Savvy travelers know that the quickest way to uncover New York's secrets is to solicit tips from the hardened locals who walk its streets each day. But this strategy has its limitations: even the most connected out-of-towner is unlikely to know New Yorkers in each of the city's varied neighborhoods. The wisest course of action? Supplement advice from your friends with tips from the professionals—those people whose livelihoods depend on their ability to cherry-pick the historic treasures and just-opened venues that will most impress visitors.
Every NYC fan and resident has a favorite attraction, but only a few understand how to single out spots that are both crowd-pleasing and authentic, hidden-away but not too obscure. That's why we decided to enlist concierges from 14 of New York's most characterful hotels to share their current highlights and all-time favorites. These experts, who hail from properties that all feel distinctively "New York," whether it's the glamorous Mark on the Upper East Side, the stately Peninsula in Midtown, or the boho-chic Bowery on the Lower East Side, are constantly sifting through information about the city's hotspots and comparing the latest openings with longstanding gems. Who better to provide us with the best of the best?
From hidden parks to unknown art galleries to secluded speakeasies, the concierges’ suggestions aren’t the sort that can be found in any guidebook. Compiled, these secrets are by no means definitive (after all, one of the most endearing things about New York is that it can be viewed from near-infinite angles). But this collection of tips forms an alternative guide to America's largest and most fascinating city—experience them all on your next trip to New York or hone in on one part of town and see what else you can find in the vicinity. Every suggestion is within walking distance of that concierge's hotel.