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.
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.
This attractive (and nice-smelling) shop sells space-saving, stylish, and smart housewares. You don’t have to live in a closet-sized apartment to enjoy its great products. Open daily, around noon–around 7 pm.
With seemingly countless galleries lining its streets, Chelsea is essentially a museum—one displaying everything from experimental art from up-and-comers to more staid works by longtime greats.
The rollicking East Village biergarten brings Munich to Montauk with the opening of its waterside outpost.
Once the site of a chapel on Peter Stuyvesant’s farm, St. Mark’s is more than just a church: the sanctuary does double duty as a performance space and plays as much a part in the neighborhood’s cultural history as in its history of worship.
If there’s a sport, you can probably play it at this expansive complex set along the Hudson River with facilities for everything from bowling and rock climbing to year-round ice skating and golf (especially popular because you get to whack balls into nets overlooking the water).
The equestrian-themed bar launched with Triple Crown viewing parties in a space decked with polo memorabilia and custom furniture from the Pennsylvania Amish. A trio of options—beer garden, lounge, or restaurant—serve sangria and Northeastern micro beers.
With occupiers, hipsters, yuppies, NYU-loafers Washington Square Park—an iconic downtown landmark with its own “Arc de Triomphe”—is a mosaic of Village characters.
The department store’s Chelsea location closed down in 1996, but this airy, edgy outpost—set inside a warehouse satisfies the needs of high-fashion shoppers. Both men and women head here for everything from designer jeans to of-the-minute accessories.
2011’s buzziest opening is reaching even bigger heights. An impressive lineup of International DJ stars (Sebastian Ingrosso; Wolfgang Gartner) draws a flashy late-night crowd that hangs in cabanas on the outdoor veranda.
Drink to Get: Champagne!
Since 1963, this three-screen cinema has showcased a canon of cult classics—not to mention an eclectic mix of edgier flicks. Want to re-watch Mulholland Drive on the big screen? You may be in luck.
Forget the clothes: the real lure is the Rem Koolhaas-designed store itself. Manhattan’s Prada flagship replaced the downtown branch of the Guggenheim Museum in 2001—and since then, architecture freaks (and, yes, fashionistas) have been flocking to the futuristic 23,000-square-foot store.