In New York City, there is no shortage of fun things to do. From exploring historical monuments to sampling some of the best cuisines on the planet to taking amazing pictures of the city’s stunning skyline.
Unfortunately, many of the best things to do in New York City are also extremely expensive. For instance, climbing to the top of the Empire State Building will result in breathtaking vistas of the city but will set you back a hefty penny. While seeing a Broadway musical in Times Square may be on most visitors’ bucket list. Tickets for the most well-liked plays aren’t exactly inexpensive.
Fear not, as there are many places in New York City that allow you to experience its history and culture. These are the top places in New York City.
Whitney Museum of American Art
When The Whitney moved to its considerably expanded Meatpacking headquarters in 2015 from its Upper East Side headquarters. It received a significant renovation. It features four outdoor exhibition spaces and terraces, 50,000 square feet of indoor galleries with artwork by Alexander Calder, Richard Avedon, and Jean Michel Basquiat. As well as a restaurant on the ground floor and a bar on the top floor, both run by Danny Meyer, one of the most well-known restaurateurs in the area. Two elevators created by artists connect the floors (albeit slow-moving, crowded ones). Take the stairs if mobility is not a problem for them to provide unbroken views of the Hudson river. A number of outside staircases connect the top floors and sculpture terraces. Offering fantastic views of the city skyline and the opportunity to see art in the open air.
Brooklyn Heights Promenade
Being in the middle of Manhattan on the ground is one thing; seeing it from the other side of the river is quite another. The city’s image dominates Brooklyn Heights, which is only a few subway stations from the city center. The Brooklyn Heights promenade, which floats above the Brooklyn-Queen Expressway, offers arguably the greatest view of the metropolitan skyline. Traffic rumbles below the serene promenade surrounded by trees. From Remsen Street on the southern end to Middagh Street on the northern, there is a promenade. A suspended footbridge that zigzags down to the piers is accessible just around the corner by having pedestrians covertly cross a basketball court. Make stops at the New York Transit Museum, the Sardinian restaurant River Deli. And the vintage dive bar Montero while in the lovely area.
It is true that Coney Island has a reputation as a circus-worthy tourist trap. The quaint pleasures of this American seaside town, though, could surprise you. The food and drinks, especially from Totonno’s Pizza, Gargiulo’s, and Coney Island Brewery, will undoubtedly impress you. Both locals and visitors spend time at the beach, strolling the promenade while eating ice cream cones, and waiting in line for the renowned Cyclone roller coaster. All year long, places like Nathan’s, the boardwalk, and the beach are accessible. The theme park itself is a seasonal attraction.
The Morgan Library & Museum
The Morgan is similar to a multi-hyphenated millennial, except that it’s a museum, library, landmark, historical monument, and music venue rather than an actor, model, or influencer. You may find priceless objects, artwork, and literature inside the multimillionaire’s personal library, which has been transformed into a must-visit museum and cultural hub. Some of these items date back to 4000 B.C. which are more valuable than your home. One of the 23 original copies of the Declaration of Independence, Mozart’s handwritten Haffner Symphony score, Phillis Wheatley’s collected poems, Milton’s Paradise Lost manuscript, and Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol manuscript are all housed in the museum.
Washington Square Park
Washington Square Park is the ideal location if people-watching is your hobby. With career chess players, singers, performers, students, sunbathers, pedestrians, and general hordes of Greenwich Villagers in need of some fresh air, entertainment is a given in this small, not quite 10-acre site. Take your time as you pass through: Stop to admire the laurel wreaths and elaborate motifs that run from the base to the keystones, atop which twin eagles perch like ever-vigilant watchmen, beneath Washington Arch, which honors our nation’s first president and for whom the Park is named. The pulsing core of this thriving New York neighborhood is Washington Square Park.
Union Square Greenmarket
Similar to the agoras of ancient Athens, Union Square is a gathering place for people, and the lively Greenmarket best exemplifies this trait. Vendors provide artisan bread, honey, fresh-cut flowers, heritage meats, pastries, seasonal fruits and vegetables, both common and uncommon, and much more. They come from upstate New York, the Berkshires, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Don’t miss the free activities, including book signings, that are offered. In addition to the daily cooking demonstrations at the Market Information tent, the seasonal beer and spirit pop-ups, and the tours and tastings at the education station.
Summit One Vanderbilt
There are plenty of breathtaking vistas to be seen all throughout the city. But the team behind Summit One Vanderbilt has put together a big-name lineup to create a comprehensive experience where you could easily spend a few hours. The journey begins in the lighted, musical elevator that whisks passengers to the 91st floor. A large, mirrored chamber with a view of New York City welcomes you there. Additionally, there are revolving art installations by Kenzo Digital as well as two unique features. Ascent, a separate glass elevator that takes you even higher to look over downtown Manhattan. And Levitation, a glass skybox that gives you the impression that you are floating 1,000 feet above Madison Avenue.
Inside, a Nordic-inspired restaurant designed by Snhetta serves pastrami-stuffed pretzels and ricotta toast from Danny Meyer’s Union Square Events. There is also an outdoor terrace that wraps around the building and has the vibe of the city’s most exciting rooftop bar.
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
The grandiosity of MoMA, located in the center of Midtown Manhattan, is deceiving. It is a known quantity, as seen by the large crowds. New galleries and performance areas that give the perpetually busy museum a little more breathing room were unveiled by MoMA in 2019. For a completely new exhibition that feels more contemporary and diversified, the whole permanent collection has been re-curated. For design nerds, the gift shop is also bigger and better than before. When you get there, make a beeline for the fifth-floor Collection Galleries. So you can spend some alone time admiring Monet’s Water Lilies and The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh.
Both geographically and in terms of its significant position in the history and culture of the city. Rockefeller Center is situated in the center of midtown Manhattan. You’re in for a memorable, enjoyable experience whether you want to see a concert on the plaza outside the TODAY show, see the Christmas tree, or hone your skating skills on the ice rink. You may take in breathtaking views of the city below by purchasing a ticket to Top of the Rock. Wherever you are, you’re inevitably pointing and exclaiming, “Hey, look at that! ”
American Museum of Natural History
The American Museum of Natural History, located just across Central Park, spans four city blocks. And is unquestionably one of the greatest natural history museums in the world. There are displays of Native American tribes’ daily lives and a sizable collection of taxidermy creatures. And a whole hall devoted to marine life, complete with a life-size replica of a blue whale, showing many facets of the natural world. The highlight is the dinosaur floor, which is dominated by an immense Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton. At any given moment, there are often two special exhibits. Such as an in-depth, immersive exhibit exploring human senses and perception. And also a deep dive into the world of mummies with instances of ancient Egyptians and Peruvians who were preserved for a very long period.
You won’t believe what you see as you enter Central Park from the congested sidewalks of 59th Street. Like 693 acres of artificial gardens, meadows, woodlands, and rolling hillsides. If you strolled along every avenue in Central Park, you would cover 58 miles. Along the journey, there are numerous fountains, statues, bridges, arches, 21 playgrounds, an ice skating rink in the winter, a zoo, and even a castle. The four main crosstown thoroughfares, however, would rarely be noticed because they skillfully vanish into tunnels covered in vegetation.
9/11 Memorial and Museum
The 9/11 Memorial and Museum should be visited at least once by every American. As you enter the museum, you drop from the street to bedrock level—the site of the former Twin Towers—and are compelled to think back to your location on that awful day. This puts you in a contemplative state. The museum itself strikes a remarkable mix between large in scope, thoughtful in design and intimate in execution. It also honors the magnitude of the loss, both materially and spiritually.