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.

...hop on the L subway line to Williamsburg, Brooklyn, for a free tour of the Brooklyn Brewery and its vats of microbrews.

The museum houses 35,000 dazzling objects and offers glassblowing demonstrations.

SEW

The name of Scott Evan Wasserberger, whose initials spell SEW, says exactly what he does at his small custom men's clothing store, designing suits for clients like Tony Sirico (of The Sopranos, naturally) using refined Dormeuil, Loro Piana, and Thomas Mason fabrics.

The natural skin care products and treatments developed by celebrity aesthetician Tracie Martyn are used by many Hollywood actors, among them Kate Winslet, Brad Pitt, Susan Sarandon, and Lauren Graham.

This aptly named wine shop specializes in Burgundies from both well-known and obscure regions, including Chablis, Pommard, and Chassagne-Montrachet. The handpicked inventory also includes a number of Rhône wines, as well as a few from California and Oregon.

New York City’s downtown boathouse is a volunteer-run organization that aims to provide New Yorkers with additional recreational opportunities via access to the harbor. The boathouse offers a variety of free activities, including public kayaking and guided four- to five-mile trips.

Run by a local Czech/Slovak fraternal organization, this hundred-year-old beer garden and hall serves food and beverages year-round in its indoor and outdoor facilities. Inside, there's a full bar and seating area popular during cold-weather months.

Once you get past the staff⤙s haughty (decidedly non-Brooklyn) attitude, you'll find racks upon racks of flirty Vanessa Bruno, Ulla Johnson, and See by Chloe designs.

Cocktail aesthetes' lounge

It's the oldest pharmacy in the U.S., but it still manages to be a hot shopping spot for celebrities (Graydon Carter, Susan Sarandon) who live in the neighborhood.

Dwarfed by skyscrapers, this 19th-century brick building at the corner of 3rd and 55th stands as a holdover from another era—a genuine saloon that has been around since 1884.

Housed inside a revitalized building constructed by Oscar Hammerstein in 1900, the New Victory Theater is New York City’s premier theater for young people and their families. The theater strives to maintain affordable prices, making its productions accessible to a wide audience.

Within its 2.8 million square feet, the Time Warner Center offers luxury living, entertainment, fine dining, shopping, a hotel, and business space. TWC houses the opulent Mandarin Oriental hotel, as well as hosts live jazz music at Lincoln Center.

This unerringly hip, Gallic-owned live-music club runs the gamut from washboard swing and Reinhardt-style guitar jazz to quwwali and klezmer.