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The 95 best things to do in NYC for locals and tourists

Experience the absolute best things to do in NYC with this epic guide to essential eats, drinks, culture, parks and more

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Shaye Weaver
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September 2021: Looking for the best things to do in NYC? Things are finally opening up these days—our beautiful city is pulling through this thing with style. Our iconic museums, big attractions, and favorite restaurants are back (with new rules, of course), but the city's cultural life is blooming. As always in 2021, make sure to double-check with venues to see if programming is still on before you head out. We will be updating this list more often than we did prior to lockdown to reflect New York City as it continues to reopen.

From its art museums (The Met and Frick Madison) to its attractions (The Bronx Zoo and sunrises from the Empire State Building), New York City is the best city in the world. Its dining and drinking scenes, which are undergoing major changes, are still unbeatable and boast killer bars (Dante), restaurants (Lilia) and offering crazy new inventions (like a rainbow crepe cake). Every day, we're discovering something new and wonderful about our city, whether it's one of the best cozy spots, some incredible views, must-see art, or hidden-gem stores. Take this spring to do some incredibly fun things in NYC.

Consider below your NYC Bible. 

You can also find out more about how Time Out selects the very best things to do all over the world, or take a look at our list of the 50 best things to do in the world right now.

The best of the city under one roof

  • Restaurants
  • Food court
  • DUMBO
  • price 1 of 4

What is it? This food-and-culture destination in DUMBO boasts some of the best dining in the city, all hand-picked by our editors.

Why go? Time Out New York takes all these amazing chefs, restaurants and dishes that we rave about online and gets them all together in one place for the perfect culinary sample of NYC—perfect for tourists and locals.

Don’t miss: The fifth-floor rooftop hosts regular live performances on its stage and ongoing art installations can be found throughout the Market. You can find out what's happening every week here.

95 best things to do in NYC

  • Music
  • East Harlem

What is it? An exuberant exhibit about the music of the 1980s in New York City at the Museum of the City of New York

Why go? The show examines this transformative era through the lens of emerging pivotal music genres and the influence they played on New York’s broader cultural landscape. It highlights diverse musical artists from Run DMC to the Talking Heads and from Madonna to John Zorn through a series of key moments and more than 350 objects, including video footage, photography, artifacts

Don't miss: An MTV Music Awards Moon Person award statue, vinyl records from Madonna, Funky 4+1, Liquid Liquid, and Konk, a T-shirt and other ephemera from Keith Haring and DJ Larry Levan’s "Party of Life" event, music videos and rare concert footage including Grand Master Flash, Fort Apache Band, Lounge Lizards, Cyndi Lauper, and others. 

  • Things to do
  • Hell's Kitchen

What is it? Photoville is back in its 10th year and the second to bring photography to every borough of New York City. The free, outdoor, pet-friendly photography exhibition is heading to NYC Parks as well as Brookfield Place, the Alice Austen House (Staten Island), the Lower East Side at the Abrons Arts Center and Times Square.

Why go? It is packed with 75 exhibits outside and free online programming for photo lovers between September 24 and October 22, including panel discussions, interactive workshops, one-on-one safety clinics,  professional development opportunities with Diversify Photo and Leica Camera, Photo Wings and the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. 

Don't miss: The "Community Day: Photo Festival Opening" on September 18, where there will be a visual storytelling event with a family activity area by Stoop Stories, Brooklyn Children’s Museum, and Aperture; the Penumbra TinType Sessions; pop-up music and dance performances by the Haiti Cultural Exchange; exhibition tours by featured artists; photo puzzles on the lawn; a professional development educator lab; photo workshops with Leica Camera and Adobe; a Smorgasburg pop-up; and an evening screening of 10 Under 10 enlisting the New York Times, National Geographic, Pulitzer Center, and more. Musicians from Carnegie Hall will serenade the audience with lullabies.

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  • Things to do
  • City Life

What is it? "Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams" at The Brooklyn Museum explores the high fashion history of The House of Dior, which dates back to the turn of the 20th century, when the brand's namesake Christian Dior founded the label. 

Why go? The exhibition will present over 200 haute couture garments as well as photographs, archival videos, sketches, vintage perfume elements, and accessories. Haute couture on view exemplifies the French couturier’s fabled silhouettes and will allow contemporary style enthusiasts to better understand how Dior influenced today's fashion. 

Don't miss: A showcasing 18-century-inspired gowns, a "colorama" display of Dior accessories, and a gallery of toiles (the full-scale, 3D mockups used to confirm finished designs) illustrating the dressmaking process.

  • Things to do
  • City Life

What is it? Coby Club is a new, subterranean lounge opening on Seventh Ave that’s inspired by 1960s San Francisco nightlife.

Why go? The lush space pays homage to San Francisco Chinatown nightlife in the 1960s and one woman in particular who was at the heart of it: Miss Coby Yee, the glamorous dancer and owner of the iconic club Forbidden City. You can swing by for craft cocktails and small plates as well as live musical performances and other forms of live entertainment. 

Don't miss: The gold embossed phoenix-like dragons on the walls meant—in part—to represent the city’s nightlife dramatically rising from the ashes this year with a new sense of strength and optimism.

 

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  • Attractions
  • West Village

What is it? New York City’s hottest new attraction, Little Island, opened to the public in May 2021 and has since brought in plenty of visitors who flocked to see Manhattan’s newest “floating” greenspace.

Why go? It's filled with open lawns, colorful shrubs and trees and a secret garden. While entry is free to the park throughout the day, entering between noon and close requires a reservation.

Don't miss: The park’s amphitheaters, The Glade and The Amph, offer a spectacular view of the Hudson River.

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  • Things to do
  • Midtown West

What is it? Immersive art exhibit Arcadia Earth aims to inspire visitors artistically and ethically, as it uses 15 rooms to spotlight the environmental challenges that our planet is facing (such as overfishing, food waste, and climate change).

Why go? This exhibit not only leaves visitors in awe, but it will help support Oceanic Global, an organization devoted to raising awareness around our aquatic ecosystems. In addition, a tree will also be planted for every ticket sold, making it a perfect gift for your eco-conscious friends!

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  • Art
  • Art

What is it? SuperReal is an immersive digital art show created by multimedia entertainment company Moment Factory in partnership with hospitality brand Cipriani, that transports visitors through dreamlike scenes in its gorgeous hall. Across 45 minutes, the show places viewers in five unique and abstract sequences that are both stunning and interactive.

Why go? One minute you could be daydreaming in a fairylike flower garden and the next you're caught in an epic thunderstorm or thrown into the middle of a tropical disco.

  • Art
  • Art

What is it? Andy Warhol's photography is getting its own exhibit at Fotografiska this fall.

Why go? It will showcase more than 120 images, 20 of which have never been shown to the public before.

Don't miss: The Polaroid portraits of celebrities, artists, and friends. You'll see Debbie Harry, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Dolly Parton, Grace Jones, Keith Haring and Giorgio Armani). Notably, among the Polaroids are nine photos from the "Ladies and Gentlemen" series of trans women, drag queens and civil rights icons that Warhol paid to pose for him like Marsha P. Johnson, but it also includes anonymous women whose portraits offer an intimate lens into their life and times. 

