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 Sony Wonder Technology Lab, located in Manhattan, is a four-story interactive museum dedicated to encouraging visitors of all ages to learn and explore.
Manhattan’s Antiques Garage, adored by legions of New York collectors, was slated for demolition but has been saved from the wrecking ball—at least for the foreseeable future. This bi-level concrete parking lot is a survivor from the days when the neighborhood was full of antiques venues.
In a borough littered with beautiful old buildings, these architectural-salvage specialists sell an impressive range of hard-to-find fixtures and hardware.
Strange Factor: You don’t have to be dead to ride in a hearse through NYC.
Ninth Street Espresso keeps it simple: they serve specialty coffee. Opened in 2001, this flagship location in Alphabet City is marked only by a black awning with a white coffee cup, and the wrought-iron fence is often adorned with bikes.
Apple’s flagship store on Fifth Avenue in midtown Manhattan features an innovative exterior to match the gadgets inside. A glass cube marks the entrance to the subterranean shop, where customers descend the glass stairway to peruse the company’s revolutionary and wildly popular products.
A pioneer in the Chelsea art scene, Matthew Marks has acquired through the years 16,000 square feet of exhibit space, encompassing four galleries and a museum-style poster shop.
Located at 63rd Street in New York City’s Central Park, the Heckscher softball fields are perfect for a game of baseball or softball. The six fields are named after former park commissioner August Heckscher who served for six years beginning in 1967.
Head to the back of this cozy Nolita boutique and you’ll spot German designer Nina Freudenberger creating eclectic interiors for stylish Manhattanites. The shop’s vibe—streamlined Scandinavian chalet meets European hunting lodge—was inspired by Freudenberger’s memories from Denmark and Bavaria.
The best beer in the city is made by two twentysomethings who met at the University of Wisconsin, won a bunch of home-brewing prizes, then relocated to Brooklyn and took over a small, disused brewery in Red Hook.
Opened in 1985, Grace’s was the first gourmet food market in the Upper East Side. The store’s namesake, Grace Balducci Doria, grew up helping her parents run their shop in Greenwich Village and continued the family tradition with her husband by establishing their own small business.
If you are a fan of documentaries, the Maysles Cinema more than delivers.
Known for her hand-engraved stationery, Nancy Sharon Collins, Stationer, has more than 30 years of experience in engraving with monogram-and-type styles from the 1920s and 1930s.