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.

Lindblad is a top adventure company, with an impressive affiliation with the National Geographic Society. Research scientists come on board, and passengers can observe NG field sites and equipment, including undersea cameras and hydrophones and video-microscopes.

The housewares here range from kitschy items like Piet Houtenbos's infamous grenade lamp to diminutive, high-concept products from other esteemed designers.

Located on the ground floor of the General Motors building, this state-of-the-art shop sells high-tech gadgets and menswear inspired by the eponymous luxury car.

This once tiny gallery in the county courthouse rotunda has grown into 33,000 square feet of exhibition space behind a glass accordion-like façade.

Sean Kelly is probably what you think of when you imagine a Chelsea art gallery: an open, 7,000-square-foot space with polished concrete floors, white walls, and skylights.

Stay in one of the historic farmhouses on the Marshlands Conservancy, a 173-acre wildlife sanctuary in Rye, New York. No modern glamour here, but you’ll certainly experience rustic relaxation.

One of The Big Apple’s most respected and well-attended music venues, Joe’s Pub opened at The Public Theater in 1998. The intimate space offers guests an up-close look at their favorite musical acts and creates a hip atmosphere with candlelight, lucite tables, and plush velvet couches.

Surfer chicks - and their moms - love Haven for its flirty frocks, Brazilian jewelry, and vintage finds (a Pucci longboard, Midcentury Modern vases).

At Bard College, Frank Gehry’s Fisher Center for the Performing Arts hosts cultural events as creative as its architecture. For four weeks this summer, the Spiegeltent, a mirrored pavilion staging everything from circus acts to saucy cabaret, sets up camp.

Like a closet out of The Arabian Nights, this boutique is stocked with hand-loomed, Indian-inspired textiles and antique jewelry.

See Mark Twain's octagonal study.