After more engaging, insightful, though sometimes incredibly painful, interaction in the comments section of my blog post about my move away from veganism, who is ready for a post completely unrelated to food? Good, me too!
So, before my memories start to fade from my recent visit to the East Coast, I thought it might be fun to pull together my suggestions for interesting things to do in NYC. My first visit to the Big Apple was way back in 2000 or so when my husband, then boyfriend, was working for a company based in the South Tower of the World Trade Center. As a side note, our early visits together were centered around the Downtown area and so we both felt a deep connection to the residents as well as sadness for the victims of the September 11th terrorist attacks.
Over the years, we’ve visited this great city maybe 4-5 times and worked our way around the entire island, even venturing out to the other boroughs (most often to Queens when I got us on going the wrong direction on the subway, but also to Brooklyn where we’ve gone on two intended trips).
I realize that not everyone has the ability or interest to visit New York, but if you do, then enjoy the list and feel free to share your own favorites!
Note: I have no affiliations with any of these companies or services, but I did include lots of links just to make your life easier. You’re welcome, ha ha.
Interesting Things to Do in NYC:
1. Visit the Tenement Museum. A friend suggested I do this on my previous trip and it was fabulous, so much so that Alan and I went twice in two days. It is highly recommended that you reserve your tickets ahead of time, though, because they often sell out. Also, side note, make time to visit Babycakes and/or Moo Shoes while you’re in the area, they are just blocks away.
2. Take a Museum Hack tour of the Met. Even though I am interested in art and history, my eyes literally start to glaze over as soon as I enter most museums; I just have a short attention span sometimes. Enter Museum Hack which has shattered all the stereotypes of boring museum tours. Bring your sense of humor on what I promise will be a very fun adventure! P.S. I believe the company also offers tour of the American Museum of Natural History and I intend on doing that one on a future trip.
3. See the National September 11 Memorial. It took several years for my husband and me to work up the courage to visit the Memorial because it brought up so many sad memories, as I’m sure it does for many people. I’m so glad we visited last October, though, because the Memorial is breathtaking and significant. The Museum is now open in addition to the Memorial and I hope to visit it on a future trip as well.
4. Eat at Chelsea Market. What fun this building is to explore! There are a fair amount of healthy options at the Market, with my personal favorite being the One Lucky Duck take-out service (try the “Spanking” Shake, it’s yuuuuumy). I recommend researching ahead of time the various restaurants that are there and finding one that fits your needs. If it’s a nice day, you can work up an appetite by walking along the Highline that is upstairs.
5. Take a Real New York Tour. I did the “Downtown Dozen” and it was a blast. We must have walked over 3 miles and picked up all sorts of tidbits about the neighborhoods and history of NYC along the way. It’s a casual, fun tour.
8. Take a free tour of Grand Central Station and its neighborhood. Since this is a free tour, you might be with a very large crowd, but our guide had a mic and offered a fabulous overview of GCS. Did I mention the tour is free?
9. Visit the Merchant’s House Museum. I stumbled upon this gem of an experience and found it to be a great way to spend an afternoon. The home is preserved from the early 19th century and offers a fascinating peek into what it was like to live back then. Walk a few blocks to SoHo before or afterwards for some great shopping.
10. Visit the Museum of the City of New York. This is an easy museum and takes anywhere from about 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 hours to experience completely. I found it to be very interesting and not overwhelming.
It’s hard to limit my list to only 10 items so my “honorable mentions” of interesting things to do in NYC include visiting or taking tours of the American Museum of Natural History, Central Park, the Empire State Building, Radio City Music Hall, MOMA, and The Fricke Collection.
Lastly, there are some amazing things I haven’t done in the city that I have heard great things about including visiting or seeing the Cloisters, the Hells Kitchen Flea Market, the Brooklyn Museum, Prospect Park, and the Museum of Arts & Design, as well as attending a Friday Night Dinner at The Natural Gourmet Institute.
What did I leave out? Tell me, I’m already missing New York and starting a to-do list for when I can get back there next.
P.S. You might also like my 10 Tips for Staying Healthy While Traveling.