, 25 minute ride on Staten Island Ferry is a great way to enjoy the views of Downtown Manhattan and New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island absolutely for free at any time of the day or night. Manhattan South Ferry Terminal located at South Street in Manhattan Financial District, very close to popular New York attractions, such as Battery Park, Wall Street and South Street Seaport.
Roosevelt Island Cable Car Ride
If you’ve already seen the skyline of Manhattan from the water, then why not to get a view of the city from the sky? The Roosevelt Island Tramway will quickly bring you from Manhattan to Roosevelt Island and on a way you can enjoy breathtaking views of East Side of Midtown Manhattan, East River and The Queensboro Bridge. Great fun and very cost efficient – the ride costs the same as the subway ride.
The Cloisters Museum and Gardens
New York City has dozens great famous museums worth visiting, but the Cloisters is the truly unique experience and great combination of art collection and setting. Being the branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Cloisters museum is devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe. Located in Fort Tryon Park in the north of Manhattan, the building of the museum and gardens are treasures in themselves and well part of the collection housed there. Five medieval French cloisters were disassembled and brought to New York in 1934 and reassembled here in a setting with gardens planted accordingly to medieval traditions, creating European atmosphere of the Middle Age right in a modern city of New York. You can easily spend all day here, enjoying art collection, serenity of gardens and great views of the Hudson River.
New York City parks, with Central Park most famous, are fabulous spots to visit at any occasions. Bryant Park is small green oasis right in a middle of busy midtown Manhattan. During the winter Bryant Park is home to a fabulous and free ice skating rink. In the summer enjoy movies and picnics sitting right on a park lawn under Manhattan sky. Till this year Bryant Park hosted the most glamorous New York City event – New York Fashion Week. And New York Public Library, another place in New York off the beaten path, is right here in Bryant Park.
New York Public Library in The Day After Tomorrow
New York Public Library
The New York Public Library is one of the leading public libraries not only in the United States but in the world. However, not even every New Yorker was inside of this magnificent building right on Fifth Avenue between 40th and 42nd streets. Meanwhile the building is one of architectural jewels of Manhattan and National Historic Landmark. The Library’s grand entrance with two famous stone lions (nickname “Patience” and “Fortitude”), majestic steps and glamorous rooms with high ceilings have been appeared in many movies such as Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Sex and the City, Spider-Man, The Day After Tomorrow, Escape from New York, Regarding Henry and etc.
You don’t have to travel outside of New York City in order to visit Grand Central, just stop by there and walk around! Start your tour at the famous four-sided clock on the Main Concourse, this is a perfect spot to see most everything on the Main Concourse. Look up and around, and you will see the great astronomical mural painted in gold leaf on cerulean blue oil, beautiful melonshaped chandeliers, grand stylish staircases and many small interesting architectural details. Grand Central is home to many stores including famous Grand Central market, and quite noticeable restaurants such as Oyster Bar with the biggest selection of oysters in New York. And just for fun, stop by at unique Whispering Gallery. This one of the biggest attractions of the Terminal offers a phonic treat. Get two volunteers and put them in opposite corners facing the walls. A person can whisper into one of its corners and be distinctly heard diagonally across the gallery on the other side.
New York City being a very ethnically diverse city has plenty of interesting ethnic neighborhoods with Chinatown and Little Italy are probably most popular. But if you want to try something different and less touristy, then visit Koreatown (or Little Korea) located in Midtown Manhattan between 31st and 36th Streets and Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenues. The area is close to popular destinations like the Empire State Building and Macy's and will indulge you with very authentic Korean culinary experiences and night entertainment. Here you will find a lot of great Korean restaurants and stores, quite fancy karaoke nightclubs and fabulous Korean spas.
Union Square Greenmarket
Union Square is a very popular tourist destination in New York. If you visit the square on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays you will get very New York experience. In these days, Union Square becomes New York biggest fresh farmer’s food paradise. You don’t have to buy anything, just mingle around and taste some local just-picked fresh fruits or vegetables, farmstead cheeses and artisan breads, jams, ciders and even local wine. You can catch local chefs from the city’s top restaurants shopping early in the morning for the freshest ingredients. Or take some time to chat with your local farmer and learn about their growing practice and don't be surprised if you rub shoulders with the celebrity – many of them are shop here!
The High Line
Probably one of the newest attractions in Manhattan, the High Line is a 1.45-mile New York City park built on a section of the former elevated freight railroad of the West Side Line, along the Hudson River. Opened to the public in June of 2009 the High Line runs from Gansevoort Street to 20th Street. The park welcomes visitors with naturalized plantings that are inspired by the self-seeded landscape that grew on the disused tracks and with new great views of the city and the Hudson River. The Meatpacking District, located nearby, is trendiest area for shopping in New York, as well as the most popular for dining and one of best places to go out and have fun in Manhattan.
If you really want to see New York off the beaten path, then get on a subway and go explore New York outside of Manhattan. New York boroughs have plenty of unique neighborhoods that really worth a visit. Brighton Beach is definitely one of them and one of best places to visit in Brooklyn. Here you will immerse yourself in an authentic atmosphere of Little Russia where most of sings and store names written in Russian language, where you would barely hear English speech, where you would find variety of Russian books, art, music and food. Local cozy cafes serve hearty ethnic foods, such as borsch, pirogues, chicken Kiev, beef stroganoff and etc. The extra bonus is seaside, so you can promenade on the boardwalk for the sea breezes or just go to the beach. There are a group of Russian restaurants on the Boardwalk between 4th and 6th Brighton streets with outside dining that gives a wonderful ocean view.
What are your favorite things to do in New York off the beaten path? Please share with us your New York experience.