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.

Every New Yorker loves a bar with an outdoor patio, and that’s exactly what you’ll find at Bamboo 52. Add to the mix a sushi bar and a well-priced happy hour, which runs from noon until 9 p.m., and you’ve got the makings of the perfect watering hole.

Check out Mark Twain’s octagonal study at Elmira College, which has artifacts such as his chair, documents, and several photos of nearby Quarry Farm, where he wrote.

New York’s best bagel: an impossible award given the excess of this mouth-watering bread product throughout the five boroughs. But Murray’s comes pretty close—and its collection of freshly made, handcrafted poppy-, sesame seed-, onion-, and garlic- bagels have wowed Villagers for over a decade.

This floating museum is housed in a former U.S. aircraft carrier that served in WWII and Vietnam War. The ship retired in 1982 and, in that same year, the museum was opened.

Some buildings are born to be icons. With its unique triangular “iron” shape, Beaux-Arts styling and bragging rights as one of New York’s first skyscrapers, The Flatiron Building’s eternal fame was secured from the beginning.

If the diminutive storefront with its gilded signage, flowerpots, and tin ceiling recalls an earlier era, so does the spirit of this indie bookstore, which has inspired neighborhood loyalty since 1978.

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.