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  • Things to do
  • City Life

What is it? The world's largest collection of Harry Potter merch is now at Harry potter Store New York (935 Broadway in the Flatiron District).

Why go? Every detail of Harry Potter Store New York has been intricately designed, from the decor sitting on the shelves above all the incredible merch (yes, there are full house robes) to the design of the store itself, which has a room full of gorgeous HP stationary by MinaLima, massive models of Fawkes the Phoenix and a moving griffin as well as a spiral staircase that descends into a space made to look like the Ministry of Magic.

Don't miss: Throughout the whole store, props from the films are displayed among the merchandise, from the major characters' actual wands to some of Voldemort's horcruxes like Tom Riddle's journal and the Ravenclaw's diadem.  You can see these all up close but also scan a code next to them with the Harry Potter Fan Club app that'll give you information about the items and a single letter that you will need to solve a puzzle. If you do, you'll get a reward at checkout.

 

  • Things to do
  • City Life

What is it? Putting Green is an 18-hole course on a 15,000-square-foot tiered deck on the North Williamsburg riverfront.

Why go? The course aims to serve two purposes—one, to provide a fun time to New Yorkers, and two, to teach them about climate change, green and blue infrastructure, animal habitats, energy, and emissions.

Don't miss: Each hole offers up a different scene—hole 1 is "Down the drain," showing how litter and debris get washed down storm drains and into waterways. Hole 2, "Whale Fall Feast," shows what happens when a whale dies and sinks to the bottom of the ocean. Hole 15, is "The Big Oyster" by you guessed it, the Billion Oyster Project. Other holes feature polar bears, a windmill, a cow, and a depiction of sea-level rise. 

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  • Art
  • Art

What is it? two-part exhibition that consists of galleries and a total of nine vintage cars dotting the museum’s first floor and Sculpture Garden until October 10. The exhibition pulls its name from a 1964 Oscar-nominated cartoon by the British animation team Halas and Batchelor (most famous for their adaptation of George Orwell’s Animal Farm).

Why go? MoMA says the show examines “the car as a modern industrial product, transportation innovator, and style icon, as well as the generator of fatalities, traffic-choked environments, and ecological disaster in the oil age.” And, at the end of the day, the younger ones are sure to be impressed by all the cool cars.

Don't miss: There are plenty of gems on display for true autophiles, including a 1973 Citroën DS sedan, an Airstream Bambi trailer and a rugged, fifties-era Jeep Truck.

  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

What is it? The venue formerly known as Fat Cat has reemerged with a new name, new games, and custom ice cream. Cellar Dog (75 Christopher St.) is reviving the Fat Cat tradition of late-night basement gaming, with an updated concept for 2021.

Why go? Games include pool tables, ping pong, shuffleboard, foosball, checkers and chess, as well as antique and novelty arcade games including Pac Man and many more. Live jazz and additional entertainment will also be booked throughout the week.

Don't miss: It has restored historic furniture familiar to the space, added contactless ordering, updated restrooms with touchless hand dryers, an Apple pay option and has a menu with small bites like movie theater-style nachos, grandma-style pizza, pretzels and custom ice cream. Wine, seltzers, and a variety of beers on tap will be served to drink. 

 

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  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

What is it? Ms. Kim's, a new K-town karaoke lounge is from Korean beauty entrepreneur Anna Kim that combines sophisticated style with sing-alongs.

Why go? Ms. Kim's offers both communal space and soundproof private karaoke rooms, so guests can customize their experience as it suits their needs.

Don't miss: Signature drinks from the main bar, which start at $16, that include ingredients like butterfly pea flower, herbal infused syrups and top shelf spirits., and its menu of Japanese and Korean finger foods.

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  • Art
  • Public art
  • Brooklyn Heights

What is it? A new, reflective and immersive artwork at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Main Street Park section.

Why go? "Rehearsal" is made up of five large-scale geometric sculptures clad with hand-painted glazed tiles, panels featuring photographs of New York City in the 1980s and '90s and Roman and Greek antiquities, and mirror-polished stainless steel. They range in height from 7 to 13 feet and are encased in more than 1,000 warm and cool-toned clay tiles that were hand-painted by the artist in her Berlin studio. The installation is meant to give passersby a moment of reflection and see themselves in the reflective artwork as "actors in their own urban narrative" as it is located at the iconic terminus of Washington Street, where the Manhattan Bridge frames the Empire State Building. 

  • Things to do
  • Walks and tours
  • Williamsburg

What is it? A trolley that's outfitted to look like a Victorian funeral parlor—think chandeliers and velvet curtains—and takes you on a trip through the shadows of historic Brooklyn is back.

Why go? The tour visits the secret location where Murder, Inc. disposed of bodies, alien abduction sites along the Brooklyn Bridge, a brothel and more spooky sites spanning 400 years of Brooklyn history. 

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  • Theater
  • Theater & Performance

What is it? "Showstoppers! Spectacular Costumes From Stage and Screen" is a new Times Square exhibition of the fabulous costumes of Broadway including Moulin Rouge!, The Lion King, Wicked, and Chicago. A few costumes from smash television shows and films will be in the mix, too, including pieces from Saturday Night Live and the upcoming James Bond film No Time to Die.

Why go? The show aims to not only provide visitors with a behind-the-scenes stage and screen experience but also play a major role in New York’s ongoing revitalization. All proceeds will raise money for the Costume Industry Coalition Recovery Fund, which first launched last year with a goal of raising over $20,000 for out-of-work members. 

 

  • Things to do
  • Flatiron

What is it? The Museum of Sex a's "Super Funland: Journey into the Erotic Carnival" is back.

Why go? It has an 4-D immersive “Tunnel of Love” ride, the Love & Lust Deity Derby game, an erotic fortune-telling machine (modeled as RuPaul), a kissing booth, the Glory Stall game, an immersive "Stardust Lane - the Erogenous Kaleidoscope," an erotic mechanical bull and a lit-up climbing structure, "The Climbx," and more. 

Don't miss: A spiral slide that drops you into the Museum’s psychedelic carnival bar, Lollipop Lounge, for cocktails. 

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  • Bars
  • Roosevelt Island

What is it? Roosevelt Island's first-ever rooftop bar and lounge.

Why go? Located on the 18th floor of the hotel, the "jewel box" space opens up to incredible views of the boroughs, the bridges and the East River, which shine like stars at night.

Don't miss: Art from artists like Julia Chiang, Spencer Lewis, Alake Shilling, JPW3, Chris Martin, Brian Belott and Ida Eklbad, selected by Venus Over Manhattan partner Anna Furney and designer/creative director Darren Romanelli (aka Dr. Romanelli or DRx). Artist Sophie Parker and her botanical studio, Wife NYC, will also make custom arrangements and sculptural artwork for the lounge.

  • Museums
  • Central Park

What is it? The Jewish Museum's new exhibit that explores the subject of art looting during World War II.

