New York City is one the most visited cities in the world. In 2016, over 60 million people visited New York to take in the city so nice they named it twice. New York is home to over 8 million people who live within roughly 305 square miles of the city limits, making it one of the most densely populated cities in the world, second only to Paris. As such, every corner of the city holds unique wonders that visitors should try to see.
Whether you have just launched a few new business ideas that took off or are a traveler interested in a budget-conscious trip, this article will help you to discover parts of the city that only true New Yorkers know about.
Avoid the tourist traps
Time Square, the Empire State Building and Circle Line Cruises are all tourist traps. True New Yorkers avoid these destinations like the plague. While you may be interested in visiting these locations due to cultural or historical significance, know that if you do you will not be seeing the city that most New Yorkers know and love. Instead, you’ll be experiencing a tourist destination that caters to the desires of out-of-towners.
Instead of going to the tourist traps mentioned above, check out some of the significant but less popular locations mentioned later on in this article.
Understand the reputation of each neighborhood
New York is divided into a series of neighborhoods. Due to social norms and zoning laws, each neighborhood has developed a unique characteristic that is all its own. Before planning your trip, take a minute to survey a map of New York neighborhoods and try to visit as many as possible.
Among a few of the neighborhoods to visit is the Upper West Side, home to the Museum of Natural History, the Metropolitan Opera, and famous apartment buildings like the Dakota and the Apthorp.
SoHo is another great neighborhood to check out, it features trendy popup stores, cute bars, and high-end restaurants like Balthazar and the Mercer Kitchen.
Williamsburg Brooklyn is yet one more great New York neighborhood. Many credit its residents for giving rise to the “hipsters.” Visitors should check out Output or the Music Hall of Williamsburg for great music, grab a drink on the rooftop bar at McCarran Hotel, and head to Fete Sau for great barbeque.
Head to Queens for great ethnic food
One study found that Queens New York was one of the most diverse places in the world. It is because of this diversity that Queens is home to a number of fantastic ethnic eateries that allow visitors to sample from a wide variety of delicious and hard to find food. Among the restaurants to check out are the Arepa Lady, which serves delectable South American pastries, and Mu Ramen, which features authentic Japanese ramen.
Check out a show at the Comedy Cellar
Located in the iconic Greenwich Village, the Comedy Cellar is one of New York City’s great comedy clubs. Famous comedians like Jon Stewart, Chris Rock, Sarah Silverman, and Louie CK all got their start performing at the Comedy Cellar. As a result, it is not uncommon for these and other famous comedians to take the stage from time to time.
Listen to Jazz at the Village Vanguard
Nothing says old New York like a great jazz nightclub. Founded in 1935, the Village Vanguard is an important historic center of New York and of American music history. Great jazz musicians like Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Bill Evans and John Coltrane either performed live or recorded albums there. Today, the Vanguard regularly hosts world-famous jazz musicians.
Got to the Whitney to check out great art and fashion
The Whitney Museum is located in the Meatpacking District, near the Highline. This makes it well situated within a great New York neighborhood, and next to another great New York attraction.
Visitors should check out the exhibits inside of the Whitney (which change on a regular basis) and should then head to the trendy shops and restaurants in the Meatpacking District before taking a stroll on the Highline.
There are always numerous reasons not to take a trip. Maybe you don’t want to leave the house before you fix your leaky faucet or you are simply waiting for a big raise before setting off for the Big Apple. Whatever your excuse, know that when you do eventually make it to New York City, there are a plethora of intellectually stimulating, fun, and eye-opening experiences waiting for you when you arrive.