New York

Things to do in New York

Given New York’s size and diversity, just narrowing down your list of things to do in New York may be challenging. See the city like the newcomers did: Start with a harbor tour and then head over to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. The panoramic views from Lady Liberty never cease to be thrilling. Fifth Avenue has the biggest names (and often the biggest prices), so what to do in New York if you don’t have limitless funds? Wander the boutiques in Soho and Greenwich Village, and shops in Chinatown, for quirkier and more economical finds. Don’t dismiss the outer boroughs, either. Queens has Jackson Heights, which is gaining a large following for great ethnic food, and the Bronx has the famed Bronx Zoo, as well as historical sights such as Edgar Allan Poe Cottage, the author's former home on the Grand Concourse.

Seeing the big museums has always been one of the big things to do in New York—but it can be overwhelming. At the Metropolitan Museum of Art, narrow your visit to a few collections and then take your time with them. Another don’t-miss is the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), or smaller museums like the Frick Collection on the Upper East Side.

As a quick side trip from the side—and an alternative to the hyped Hamptons— head to Greenport, on the North Fork in Suffolk County. It has a quaint village or inns and shops, and a fun Maritime festival in September. The Catskills and the Adirondacks offer endless outdoor things to do in New York: hiking trails, cool springs, and plenty of lodges or cabins where you can sit on a quiet porch that feels worlds away from the big city.

Everyone from local blues bands to Jimmy Buffett plays live music at this Amagansett mainstay, which first opened its doors in 1987. The low-key venue can quickly transform from intimate to suffocating during high season weekends with a sprawling line down the block so get there before 9 p.m.

Timberlock resort is a haven for trail rides, canoeing on Indian Lake, and even workshop sessions where kids can help make a birdhouse or decorate picture frames with bark and other woodsy finds.

Members show up regularly for continuing-ed classes or workouts in the 80,000-sq-ft gym, but this is hardly your average community center.

This beloved shop is a necessary stop for book lovers and anyone interested in the glory days of the East Village.

Robin Williams, Conan O’Brien, and Tina Fey have all graced the stage of this heralded 150-seat comedy venue, where shows take place seven nights a week, the tickets are cheap, and there’s no drink minimum.

Housing 50 NYC-themed lanes, Bowlmor is part bowling alley, part nightclub. Beyond knocking down pins over drinks, there’s also the Stadium Grill Sports Bar and Restaurant, run by celeb chef David Burke.

Since the tiny shop’s designs started showing up in photos of starlets and rockers a decade ago, the neighborhood’s secret is out but still worth a visit. Here you’ll find great dresses that are feminine without being girly, and well-structured without being stiff.

This home décor store is the kind of place you can get lost in for hours. Every inch of space (ceiling included) is overflowing with charming gift-worthy items, such as brightly colored Yves Delorme mohair throws, owl-shaped salt and pepper shakers, and Savon de Marseille soaps.

A summer camp for adults. Straight across the water from Surf Lodge, Ruschmeyer’s is a relative newcomer to the scene having opened in 2011.