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.

The shop has everything you need to explore the lake, from paddleboats and kayaks to hydro bikes.

A nondescript brown door leads to the speakeasy-style cocktail lounge, Little Branch, in the West Village. The glow from candles softly light the warm-colored walls and tin-wrapped bar, adding to the hushed atmosphere. Even the live jazz coming from the upright piano is on-beat with the scene.

With its towering ceiling, airy interior, and oversize baked goods, City Bakery cultivates an air of abundance.

The boutique carries groovy clothes and shoes from across the decades. The real gems are on the second floor.

Located in the West Village, Star Struck Vintage Clothing is a family-run business specializing in vintage clothing and accessories from the 1930’s through the 1980’s. The store, founded in 1980, is packed with everything from vintage concert T-shirts to formalwear.

See America through the eyes of the 12 million immigrants that entered through Ellis Island. A highlight of the museum is the building itself, built in 1900 and restored to its original condition.

Take a boat through the glassy inlets of the St. Lawrence River—it flows north, toward Montreal. In summer, alight at Heart Island, one of 1,865 islands here, where Boldt Castle, a full-scale Rhineland palace, was commissioned by the man who built the Waldorf Astoria hotel.

In summer, the hottest neo-burlesque revue is at the 350-seat Spiegeltent, under the Brooklyn Bridge.

Established in 2007 by brothers and restaurateurs Bruce and Eric Bromberg, this tiny wine bar is part of New York’s celebrated Blue Ribbon restaurant group.

An old-fashioned valentine of a store, Greenwich Letterpress has wooden shelves overflowing with brightly colored imported paper and boxed cards.

Created by musicians, (Le) Poisson Rouge (LPR) on Bleecker Street is a indie venue for music, dance, and theater located just a few blocks south of Washington Square Park.

However playful its tangerine walls and funky signs, this specialty cheese and meat shop in Carroll Gardens is serious about its search for unique culinary expression, whether it be its ham bar, temperature- and humidity-controlled aging “cave,” or monthly cheese seminars.