Whether it’s your first or twentieth visit to New York City, there are dozens of destinations ripe for exploring. Rather than rely on a guide book that’s bound to be cluttered with tourist trap recommendations, here’s a list of ten of the more unique things to do in NYC that offer a taste of the city’s diverse neighborhoods and attractions.
1. Experience the grandeur of Grand Central Terminal. This New York landmark is the perfect place to learn more about the city and the history of the terminal. Take an audio tour for full impact, pick up some souvenirs at the shops, and pass a secret message to your friend through the whispering arches before you head out.
2. Visit the The Paley Center for Media. Formerly the Museum of Television & Radio, this museum houses a collection of more than 50,000 TV and radio show artifacts. You can make your selection and watch it on a video console right onsite.
3. Explore Chinatown. Soak up some Chinese culture and tradition in this bustling and colorful neighborhood. Chinatown plays host to numerous festivals, celebrations, and parades throughout the year and is a great place to pick up organic teas, handmade Chinese goods, and try some authentic Chinese fare.
4. Stroll through the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Grab a camera and capture some pictures of the rose garden and other flower beds in full bloom. Save the $10 admission fee on Tuesdays and 10AM to Noon on Saturdays.
5. Enjoy some homemade pasta in Little Italy. Treat yourself to an authentic Italian meal in Little Italy located in lower Manhattan. This is also a great place to pick up some Italian ceramics, handmade jewelry, gifts, and designer goods.
6. Shop on Fifth Avenue. Located in the center of Manhattan, the shops on Fifth Avenue include luxury boutiques and designer stores, making this the “most expensive street in the world”. This is where you’ll find luxury department stores including Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Barneys.
7. Soak up the excitement of Times Square. Times Square is the iconic intersection of Broadway and Seventh Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. It’s one of the world’s busiest pedestrian intersections, filled with larger than life billboards, hordes of people, the Naked Cowboy (yes, you read that right), and larger than life stores like Toys R Us and M&M World. Shine under the lights and animated LED signs that illuminate the square and become a billboard star yourself! It’s fun to be caught by the Forever 21 camera and be part of their big board in the center of all the action.
8. Take a tour of Yankee Stadium. Located in the Bronx, this is the home ballpark for the New York Yankees and a great place to take a tour to learn more about Yankee history.
9. Visit Wall Street. You’ll find a number of great restaurants and eateries in this business district of the city. Visit the New York Stock Exchange, tour the Museum of American Finance, pay a visit to the New York City Police Museum and then stop by Stone Street for some local nightlife.
10. Tour the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. This is located at the former site of the World Trade Center and designed as a national tribute of remembrance and honor to the men, women, and children killed on September 11, 2001. Reserve tickets
About the Author: Today’s guest post is by Aileen Pablo, part of the Open Colleges team, one of Australia’s leading providers of Hospitality and Tourism Courses and TESOL courses. When not working, Aileen blogs about travel, lifestyle, and beauty tips. She is also often invited as a speaker in Personality Development Seminars in the Philippines. You can find her on Google+.
Flickr photo by Francisco Diez