Why go? Afterlives will include works by major artists that were looted from Jewish collections during the war as well as treasured pieces of Judaica and rare examples of Jewish ceremonial objects from destroyed synagogues.

Don't miss: works by such renowned artists as Pierre Bonnard, Marc Chagall, Paul Cézanne, Gustave Courbet, Paul Klee, Franz Marc, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, and Camille Pissarro, among others; and rarely seen archival photographs and documents. 

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  • Art
  • Art

What is it? "The Polonsky Exhibition of New York Public Library’s Treasures" spans 4,000 years of history and includes a wide range of history-making pieces, including the only surviving letter from Christoper Columbus announcing his “discovery” of the Americas to King Ferdinand’s court and the first Gutenberg Bible brought over to the Americas.

Why go? It's free.

Don't miss: Thomas Jefferson’s handwritten copy of the Declaration of Independence; The stuffed animals that belonged to the real-life Christopher Robin and inspired the Winnie-the-Pooh stories; Virginia Woolf’s walking stick, as well as a letter from her husband Leonard Woolf to her longtime lover Vita Sackville-West documenting its discovery following her suicide; the set model for the Off-Broadway production of In The Heights and more.

  • Art
  • Art

What is it? A brand-new immersive visual experience atop the One World Trade Center.

Why go? Through a series of interactive visual installations, visitors to One World Observatory will step into a narrative voyage exploring the past, present and future of Lower Manhattan. 

Don't miss: The Horizon Grid that presents a brief history of lower Manhattan through a thoughtfully animated visual journey and a series of iconic events and locations viewable from the observatory.

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  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

What is it? A new whiskey distillery, the first to open (legally) in Manhattan since Prohibition, with luxe decor inspired by the decadence of 100 years ago. 

Why go? The 28,000 square foot venue has a fully functioning distillery, a tasting room and several drinking and dining venues, including an underground speakeasy and full restaurant to open this fall. The menus are heralded by Executive Chef Adam Raksin, who formerly worked at Per Se

Don't miss: A tour detailing the whiskey-making process ($35), a culinary cocktail pairing experience ($145) and a hands-on mixology class ($110). 

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  • Museums
  • Special interest
  • Queens

What is it? The city’s longest continually farmed site in the city (it’s been in operation since 1697), the 47 acres feels like an entirely different world compared to Manhattan.

Why go? You can feed and pet the barnyard animals, including sheep, ponies and goats, hop aboard a hayride and come back during the fall harvest season when you can go pumpkin picking and attempt to find your way through the Amazing Maize Maze (yes, that’s a corn maze). Don’t forget to stop by the store on your way out for fresh fruits and veggies grown on the premises!

  • Movies
  • Movies

What is it? Bryant Park Movie Nights is back with its outdoor screen and ample room to spread out on your blanket.

Why go? Bryant Park Movie Nights will take place on Monday nights and, for the first time, also on Tuesday nights, in order to better accommodate high-interest. As always, the events will be free to the public and each screening will begin shortly after sunset (typically between 8pm-9pm). You can find out more information here.

Don't miss:
Monday, September 13: Moonstruck
Tuesday, September 14: MOULIN ROUGE!
Monday, September 27: The Phantom of the Opera
Tuesday, September 28: Mrs. Doubtfire

 

 

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  • Things to do
  • City Life

What is it? A new exhibit honoring the late photographer, with an exhibit highlighting his career and most popular work. Experience the Times of Bill Cunningham will bring the photographer’s six-decade-long career to life, exploring his work capturing everyday New Yorkers and celebrities like Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Anna Wintour, all on the streets of Manhattan. 

Why go? This exhibit is far more than a photography retrospective. Immersive experiences include a staircase where visitors’ outfits will be digitally transformed into one-of-a-kind fashion statements worthy of a Cunningham photo. An ever-changing gallery will highlight the links between fashion trends captured by Cunningham and today’s current street styles.

Don't miss: Large-scale reproductions of Cunningham’s most iconic photos, video and audio interviews, and important artifacts like Cunningham’s bicycle and his trademark blue jacket.

  • Art
  • Art

What is it? The Institute’s next major exhibition — a two-part survey of American fashion. Part one, “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” is scheduled to open to the public on September 18.

Why go? It comes with an early September version of the iconic Met Gala, which will take cues from the subject matter — American identity, which will feature a fictional American home constructed with transparent walls that blur the boundaries between rooms. Examples of twentieth and twenty-first-century fashion will be found throughout the interiors, designed by pioneers of American sportswear. 

Don't miss: The second part that opens on May 5, 2022.

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  • Things to do
  • Festivals

What is it? A celebration of faith (folks tip their hats to the Patron Saint of Naples, Italy) but its festive atmosphere, delicious food and colorful processions are what it’s known for. For 11 days, Little Italy is transformed into a red, white and green bash with special guests, live music and a cannoli eating contest.

Why go? There's a cannoli-eating contest, live entertainment, a smorgasbord of sausage-and-pepper sandos and fried dough and much more. It's one of NYC's biggest festivals!

  • Bars
  • Breweries
  • Williamsburg

What is it? This woman-owned brewery opened its first taproom in Williamsburg in March, serving up its refreshing, summer-like, fruit-forward beer

Why go? It's NYC's first-ever woman-owned and run brewery and taproom and it does beer differently than any other brewery — it's good for beer beginners and aficionados alike.

Don't miss: The Beer cocktails that use brews rather than seltzer or liquor, including The Talea Punch.

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  • Art
  • Contemporary art
  • The Bronx

What is it? Celebrated Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama's expansive 2021 exhibition at the New York Botanical Garden is finally set to open this April with outdoor installations across the garden's 250-acre landscape. 

Why go? Four of the projects will be making their NYC debut, the most exciting of which will surely be Infinity Mirrored Room—Illusion Inside the Heart, which will be housed in a cube-shaped structure located out in the open. Featuring mirrored sides, the exterior of the piece will reflect the changing skies while the interior will glow with a seemingly endless array of colored lights. Elsewhere, there will be an interactive greenhouse installation, in which visitors will be invited apply stickers picturing coral-colored blossoms throughout the interior—thus taking part in one of Kusama’s signature "obliteration" pieces.

Don't miss: Also on view will be two new outdoor monumental sculptures, the self-explanatory Dancing Pumpkin and a 13-foot high biomorphic form featuring a polka-dotted face called I Want to Fly to the Universe.  The NYBG itself will chime in with special flower bed plantings patterned on Kusama’s paintings and an allée of trees wrapped in polka-dotted fabric.

  • Art
  • Art

What is it? The Frick Madison is now open 945 Madison Avenue—the former home of the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Met Breuer—while Henry Clay Frick's mansion undergoes a massive renovation. This new stint will last two years, and while the Brutalist building by Marcel Breuer is a huge departure from the Gilded Age mansion, the space is offering a much different and rare look at the collection, according to museum officials.

Why go? Unlike at the Frick Mansion, the Breuer building is a clean slate—stark in contrast, which actually helps to attract the viewer's attention to individual works. Eyes aren't busy looking at ornate furniture here. It's all about seeing the smaller details in the artwork that you might have overlooked at the mansion. According to Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Director Ian Wardropper, "It's a different Frick than you’ve ever known."

