In the city that never sleeps, there is an array of things that you can do to escape the hustle and bustle – or join right in. Either way, this list will take you far beyond your typical visit to Times Square and the Empire State building. Explore the city and jump into New York’s culture with this must-do list.
1. Make your very own New York style pizza
Step into the kitchen of places like Pizza a Casa Pizza School or Brick NYC and learn to create your very own New York delicacy from the experts. The thin crust with just the right blend of cheese, toppings and sauce will give your taste buds a delicious New York experience. Take your New York style pizza skills home as a souvenir to enjoy for years to come.
2. Bike ride in Central Park
When you think of touring Central Park, you typically picture walking or taking a carriage ride. However, if you want to experience all the park has to offer, biking around the 843 acres of the park will allow you to cover more ground and open your eyes to things you may not see otherwise. Experience the winding trails, discover beautiful streams, ride by the Alice in Wonderland statue and pedal over to Belvedere castle for one of the park’s most breathtaking views. Venture out on your own, or take a guided tour to explore this green escape in the middle of the concrete city.
3. Walk the High Line
Escape the busy streets of Manhattan and stroll along this one-mile city park that is built on an old freight rail elevated above Manhattan’s West Side. With multiple access points, the High Line is convenient and also wheelchair accessible. Stretch out and catch some rays on the 23rd street lawn, or simply enjoy the beauty of the wildflowers as you walk. Don’t miss out on the good eats located along the High Line as well.
4. Enjoy unique graffiti art at 5Pointz Aerosol Art Center
A 200,000 square foot building-turned-art-canvas allows visitors to enjoy some of the world’s best graffiti art. Whether you’re an artist or not, this always-evolving museum will inspire you. This museum is rumored to be turning into condos soon, so visit while you can.
5. Kayak NYC
Take in the city from a new point of view – by kayak. The New York City Downtown Boathouse and Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse are just a couple of places that offer free kayaking in the summer months to enjoy stunning views of New York from its surrounding waterways.
6. Visit Four Freedoms Park
Four Freedoms Park was created to highlight the four essential freedoms from Franklin Roosevelt’s 1942 State of the Union speech:
- Freedom of speech and expression
- Freedom of worship
- Freedom from want
- Freedom from fear
Take one of New York’s many forms of transportation to this tranquil park on Roosevelt Island.
7. Take on a city scavenger hunt
From murder mystery scavenger hunts to gangster scavenger hunts and for the shoppers to the romantics, sites like strayboots.com and watsonadventures.com have got you covered. Whatever it is you are a fan of, there is likely a New York City scavenger hunt that will give you a one of a kind encounter with the city.
8. Shop at Brooklyn Flea
If you have a little extra room in your suitcase, you’ll want to visit the Brooklyn Flea market. This year-round flea market moves indoors from Thanksgiving through March but stays outdoors the remainder of the year. It offers jewelry, art, antiques and great food, too. The New York Times called the Brooklyn Flea “One of the great urban experiences in New York.”
9. Take on the Trapeze
Adventurous types can take on trapeze lessons at Trapeze School New York. TSNY offers lessons for beginners to more advanced trapeze artists. If you like things a bit closer to the ground, they offer trampoline classes as well.
10. Find your inner peace at the Museum of Tibetan Art
If you’re looking for something to take you out of the city and into a fascinating culture, visit Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art. Enjoy the gardens, meditation cells, fish ponds and cultural Tibetan art.
If you’ve never been to New York, or if you’ve been multiple times, these 10 attractions will give you a new take on this busy and growing city that will make it memorable.
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