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New York City Guide: Off the Beaten Track

Blonde girl looks out over Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan New York City

Location: New York City

So you’ve done all the tourist attractions in New York City? You’ve walked round Central Park, visited the MET, have been to the Top of the Rock and are wanting to do something a little more off the beaten track? Look no further. As this was our fourth and fifth time to this amazing city we wanted to see some different things and not the usual tourist stuff. Some of these options may still be quite touristy but they are not up there with the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building thats for sure!

The Highline

This is definitely becoming more popular with tourists and locals seem to love it too. We have found that a lot of people we spoke to were recommending it as a ‘must-go’ destination in the city. The redevelopment of the areas that the Highline runs through is incredible. As we were walking down it there were new buildings and so many building works around. Saying this though it is definitely worth a visit. If you don’t know what the Highline is, it is basically an old raised subway track that has been developed to become a walkway and park. The Highline provides amazing views over the city and gives you a break from those mundane concrete streets. We started at West 30th Street and walked all the way to Gansevoort Street to stop off at Bubby’s for Brunch – A perfect morning/afternoon adventure!

 

One World Trade Centre

Blonde Girl looks out over Manhattan from world one trade centre New York

In the World Trade Centre there is the One World Trade Centre viewing deck. This is a great alternative to the Empire State Building or Top of the Rock viewing platforms, giving you a 360 degree view of Manhattan from the south of the island. You can see every block in Lower Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty really clearly and you also get a stunning alternate view of the Empire State building. On a good day you can also see Philadelphia, albeit in the very far distance. The waiting time for this really wasn’t long at all, unlike The Empire State which we had to wait over 3 hours to get inside. As we decided on a spur of the moment visit we had to queue but you can book in advance (making your trip even quicker). Overall we waited about 20 minutes before we had to go through security and headed up in the amazing lift, which was an experience in itself. It cost us $27 per adult but the views made it TOTALLY worth the money!

285 Fulton St, New York, NY 10007

 

DUMBO

Manhattan Bridge in the sunshine seen through a street

DUMBO is the perfect hang-out spot for people watching in New York City. The whole area is in the shadow of both the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges, hence it’s name DUMBO: Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. It has cute cobbled streets leading to the river, this amazing view (see above) which has become a bit of a #InstagramGoals image and a small pebbly beach which is a great spot to sit and have great views of both the Manhattan Bridge and the Brooklyn Bridge as well as Manhattan itself. Just wandering around DUMBO is a lot of fun but we suggest heading towards the river and having a rest on the beach or in one of its neighbouring parks.

 

Smorasburg food market

multiple people sitting on the grass in Prospect Park in the sun

We have previously written about our new favourite foodie market in Brooklyn, Smorgasburg! Not only are there hundreds of vendors that take part in the weekly markets, there are also two locations for you to enjoy! Saturday’s market is in Williamsburg, next to the East River so that you can stuff your face while taking in the views of the East Village. Meanwhile, Sunday’s market is in the quieter Prospect Park which hosts a much smaller gathering with all the best grub!

Saturday, Williamsburg: 90 Kent Ave. Brooklyn New York City 11211

Sunday, Prospect Park: Breeze Hill (East Drive at Lincoln Rd.) 

 

Chelsea Market

Something that may seem touristy to New Yorkers but something we had never come across before is Chelsea Market. After finishing your trip along the Highline we highly recommend walking up to Chelsea Market to enjoy its food stalls in particular because believe us, they smelt divine. The market is also home to shops such as Anthropologie, Chelsea Wine Vault, Posman Books and a lovely little flea market. It is located across the road from Google’s NYC HQ in Chelsea, a part of the city that we had never really explored until our latest trip. It is a great place to get shelter from New York’s cold Winters and scorching Summers to do a some browsing.

75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

 

Little Italy

Red brick Resurant building in Little Italy in New York City

Little Italy is one part of New York that we had never done on our visits. Although it is still classed as a tourist activity we would recommend having a stroll around the area and even better if you can get a tour! We did a self guided walking tour that we found online about half an hour before and it was great and meant that we could go at our own pace. For those who are interested we used this tour from Free Tours By Foot. From this tour we would thoroughly recommend Ferrara Bakery & Café (195 Grand Street), a fifth generation family business who’s interior hasn’t changed since the early 1900’s. When there you should try their Limonata, basically a lemon sorbet float but oh so delicious! Don’t forget to check out Lombardi’s Pizza (32 Spring Street) the first pizzeria in the US! And De Gennaro Restaurant (129 Mulberry Street) home to the infamous mafia hit of Joe Gallo. Exploring Little Italy this way has made us want to see and lean more about this area, next time were definitely going on a mafia themed tour!

 

Hamilton’s Grave

Alexander Hamilton may be one of the most important figures in American history, so it makes sense that his popularity has soared thanks to the popularity of Hamilton: The Musical. As well as being one of the founding fathers of the United States Hamilton was also the founder of  nation’s financial system, the US Coast Guard and the New York Post (HOW INCREDIBLE IS THAT!?). He is buried in the grounds of the Trinity Church Cemetery and can be found surrounded by his children, wife and sister in-laws. Whilst it may seem odd to visit a graveyard it is interesting to walk around and discover a whole graveyard of American history in just a small corner of New York City.

74 Trinity Place at Wall Street and Broadway

 

Roosevelt Island

Blonde girl looks over to Manhattan New York from Roosevelt island with Chrysler building in the background

Roosevelt Island was one of our favourite locations that we visited during our latest trip. It offers riverside walks, that look out onto the Upper East Side, without the crowds of the city. Take the cable car over to the island and stroll towards the south of the island to reach the ivy covered, gothic abandoned smallpox hospital that looks like it could fit into a Gotham-like world. After stopping to marvel at the ruins, continue to walk south through Southpoint park to reach the memorial to Franklin Roosevelt. This is a beautiful, small and poignant memorial that I could have spent all afternoon walking around. Roosevelt Island is also home to the Northpoint Lighthouse on the North end of the island. This was built to light a nearby (and no longer existing) asylum.

Grab a cable car tram from: E 59th St & 2nd Avenue, New York, NY 10022 

 

Green Acre Park 

Waterfall in the middle of new york city with greenery and a building in the background

Green Acre Park is an oasis in the middle of one of the busiest cities in the world. As soon as you step through the iron arch into the ‘park’ the soothing sound of the waterfall drowns out city noise and gave us some refreshing air, that was desperately needed during a heatwave. This serene space allows you to sit back, grab a snack and relax. However, the seats aren’t incredibly comfortable, so don’t think that you will be able to sit here all afternoon!

217 E 51st St, New York, NY 10022

 

The Frick Collection 

The Frick Collection is possibly one of our favourite art museums in the city. It is located in the Henry Clay Frick House which is a gorgeous mansion that is well worth the visit just in itself! The museum holds a magnificent collection of old masters paintings and sculptures that were collated by Mr Frick himself and they continue to collect works of art after his death. Expect to see masterpieces by artists such as Bellini, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Goya, an amazing Van Gough portrait and expect to walk around with an dropped jaw whilst talking in the surroundings.

1 E 70th St, New York, NY 10021

 

Check out more of our New York posts: New York City Guide: Where to Eat | Smorgasburg, Brooklyn

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