Don't miss: The room reserved for three Vermeer paintings and Bellini’s St. Francis in Room 13.

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  • Music
  • Music

What is it? City Winery just announced the return of live entertainment at its new flagship location at Pier 57 in Hudson River Park by releasing its spring lineup.

Why go? The lineup exciting for two reasons—it signals a return to live shows after a year of streaming old performances online and the concerts mark the opening of City Winery's brand new flagship location, following the closure of its beloved Varick Street one.

 

  • Things to do
  • City Life

What is it? A new citywide program is bringing arts and culture to the five boroughs’ streets. Similar to those (very lovely!) programs which allowed for pedestrians to enjoy streets while they were shut down to cars and dine in the middle of thoroughfares, the new Open Culture program will allow for ticketed, socially distanced performances, workshops and classes in the streets. The program will run through October 31. 

Why go? Over 150 events have already been approved to take place in the city. It's been so long!

Don't miss: An interactive map, also found on the official city website, shows all of the spaces around the city that can be used for the live events. To stay on top of upcoming events through the program, you can check out the official NYC event permit site. You can also reference this list of the 100+ eligible streets in the city, to find the brand-new outdoor arts hub closest to you.

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  • Art
  • Art

What is it? Geometric Properties: An Immersive Audio-Visual Journey Through Fractal Dimensions,” is the first solo exhibition of Dutch artist Julius Horsthuis’ work to come to NYC. Previously, his work has been featured in Manchester by the Sea and through collaborations with musical artists like ODESZA, Meshuggah and Birds of Paradise. He uses fractals to create alternate science-fiction-like realities using visual art and motion graphics, and they are a real trip, to say the least.

Why go? It's a crazy, trippy experience you can't find anywhere else.

 

  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Noho
  • price 3 of 4

What is it? An all-day café by Daniela Soto-Innes and Enrique Olvera (of Cosme)

Why go? It's one of our top spots to get food and drinks. The spot is all about the nuances of Mexican and Central American cuisine through high-end dishes. 

Don't miss: Dishes like its bright sea-bass aguachile; its al pastor is perfectly sweet and tangy, cauliflower demonstrating that humble vegetables can be elegant; and the mole negro.

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  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Greenpoint
  • price 1 of 4

What is it? The new king of the New York slice. 

Why go? With its charred-wood–fired pies, Paulie Gee’s quickly became a cult favorite in Greenpoint. So when they unveiled a spin-off slice shop a few blocks away in 2018, it naturally got the neighborhood’s attention. The decor mimics the old-school New York dollar-slice shop, from the ’70s faux-wood Formica tables and letter-board menu to the red plastic trays and the paper plates on which each slice is served, but the ’za is the real deal.

Don’t miss: Opt for the classic cheese slice, just as as lovely as the pepperoni number or the Hellboy,which takes the pepperoni slice and douses it with sweet-and-spicy Mike’s Hot Honey. Discover all of our favorite places for pizza in NYC

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Get crafty at Brooklyn Craft Company
  • Shopping
  • Arts, crafts & hobbies
  • Greenpoint

What is it? A DIY mecca with workshops on all kinds of crafting skills, from knitting to macrame.

Why go? They'll put your hands to work and your mind at ease. 

Don't miss: There's an online store where you can purchase the necessary supplies you'll need.

Order some bagel and lox at Russ & Daughters
  • Shopping
  • Specialist food and drink
  • Lower East Side
  • price 1 of 4

What is it? Russ & Daughters has been serving lox, herring and other specialty foods on the Lower East Side since 1914.

Why go? "Russ & Daughters is already is our go-to spot for Jewish apps shelling out the best lox in town, so while you’re there why not stock up on sweets?" asks Time Out's Jake Cohen. He reccomends their black & whites, which are a stunning iteration of the classic, yet simple cookies, all baked out of their location at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. 

Don’t miss: The Super Heeb, a mix of horseradish cream cheese, wasabi-flavored roe and sublime whitefish salad that forms a holy trinity with an unholy name.

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  • Restaurants
  • Prospect Heights

What is it? A hidden tea salon by vintage shop 1 of a Find.

Why go? The locale is meant to be a respite, where you can catch a break from the energetic buzz of New York’s metropolis. Diners can choose from over 20 teas, from lavender earl grey blends to green tea jasmine. In the kitchen, head chef Carlos Jimenez gets creative with his ever-changing menu, but guests can always find traditional scones and an assortment of finger sandwiches.

Don't miss: Antiques and artifacts from Brooklyn's long history strewn about the salon.

  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Williamsburg
  • price 2 of 4

What is it? Beloved pasta-focused eatery from Missy Robbins.
 
Why go? Robbins revamps a former auto-body shop as a 70-seat dining room decorated with handmade tiles, natural-wood tables and iron-casement windows. You can enjoy their outdoor dining now. Robbins oversees rustic plates like cacio e pepe frittelle, spaghetti with anchovies and a wood-fired leg of lamb with Roman spices. A small adjacent take-out café serves pastries and paninis.


Don’t miss: The ricotta gnocchi, delicate cheese dumplings covered in a thatch of vibrant, verdant broccoli-basil pesto studded with nutty pistachios, or the bow-shaped rigatoni, rendered sweet from crushed San Marzano tomatoes and spicy from a prodigious zap of chilies and black pepper.

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Museums
  • Science and technology
  • Upper West Side
  • price 2 of 4

What is it? Whether you’re interested in the world below our feet, or the cultures of faraway lands or the stars light-years beyond our reach, the American Museum of Natural History is bound to teach you a few things you never knew.

Why go? With new safety protocols, you can spend a whole day just looking at the taxidermied animals that hail from across the world and the ocean, study the human species and the evolutionary origins of humans and our near (now extinct) cousins, spend the day like a geologist, and be filled with child-like awe in the presence of the Tyrannosaurus Rex, Wooly Mammoth and the Apatosaurus in the fourth floor’s world-renowned fossil collection.

Don't miss: The first new planetarium show in seven years, "World's Beyond Earth."

  • Restaurants
  • Thai
  • Carroll Gardens

What is it? A Thai restaurant that will keep you coming back for more self-inflicted pain.

Why go? It may not be scientifically proven, but spicy food is addictive—especially at Ugly Baby. The servers at this tucked-away spot in Carroll Gardens will warn you over and over to be careful. But you’ll go against their advice and end up begging for more of the cooling cucumbers to ward off the heat.

Don’t miss: The “stay-away spicy Udon Thani’s duck salad” or the khao soi. 

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  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Union Square

What is it? An outdoor, year-round market seasonal fruits and vegetables, farmstead cheeses, artisanal breads, fresh-cut flowers, wine and more.

Why go? You’ll find yourself shopping elbow-to-elbow with top chefs for all manner of regionally grown culinary pleasures.

Don't miss: Cooking demonstrations, beer & spirits pop-ups and book signings. 

  • Restaurants
  • Bedford-Stuyvesant

What is it? Doughnut fans surely know about Fany Gerson’s cult-favorite treats at Dough Doughnuts. Now she’s gone out on her own with Fan-Fan Doughnuts and the menu looks as good as ever. Be prepared for long lines outside— it’s worth the wait.

