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.

Often cited as the toughest hiking trail in the East, this east-to-west voyage in the Catskill Mountains of New York traverses the spine of the mountain range.

This brightly lit, pink-and-white walled Soho boutique takes its name from the Spanish fashion designer, who started her career in women’s clothing and has since expanded her line to include children’s clothing, menswear, linens and towels, makeup, and home accessories.

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Occupying a trapezoidal island diagonally across from Central Park, the 12-story, white-marble building by Edward Durrell Stone stood for close to half a century at 2 Columbus Circle, near the geographic center of Manhattan.

One of New York City’s best vintage and resale shops, Roundabout sells vintage and couture items for 50%-70% off designer retail prices.

Located a block west of Central Park, Lincoln Center spans over 16 acres and is home to a dozen performing arts organizations, among them the Metropolitan Opera, New York Philharmonic, and New York City Ballet.

Founded by brothers Tomohiro and Yoshio Katagiri in 1907, this small Japanese grocery store has been selling imported Japanese items for more than a century.

A fashionista's dream (or just a cool stop-in), this avant-garde Chinatown boutique offers pricy goods all majoring in originality. The sparsely filled space, with white walls and clothing racks made of disused pipes, feels more like a gallery than a store of one-of-a-kind finds.

The farm sells high-quality organic produce and delicious dressings. Try the carrot-ginger variety.

A stroll along this span is an only-in-New York experience that provides an up-close sense of the city's true grandeur. It's hardly the world-record-setting suspension bridge it was when finished in 1883, but it has retained an iconic status.

The Vanderbilts’ fairy-tale lodge.

Quality over quantity is the ruling principle at this diminutive wine shop, opened in late 2005 by husband-and-wife team Steve Flynn and Shelly McClure.