Updated: Jan 28, 2019
After living in New York for 2 years, here are our top tips of what to do. Some you will find in all the tourist guide books, but some are not so well known.
Central Park - Given the time of year, the leaves should hopefully be amazing!! I suggest walking up The Mall to the Bathesda Found, It is a leafy and beautiful walk. Then pop to the Loeb Boathouse for a bite to eat or drink and then continue to talk up to Belvedere Castle and the Great Lawn. I suggest you don’t bother walking much past the Reservoir as the top half of the park isn’t as nice as the bottom.
The Highline - Historic elevated rail line that runs above the streets of Manhattan. Start at the top (around 30th St) and walk downtown. It finishes right near Chelsea Market so go there for lunch
Ground Zero - Gotta go here. It is amazing. I also recommend the 9/11 Tribute Centre and Tour. Tour is around $20 each and goes for about 2 – 3 hours. The amazing thing about it is that it is run by people who were actually there on the day of the attacks (Our tour guys were both working in the buildings of the day – one was the head of security and the other was with the port authority. Most of their colleagues died) so it is extremely personal account. I haven’t been to the official 9/11 museum but also heard that is amazing.
Brooklyn Flea - This is a good flea market. Now I normally hate markets (unless it is food) but then place actually sells awesome boutique and vintage stuff you want to buy (not just other ppls old shit)
Williamsburg Smorgasburg (90 Kent Ave) - Awesome Saturday food market with an awesome view of Manhattan. So many crazy, interesting food vendors on offer. Get there early as it gets pretty busy. Sat Oct 29th is the last day of the season it is open
Staten Island Ferry - Another must do. A free trip to coast past the Statue of Liberty. TOP TIP – as you board the ferry, stay on the right hand side at the very back and hang right outside by the doors as everyone enters inside on. They will put the chain up at the back, but they will leave a few feet so you can walk to the back and get an amazing open air view of manhattan. Much better than looking through the grubby windows of Lady Liberty. Most people rush to the front, then others all rush to the back as the ferry gets going.
Images (left to right): Ground Zero; Liberty Lady from Staten Island Ferry; Central Park
Elizabeth, Mott & Mulberry St in Little Italy/Nolita - Lovely quirky and boutique style shops that run along side the odd foodie place or quiet bar. Very beautiful few streets with a nice feel, just away from the main droves of tourists in Little Italy and China Town.
Prince St - Another lovely street to walk along from East to West or vice versa. Great shops and cafes.
Stone Street in Downtown - Cool cobbled street line with bars. In the summer, they put picnic tables on the street and it almost resembles being at Octoberfest…without the rowdiness. Some great bars and great vibe, especially on a Thursday or Friday afternoon. $$
Dumbo - Stands for Down Under Manhattan Bridge. Very good area. Warehouse style shops and cafes. Great shopping with cobbled streets.
Brooklyn Bridge - Gotta walk over this but I suggest do it early so you can get photos without a bazillion people in the way. Gets really packed so definitely worth doing it as an early morning walk.
Manhattan Bridge - I love walking across this bridge. It is a lot quieter than Brooklyn and you get a lovely view which has Brooklyn Bridge in it. It also has one of my favourite views over the city where you can see all the rooftops of Manhattan including graffiti on the building tops with the new tower of downtown in the background. A really good morning walk is to start in Manhattan and walk across Brooklyn bridge, then through Dumbo (Stop off at Brooklyn Roasting Company for coffee!) and then walk back into Manhattan across Manhattan Bridge.
Comedy @ UCB - Cool local comedy place in the East Village. It is pretty cheap (around $10) and the two Friday night sessions are good (The 7:30pm with Bucky and the 9pm improv). There is also a great pizza place right next door call Two Boots!
Walk up Avenue A - Love this street. Loads of great food places and very cultural. Heaps of bars with happy hour on this street and also running off this street.
Images (left to right): Brooklyn Bridge; Dumbo; Nolita