Why go?  From Mexican cinnamon to the glazed braided doughnuts, fans area already lined up for our city’s favorite morning dessert, and the menu is consistently changing with new sugary surprises.

Don't miss: Get your hands on a Mensch fan-fan, filled with praline cream and topped with choc-choc glaze and toasted hazelnuts, before they sell out.

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Stroll into Eddie's Sweet Shop
  • Restaurants
  • Ice cream parlors
  • Forest Hills

What is it? If you want a real trip down memory lane, this old-school soda fountain and diner will tap right into the New York nostalgia you're craving.

Why go? This Forest Hills gem has been in business for more than 100 years and still that attracts all generations to come in for a homemade scoop. "Aside from the famous sundaes, the chocolate egg cream is one of the most famous in the whole dang city—and that’s saying a lot," says associate Food & Drink editor Alyson Penn.  

Don’t miss: The sundaes are still served in the same metal tins for the perfect retro touch. 

  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Central Park

What is it? The world's most famous green space. 

Why go? "Many visitors fight through the crowded streets to enter Central Park around 59th Street—where there’s not much to see—and by the time they reach the best bits, they are too winded to enjoy them," says Time Out's Rocky Rakovic. Instead, he suggests taking the subway to 72nd Street and Central Park West, then head east to hit up Strawberry Fields, the Sheep Meadow, Cherry Hill, Bow Bridge, the Bethesda Fountain, the Naumburg Bandshell, the Loeb Boathouse, the Hans Christian Andersen Monument, the Conservatory Water’s model boats and the Alice in Wonderland statue, all in a “New York hour.”

Don’t miss: Head to the shore of the Lake at 72nd Street and rent a rowboat or take a gondola tour. 

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  • Attractions
  • Monuments and memorials
  • Midtown West
  • price 2 of 4

What is it? A world-famous landmark that towers above Manhattan.  

Why go? The main deck on the 86th floor is the highest open-air observatory offers stunning 360-degree views of the Hudson and East Rivers, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty and more. If you want to get higher, head to the 102nd floor's indoor observation deck for a full view of Central Park. And for some background, duck down to the "Dare to Dream" exhibit on the 80th floor, which honors the 3,400 people who built the 1,454-foot skyscraper and features original photographs, architectural sketches and construction notes. 

Don’t miss: Want to admire the ESB from a distance with a strong drink in hand? "For about $20, you can grab a drink, tip the bartender and take in amazing views from Rockefeller Plaza’s Bar SixtyFive at the Rainbow Room," notes Time Out's Rocky Rakovic. 

  • Restaurants
  • Bedford-Stuyvesant

What is it? A recently-opened cafe and molino in Bed-Stuy that brings a taste of Oaxaca to NYC.

Why go? The appealing menu of homemade tortilla-based Mexican dishes, including mushroom tlayuditas, hibiscus and chipotle salsa tetelas, and squash blossom quesadillas. Don’t skip the drinks either—oat milk horchata and hibiscus agua fresca hit the sweet spot.

Don't miss: Buying a fresh batch of tortillas to take home for later.

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Throw back a pint at McSorley’s Old Ale House
  • Bars
  • Beer bars
  • East Village
  • price 1 of 4

What is it? NYC’s oldest continuously operated saloon.

Why go? "Not only do we love a bar with character, but if you make the trip, you’ll be able to join the ranks of past patrons like Abe Lincoln and John Lennon," says Jake Cohen. In traditional Irish-pub fashion, McSorley’s floor has been thoroughly scattered with sawdust to take care of the spills and other messes that often accompany large quantities of cheap beer. Established in 1854, it has became an institution by remaining steadfastly authentic. 

Don't miss: McSorley’s Dark Ale and McSorley’s Light Ale. Both beverages have a lot more character than PBR, though at these prices, it won’t be long before you stop noticing. 

  • Restaurants
  • Eating

What is it? San Ambroeus' newest gelateria in SoHo is a 700-square-foot space at 267 Lafayette Street.

Why go? Folks get to choose from over 16 different flavors of both gelato and sorbetto—from classics the likes of vanilla, strawberry and pistachio to the out-of-this-world panettone, croccantino, stracciatella and passion fruit.

Don't miss: Two vegan flavors also make the menu alongside a variety of homemade toppings like shaved milk chocolate, salted caramel hazelnuts, orange sponge, lemon confit and more.

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  • Shopping
  • Bookstores
  • East Village

What is it? Founded in 1927, Strand is perhaps the most beloved indie bookseller in NYC.  

Why go? With more than 2.5 million new, used and rare tomes—or as the sign outside says, 18 MILES OF BOOKS—Strand absolutely crams its shelves, with many new titles sold well below list price. Bibliophiles can spend hours checking the staff picks, classic novels, poetry, novels and nonfiction. We suggest walking up to the third floor, where early editions and rare signed copies are available for purchase.

Don’t miss: “Perusing the $1 shelves,” says Rachel of Washington Heights.  

  • Restaurants
  • Upper West Side

What is it? An iconic Upper West Side bagel counter. 

Why go? Is there a more distinctly New York (or at least NYC- beloved) dish than the bagel? Maybe. During morning hours? Absolutely not. The fact is that we do this weekend wakeup must—or afternoon stomach-padder, depending on how last night went—better than anyone. And although Tal Bagels provides by no means the most calming bagel experience in New York—for that, head to High Street on Hudson or Sadelle's—OG New Yorkers know that they're best eaten hunched over on park bench or at a bagelry counter top anyway. And we can't think of a better spot than this.  

Don't miss: The everything bagel toasted with scallion cream cheese. Still hungry? Discover all of the best bagels in NYC

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  • Music
  • Coney Island

What is it? New York is the city where street art was born, and it’s still the best place to see it in the world. 

Why go? Catching art on the street is a far more visceral experience that seeing it on a museum wall. For proof, check out the Bowery Graffiti Wall on the corner of Houston and Bowery to see what world-class street artist is currently on display (past artists have included Banksy, JR and Shepard Fairey) or  peep the rotating lineup of artists at Coney Island Art Walls.

Don’t miss: If you’re looking for an arty outing after dark, head down to the Lower East Side for the 100 Gates Project, which displays impressive works on the grates that cover businesses at night. 

  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Financial District

What is it? Inside the highly sought-after Art Deco residential building, 70 Pine Street, resides the first collaboration between James Kent, longtime chef de cuisine at Michelin-starred Eleven Madison Park and executive chef at NoMad, alongside Jeff Katz, managing partner of Del Posto. This year, they've managed to replicate their interior fine dining feel with a gorgeous outdoor dining set-up that's a must-try.

Why go? Here, elevated meals are crafted by New York’s fine dining elite. You can ball out like a banker without breaking your piggy bank.

Don’t miss: “Pastry chef Renata Ameni’s satsuma orange ice cream is served with a hat of toasted marshmallow and crumbles of honeycomb, tasted like a creamsicle and comes with a big enough scoop for sharing," says Time Out's Emma Orlow. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Greenpoint

What is it? An old-school bakery famous for their doughnuts.

