RECOMMENDED: New-York Historical Society
New York’s oldest museum, founded in 1804, was one of America’s first cultural and educational institutions. Instead of the niche perspective on NYC’s past that some of our favorite attractions offer, this institution gives a comprehensive look at the New York of yesteryear. Exhibits here are wide-ranging, covering all aspects of city life, and the museum’s permanent holdings—many of which are on view in the open-storage galleries on its fourth floor—offer a glimpse into quotidian urban living, with items such as vintage toys, furniture and clothing on display. A massive renovation, completed in 2011, made exhibits more compelling and interactive, helping visitors gain a clearer, deeper understanding of the city.
RECOMMENDED: 50 best New York attractions