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.
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.
Established in 1976, this non-profit is the largest in the world dedicated to the promotion of artist-made publications. Inside the brightly lit space, you’ll find 15,000 titles—plus rare reads.
Garden cocktails in a faux Ralph Lauren ad, this place is quintessential Hamptons. A handsome mahogany bar sits inside a seafood-centric restaurant helmed by Scott Kampf, but it’s the tree-fringed lawn that steals the show.
Tucked away on W. 12th Street, between University Street and Fifth Avenue, is this French-inspired café that has been serving up the neighborhood’s creamiest café au laits for years.
Located discreetly behind red metal gates in what at first glance appears to be a furniture shop, this beer bar has one of the neighborhood’s most extensive lists of craft beer on tap, in bottles and in a few casks that rotate out regularly.
This tiny bakery is locals’ go-to spot to for sweet and savory baked goods on the weekends. A buzzing group of bakers in blue work jumpsuits hum along to the likes of Fleetwood Mac while churning out flaky almond croissants and crusty baguettes, that can sell out by 10:30 a.m.
Take a drive or paddle along part of the 12-mile Cayuga-Seneca Canal, teeming with bass, trout, and salmon.
The New York flagship features an extensive collection of cameras, film, and accessories.
Every New Yorker loves a bar with an outdoor patio, and that’s exactly what you’ll find at Bamboo 52. Add to the mix a sushi bar and a well-priced happy hour, which runs from noon until 9 p.m., and you’ve got the makings of the perfect watering hole.