Why go? “Start Sunday with a Bavarian cream from Peter Pan; it’s a total hangover cure,” says Ana of Greenpoint. Peter Pan isn’t a gourmet doughnut shop by any stretch, and in this neck of the woods, thank God for that. Its freshly made fried sweets and legit 1950s environs, complete with an S-shaped counter, means it’s busy daily with regulars. But trust us: The lines are worth it.


Don’t miss: Pair your doughnut with one of the bakery’s tasty egg creams.

  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Brooklyn Heights

What is it? A ridiculously photogentic neighborhood teeming with tree-lined streets and Brooklyn brownstones. 

Why go? “Walk the fruit streets of Brooklyn Heights," suggests Dana in Crown Heights. Those streets (Cranberry, Orange and Pineapple) do indeed, as she puts it, "have that Brooklyn-from-the-movies feel.” And there's a nifty backstory: In the mid-1800s, prominent Brooklyn Heights resident Lady Middagh saw the “pretentious” street names in her ’hood—those named after Brooklyn’s wealthy families—and decided to take matters into her own hands by changing the street signs by cover of darkness to Cranberry, Orange and Pineapple. 

Don’t miss: Head to the water and hit the Brooklyn Promenade, a one-third-mile stretch of pavement along the East River overlooking an unforgettable span of NYC’s skyline. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Flushing
  • price 1 of 4

What is it? A closet-size mecca for dumpling aficionados.

Why go? We recommend the the No. 6: a dozen pork wontons, doused in roasted chili oil and topped with a smattering of diced pickled vegetables, which arrives on a Styrofoam plate. Despite more than 30 items on the menu, it’s the dish everyone seems to order. 

Don't miss: Still hungry? Plan a food crawl and eat your way through Flushing

  • Restaurants
  • Delis
  • Murray Hill
  • price 2 of 4

What is it? An old-school, 24-hour Jewish delicatessen that's now open for indoor dining, pickup and delivery orders.

Why go? NYPD Sergeant Abe “Sarge” Katz opened the restaurant in 1964, and the building still has the burgundy vinyl booths, Tiffany’s lamps and a wall of celebrity photos to prove it. Sarge’s offers all the classic deli sandwiches—corned beef, pastrami, reuben—plus the Monster. Billed as the city’s largest sandwich, it is indeed a towering stack of corned beef, pastrami, roast beef, turkey, salami, tomato, lettuce, coleslaw and Russian dressing on rye.

Don’t miss: The bacon egg and cheese sandwich. "The contrasting textures of gooey cheese and eggs with crispy bacon makes for a breakfast to behold whether you’re eating it at 8am or 11pm," says Time Out's Jake Cohen. 

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  • Shopping
  • Bookstores
  • West Village
  • price 1 of 4

What is it? Support your local bookstore! This cozy bookstore is straight out of a bygone era with shelves packed with a skillfully chosen range of titles. Due to building work, the've temporarily relocated to 238 West 10th St.

Why go? “Three Lives & Company is kind of amazing to me," says actor Charles Busch. "I don’t know how they manage to be here when large chains are closing. It’s a place where you really can feel comfortable browsing and picking up a book, and they always have interesting stuff you won’t find at Barnes & Noble. You’ll find some rare biography that was printed in England that’s usually not found in this country.” Focusing on literature (primarily fiction and narrative nonfiction), Three Lives also has a dedicated NYC section and an especially large travel shelf.

Don’t miss: The incredibly knowledgeable and well-read staff will not only help you pick out your next beach read, they’ll also fulfill custom orders.

  • Museums
  • Special interest
  • Queens

Though not as easily accessible by public transit as most NYC museums, this Queens County treasure is well worth the bus trek or car ride. As the city’s longest continually farmed site in the city (it’s been in operation since 1697), the 47 acres feels like an entirely different world compared to Manhattan. Feed and pet the barnyard animals, including sheep, ponies and goats, hop aboard a hayride and come back during the fall harvest season when you can go pumpkin picking and attempt to find your way through the Amazing Maize Maze (yes, that’s a corn maze). Don’t forget to stop by the store on your way out for fresh fruits and veggies grown on the premises!

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  • Things to do
  • Walks and tours
  • Greenwood

What is it? A beautiful final resting place in Brooklyn filled with Victorian mausoleums, cherubs and gargoyles.  

Why go? If you were alive in the 19th century, one of your goals in life was to reserve a place to rest here. Today, this cemetery boasts over 560,000 residents—including Civil War generals. But there’s more to do here than grave-spot: Check out the massive Gothic arch at the main entrance or climb to the top of Battle Hill, one of the highest points in Kings County and a pivotal spot during the Battle of Brooklyn in 1776.

Don’t miss:  A fan of all things spooky? “Take one of the moonlight tours of the cemetery," suggests Joseph of Gowanus.  

  • Attractions
  • Historic buildings and sites
  • Greenwich Village

What is it? A 9.75-acre public park that serves as the beating heart of Greenwich Village. 

Why go? It's one of the most iconic spots in NYC and has a ton of history, serving as the backdrop to many civil rights movements, celebrations and more.

Don’t miss: "Listening to the Piano Man [Colin Huggins] play in Washington Square Park—it’s so cool watching him wheel out his grand piano, and he’s an amazing performer,” says Sophie of the West Village. Most buskers are content to use instruments that are, you know, portable. But Huggins, the self-proclaimed “crazy piano guy,” is more ambitious. On nice days, he wheels out a baby grand to perform beautiful renditions of classical pieces.

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  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Flatiron

What is it? Madison Square Park is a green oasis in the Flatiron district—not to be confused with Madison Square Garden.

Why go? There’s always something going in the environs (three streets by one avenue block) from outdoor art exhibits to free concerts. The park is also home to the first Shake Shack, which still consistently see lines that would make the hottest clubs jealous. Tourists go for Shake Shack, workers go to eat their lunch, pooch owners go for the dog run, guardians go for the children’s playground… and because the park  is snaked with benches it lends for the best leisurely people-watching.

Don’t miss: Stepping onto the southwest corner of the park is debatably the hallowed grounds on which baseball was born.

 

  • Attractions
  • Zoo and aquariums
  • The Bronx

What is it? The biggest metropolitan zoo in North America. 

Why go? If you’ve got a hankering to reconnect with wildlife, check out this Bronx go-to. With more than 265-acres of animals and wildlife, you won’t be able to see everything in one day, so consider taking a two-hour tour of the Congo Gorilla Forest, World of Reptiles or the Himalayan Highlands exhibits. Be sure to pay a special visit to the American Bison, too, which was declared America’s national mammal.         

Don’t miss: Strapped for cash? “The Bronx Zoo is free on Wednesdays,” points out Danny of Flushing. 

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  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • The Bronx

What is it? A sprawling public park in the Bronx. 

