New York City is vast and chock-full of attractions for every taste. People are often drawn to the city simply for its unending promise – it is a place where you can never possibly see it all.
You do need to start somewhere, though. If this is your first visit to the city, here are ten amazing places to check out and enjoy in New York.
1. The High Line
There is nothing out there like the High Line, a former elevated railway track, now repurposed as a tourist attraction. Stretching nearly 1.5 miles from Chelsea to the Meatpacking District, the walkway is beautifully landscaped with hundreds of species of plants.
As you walk the High Line, you find yourself with a view of New York unlike any that you’ve seen before.
2. The West Village
The charming and historic West Village is far removed from skyscraper-packed Midtown. The charming townhouses, the bars that attract artists and poets, and the cobblestone streets that could belong to a small European town, all make for a fun experience.
You’ll find West Village at 6th Ave., a little way down from 14th Street.
3. The 9/11 Memorial
The place in the Financial District where the twin towers of the World Trade Center once stood, now houses the 9/11 Memorial. The memorial consists of a pair of deep, reflecting pools with water cascading down the sides, and the names of those who died that day etched in the stone.
The museum on the site records the history of the happenings of that day.
4. Restaurant Row in Harlem
Harlem, the famous neighborhood at the north end of Manhattan, has experienced a resurgence over the past decade. One especially enjoyable part of Harlem is Restaurant Row – the 10 blocks between West 110th and West 120th. Here you’ll find an amazing range of restaurants from all over the world.
If you want quality down-to-earth world cuisine, you need to visit these streets.
5. Coney Island
Coney Island (which is actually a peninsula) has been New York’s quickie beach vacation destination for more than a century.
While Superstorm Sandy did affect Coney Island, it has bounced back since. The world-famous Cyclone roller coaster is back in business. Coney Island isn’t hard to reach either, it’s accessible from Manhattan by subway.
6. The Housing Works Bookstore
In a world where e-books and online stores have long replaced even chain booksellers, independent bookstores with character are a rarity, indeed. Happily, New York is home to some great independent bookstores.
Housing Works is a world-famous destination for used books. You get to come in and browse the endless selections available, meet the enlightened crowd that comes, and buy books for less than a dollar. Grab a book and a coffee at the bookstore café!
7. The Metropolis Thrift Store
If you like shopping for clothing with true character, the Metropolis Thrift Store is where you need to go. From classic original band tees from the 80s to military and motorcycling gear, you’ll find artifacts from every fashion trend of the past here, all authentic.
While you can always go to Urban Outfitters for brand-new reproductions of old classics, the Metropolis has the real thing.
8. Brooklyn Museum
Most visitors to New York know that they need to see the MoMa, the Guggenheim and the other Manhattan museums.
If you’d like to get off the beaten path, you need to visit Brooklyn. Not only do you see contemporary displays of works by Brooklyn natives, you find permanent collections, too.
The museum’s Egyptian wing is particularly famous.
9. The Film Society of Lincoln Center
For those who love contemporary commercial Hollywood, there are plenty of movie theaters all over New York. For those with slightly more exotic tastes, though, you have the Film Society of Lincoln Center, one of the best destinations in the city for independent American films and films from all over the world.
10. The Chelsea Flea Market
Chelsea Flea Market, an enclosed shopping area between 11th Ave. and 9th Ave. around 15th St., is massive enough to cover two entire blocks.
It can be fun shopping in a place that’s large enough to be outdoors, but is yet a completely built-up, indoor space.
While you can find practically every kind of shopping in Chelsea Flea market, the 4000 square-foot flea market is one of its highlights. If you want a real sample of New York to take back home, you’ll find it here.
Although New York has sites that have been world-famous forever, such as the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, the UN and so on, it is sometimes at its most charming in some of its lesser-known and steadily evolving newer attractions. What are some of your favorite things to do in NYC? Share in the comments!