Why go?
“Explore the trails around Pelham Bay Park. It’s actually the largest public park in New York City and there’s so much to see there, ” says Greg of City Island. Pelham Bay Park isn’t just the end of the 6 line—it’s a green space three times bigger than Central Park. Among its treasures: two golf courses, a massive historic mansion, a 13-mile saltwater shoreline along the Long Island Sound, plenty of hiking trials and, for you bird watchers, a hearty population of osprey.


Don’t miss:
The Bronx’s only public beach, Orchard Beach

  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Brooklyn Heights

What is it? A perfect place to enjoy a panoramic view of the city.  

Why go? This one-third-mile stretch of pavement along the East River is a favorite destination of residents, tourists and couples looking to make out next to an unforgettable span of NYC’s skyline. Breathtaking views of the Brooklyn Bridge and Statue of Liberty are both visible from here, but the Promenade wasn’t originally built for aesthetic reasons: City planner Robert Moses originally wanted the Brooklyn Queens Expressway to run through Brooklyn Heights. After lots of opposition from the local community, the promenade was built to insulate the mansions and tree-lined streets nearby from highway noise and has been doing so since it opened in October 1950.  

Don’t miss: Be sure to break off the path and head further inland to explore the beautiful brownstones of Brooklyn Heights. 

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  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • The Bronx

What is it? Surrounded by the concrete jungle are 250 acres of verdant oasis—year round. The NYBG is a historic, verdant oasis all year round. Special exhibits include Saving the Plants of the World, gardening’s relationship to the arts and humanities and a how-to course on creating your own green oasis.

Why go? To see how the greatest city in the world sets up a garden (hint: there’s normally whimsical artistic elements).

Don’t miss: The serene Native Plant Garden and the shaded Chilton Azalea Garden. Dig deeper with the Bloomberg Connects App to embark on an adventure while there.

  • Music
  • Music

What is it? A new series at The Shed—the much-discussed cultural center in Hudson Yards featuring a retractable roof. Aptly called "An Audience with...," the five-night performance series will kick off on April 2 through April 22. 

Why go? The opening night of the programming will feature singer and cellist Kelsey Lu. Musicians from the New York Philharmonic will take the stage on April 14 and 15 while soprano Renée Fleming will treat audiences to her mesmerizing voice on April 21. The next night, on April 22, comedian Michelle Wolf promises to make everyone laugh. 

Don't miss: The series is just a kickoff to the destination's spring/summer programming, which includes the always delightful Frieze New York art fair, set to take over the space in May.

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  • Attractions
  • Historic buildings and sites
  • Manhattan

What is it? A true feat of 19th century engineering and arguably the one walk every local and visitor must take. 

Why go? This essential trek is "is so romantic that is has the power to turn platonic relationships into something more,” claims Javier in Little Italy. And you'll hear no arguments from us. The 1.3-mile-long stunner was the world's largest suspension bridge when it opened in 1883 it has remained an iconic landmark of the city ever since. 

Don’t miss: The Brooklyn side of the bridge ends in gorgeous Dumbo, where you can explore Brooklyn Bridge Park, gaze at Lady Liberty, visit the Brooklyn Flea on Sundays.

  • Attractions
  • Monuments and memorials
  • Liberty Island
  • price 1 of 4

What is it? Since 1886, the most famous copper statue in the world has held her torch high in New York Harbor as the quintessential symbol of American liberty. 

Why go? The statue’s massive pedestal houses an observation deck as well as exhibits detailing the fascinating history of the 305-foot copper statue gifted to the U.S. from France to celebrate the friendship of the two nations. Check out the original torch and read the bronze plaque with Emma Lazarus’s poem “A New Colossus” (you know, the tired, poor, huddled masses yearning to be free). 

Don’t miss: Strapped for cash? "The Staten Island Ferry is free and sails near the robed icon," points out Time Out New York's Rocky Rakovic. "What’s more, it travels fast enough that your trip won’t take up the whole day, but it’s slow enough that you can nurse a beer and find the right angle for a nice Instagram of you and the old green gal." 

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  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Chelsea

What is it? Chelsea's above-ground park and garden set on old train tracks offers a natural respite and 1.4 miles of car-free walking space set between the daring skyscrapers of Manhattan's west side.

Why go? The High Line just opened in July and now has timed entry to lessen the amount of visitors. It's been months since the park has been open to the public. It was sorely missed.

Don't miss: Works by Sam Falls and Lara Schnitger that were part of the park's En Plein Air exhibit are still up. Look for four ceramic archways supported by the steel rail tracks from the High Line’s original railway and a large-scale sculpture Sister of the Road, made in painted aluminum.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Brooklyn Heights

What is it? Brooklyn Bridge Park, with its grassy expanses, copious bike paths, public art displays, basketball courts and soccer pitches, has a lot of new attractions within it.

Why go? The Pier 2 Uplands, three-acre site that includes a 6,300-square-foot lawn and a water play area, and the new Squibb Bridge just opened. There's also a new Public Art Fund display to check out called Reverberation made of large-scale bells by San Francisco-based sculptor Davina Semo.

Don't miss: Brunch or dinner at Fornino's on the waterfront.

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  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Prospect Park

What is it? A 526-acre sprawling public park in the heart of Brooklyn. 

Why go? “Go to Prospect Park on a clear evening, lie in the grass, and watch the bats and the stars,” suggests Cat of Park Slope. While bicycling, warm-weather picnics and weekend runs are a must at this park, you can do pretty much any outdoor activity your heart desires: there’s bird-watching, baseball, basketball and more.

Don’t miss: We recommend roller skating or renting a paddle boat at LeFrak, which transforms into an ice skating rink in the winter.

  • Attractions
  • Arcades and amusements
  • Coney Island

What is it? A minor league baseball stadium right on the waterfront in Coney Island and home to the Brooklyn Cyclones. 

Why go? “Trek out to Coney Island and see a Cyclones game. You can’t beat the cheap prices of minor league baseball, and a lot of nights they have fireworks after,” says Adam of Washington Heights. Nothing spells summer like a ballgame outdoors—especially when you’re this close to the beach. Be sure to check out The Backyard if you have a group where you can picnic and play shuffleboard, corn hole, with a secret view of the game through the outfield wall. Going solo? Grab a seat for as little as $8, and you have yourself the perfect afternoon.


Don’t miss: The popular annual Seinfeld-themed game.

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  • Things to do
  • City Life

What is it? A 1,131-foot-high-observation deck atop 20 Hudson Yards that opens in March 2020.

Why go? To take in panoramic views of the entire city on a 7,500-square-foot triangular platform. 

Don’t miss: If you’re terrified of heights in the open air, but want in on the action, there’s also a champagne bar inside the 100th floor where you can sip cocktails with the same 360-degree views of NYC.  

  • Museums
  • Art and design
  • Upper East Side
  • price 3 of 4

What is it? A renowned art museum and architectural icon with works by Picasso, Peggy Guggenheim’s trove of Cubist, Surrealist and Abstract Expressionist works, as well as the largest collection of Kandinskys in the United States.

Why go? Designed by original starchitect Frank Lloyd Wright, it's arguably the only New York museum that shows art inside a work of art. 

Don't miss: What makes the building a global icon is its stunning interior rotunda and oculus. There, along its ascending ramps, you’ll find a world-class collection, as well a full slate of temporary shows.

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  • Attractions
  • Towers and viewpoints
  • Financial District
  • price 2 of 4

What is it? An observation deck affording one hell of a view. 

Why go? Not only does it have the trippiest elevator in the city, One World Observatory is also a fierce contender for best views in the city. Ride up to the 102nd floor surrounded by a VR-like film, then admire the 360-degree views at the top of the tower. 

Don’t miss: Gawk at the entirety of Manhattan and the Empire State Building on one side and the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg Bridges on the other—and then Governors Island and the Statue of Liberty on the other.

  • Museums
  • Art and design
  • Meatpacking District
  • price 2 of 4

What is it? After nearly 50 years in its Marcel-Breur-designed building on Madison Avenue at 75th Street, the Whitney Museum decamped in 2015 to a new home in the Meatpacking District. 

Why go? Founded in 1931 by sculptor and art patron Gertrude Vanderbilt, the Whitney is dedicated to presenting the work of American artists. Its collection holds about 25,000 works by more than 3,500 American artists. Check out musts by Alexander Calder, Willem de Kooning, Edward Hopper (the museum holds his entire estate), Jasper Johns, Louise Nevelson, Georgia O’Keeffe and Claes Oldenburg. 

Don’t miss: Art editor Howard Halle suggests Hooper's 1930 masterpiece Early Sunday Morning.   

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Pay your respects at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum
  • Attractions
  • Monuments and memorials
  • Financial District

What is it? A moving tributes to the victims of the terrorist attacks on 9/11 andFebruary 26, 1993.  

Why go? Designed by Israeli architect Michael Arad, two of North America’s largest man-made waterfalls mark the footprint of each tower, framing the perimeter and cascading into reflecting pools almost an acre wide. The trees surrounding the area add to the mood of somber, tranquil reflection: Each one was selected from a 500-mile radius of the World Trade Center site, with others brought in from Pennsylvania, Maryland and Washington, D.C., the other places directly affected on 9/11. 

Don't miss: The museum provides a complete picture of the courage and compassion demonstrated locally, nationally and internationally after the attacks, and it’s interspersed with pieces of the towers and other debris recovered by those who risked their own lives to save others

  • Sports and fitness
  • Stadiums
  • The Bronx

What is it? The Bronx home of the New York Yankees.

Why go?
“Attend Calendar Day at Yankee Stadium. Go Yankees!” recommends Alex of Hamilton Heights of the world-famous sports stadium. Sure, the free team calendar is nice, but chilling out in the bleachers at the House that Ruth Built, in all its manicured-lawn glory, is nicer. Celebrate history after the game by hitting Yankee-fan bar Stan’s just down the block.


Don’t miss:
The stadium’s excellent food options including Bareburger, Mighty Quinn’s Barbeque and Tater Kegs.

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  • Museums
  • Art and design
  • Midtown West
  • price 1 of 4

What is it? Institution housing one of the world’s finest collections of art from the 18th century through today.

Why go? Around nearly every corner of the venerated museum is a seminal piece by an artist trumpeted in art history or coveted by contemporary collectors. During the height of tourist season, around Christmas and again in late spring and summer, expect a shoving-match just to catch a momentary glance at Van Gogh’s Starry Night or Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon

Don’t miss: Can't swing the $25 entrance free? Art editor Howard Halle suggests coming during MoMA's free Friday nights (4–8pm).  

  • Museums
  • Art and design
  • Chelsea

What is it? Donald and Shelley Rubin’s impressive collection of Himalayan, Indian and Buddhist art and artifacts on display.

Why go? Spiritual types will love this museum, which is dedicated to Himalayan and Buddhist art and features lectures, movies, music and more. The museum is layered over five gallery floors in the old Barney’s New York space on 17th street. The awe-inspiring works range from classical to contemporary giving visitors a well-rounded experience with Eastern cultures.

Don’t miss:  “Catch Buddhist talks at the Rubin.”—Sophie, Prospect Heights

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  • Shopping
  • Shopping centers
  • Chelsea
  • price 1 of 4

What is it? One of New York’s most notable food halls that boasts more than 35 vendors. 

Why go? While this hot spot for foodies and shopping addicts  can get congested with tourists during peak hours, it’s worth throwing some elbows for Middle Eastern bites from Miznon, tacos from Los Tacos No.1 and halva from Seed + Mill. Aside from finger-lickin’ fare and sweet merchandise, the attraction offers historical charms such as the market’s iconic fountain, which was crafted using discarded drill bits and exposed pipe from the former Nabisco factory. 

Don’t miss: "The folded cheeseburger pita from Miznon," suggests Jake Cohen. 

  • Museums
  • Art and design
  • Washington Heights

What is it? Set in a lovely park overlooking the Hudson River, the Cloisters houses the Met’s medieval art and architecture collections.

Why go? “My favorite place in New York is the Cloisters, even though I barfed there once in sixth grade on a field trip," says Lena Dunham. "I just think it’s the most beautiful, peaceful place." Indeed it is. Soak it all in by following a path that winds through the peaceful grounds to a castle that seems to have survived from the Middle Ages. (It was built less than 100 years ago, using material from five medieval French cloisters.)  

Don’t miss: The famous Unicorn Tapestries, the 12th-century Fuentidueña Chapel and the Annunciation Triptych by Robert Campin.  

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  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • The Bronx
  • price 1 of 4

What is it? You’ll find an elegant 19th-century mansion surrounded by meticulously groomed gardens, featuring abundant wildflowers and shady pergolas.

Why go? This city-owned garden in the Riverdale section of the Bronx retains the same horticultural traditions as when it was a private estate. The area offers sweeping views of the river and the New Jersey Palisades. Explore more than a dozen well-kempt gardens overlooking the Hudson River.

Don’t miss: "Afterward, wander throughout the posh Riverdale neighborhood to wistfully stare at all the Tudor-style mega mansions," suggests associate Food & Drink editor Alyson Penn.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Astoria

What is it? A 4.5-acre city park on a former landfill hosts large-scale sculpture exhibits year-round. 

Why go? Not only does it always have incredible sculptures, its art is set to the backdrop of the East River and the Manhattan skyline. It's open 365 days a year, offering music and dance performances, movie screenings, yoga and more.

Don't miss: "Planeta Abuelx," a massive installation rooted in ancestral and Indigenous practices of holistic healing. It expands upon the idea of Mother Earth by paying homage to our elders as not only a vulnerable group lost to COVID-19 but as keepers of curative ancestral knowledge passed down through generations.

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  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Things to do
  • Markets and fairs
  • Lower East Side

What is it? The Lower East Side flea and street fair hosts one of Manhattan’s best collections of local vendors. Macaron Parlour, Petee’s Pie Company, Melt Bakery, La New Yorkina, Arancini Bros all got their start there. 

Why go? You get the best of the city's small businesses in one location and it's all outdoors. It's also known for its themed weekends, from Vintage Day to a CBD Fair and Lobster and Beer Fest.

Don't miss: The Hester Street Market is now at The Seaport!

 

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