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Things To Do in New York City

The Whitney Museum, New York CityIn my last post, I shared my vegan eats itinerary from my trip to New York City in October. I’ll admit it was a pretty intense few days of eating my way through the city, but when you’re on vacation, you’re gonna indulge, right? In between meals, I played tourist, exploring NYC on foot and via subway.

Do a quick Google search, and you’ll find plenty of lists telling you that Times Square (ugh), the Wall Street bull (and posing with its balls), the Statue of Liberty, and so on are must see attractions in NYC. I’ve done my fair share of those things when family and friends are in town, but here are a few of my favorite things to do in New York City.

The Whitney Museum, New York City

Things to Do in New York City

Central Park

A trip to NYC isn’t complete without a visit to Central Park. It still amazes me that there is so much greenery right smack in the middle of the concrete jungle. Every time I visit the park, I discover a gorgeous new spot or path that I’ve never explored before. One of my favorite things to do is wander the Upper West Side and Upper East Side with a leisurely walk through Central Park in between. I recommend a stroll down down the smaller paths to enjoy a peaceful moment in the middle of the busy park.

Central Park, New York City

The High Line

When I was in architecture school, one of my urban design projects had an elevated walkway inspired by The High Line. Each time I visit, I discover something new along the way, whether it’s a detail I never noticed before, a change in landscaping, or a brand new section. I recommend starting your High Line experience in West Village and walking the entire length to Midtown. I also enjoy visiting in the evening for a different experience.

The High Line, New York CityThe High Line, New York City

Museums

Another classic thing to do in the Big Apple: museums. The major museums charge $25 admission, so you’ll want to set aside a good chunk of your day to make the most of it. Many offer free or discounted admission during certain days/times. On this trip, I spent an incredible few hours at the Whitney. On my previous trip in 2017, I spiraled my way through the Guggenheim. Both museums are good size that will leave you feeling like you’re immersed in art without feeling overwhelmed by the size of the museum. PS. The Whitney is conveniently located near the West Village entrance of The High Line.

The Guggenheim, New York CityThe Whitney Museum, New York City

Union Square Green Market

The Union Square Green Market is always enjoyable, but the fall is my favorite time to visit because the vibrant colors of the produce are especially striking against the brisk grey skies. Even if you don’t plan on buying anything, it’s fun to look, smell, and touch. I sipped on a fragrant lemongrass tea as I admired all the goodies in the market.

Union Square Green Market, New York City

Window Shopping

Some people go to NYC to shop, but even if you don’t plan on spending a dime on souvenirs, I recommend an afternoon of window shopping because there is so much to see. On this trip, I hit up the Kate Spade flagship, Moo Shoes, ABC Home, Eataly, Marimekko, and more. In Flatiron, I like walking along Fifth Avenue and peeking at the stores. If you don’t mind the crowds, SoHo is the prime neighborhood for window shopping and people watching.

Kate Spade Flagship, New York CityShopping in West Village, New York City

Wandering The Neighborhoods

Pick a neighborhood and just wander. In a city like New York, you can’t go wrong with that. If I were to send you to just one neighborhood in Manhattan, it’d be West Village. I’ll sometimes play a little game of “guess the rent” that, unfortunately, tends to get pretty depressing. However, the brownstones, tree lined streets, and cute little shops and cafes makes West Village feel more like a quaint and picturesque European town. What’s your favorite neighborhood in Manhattan?

West Village, New York CityFlatiron Building, New York City

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17 Comments

  • Reply
    Marlynn | Urban Bliss Life
    December 17, 2018 at 12:24 pm

    I love New York City – and this post! The Guggenheim is my favorite museum but I have to admit, I haven’t been to the Whitney yet. Your tips are great, because I think sometimes people try to cram too much into their first NYC trip, when really it’s impossible to fit it all in, even within several separate trips. Wandering neighborhoods is one of my favorite things to do when traveling, and no place better to do this than NYC!

    • Reply
      wazwu
      December 20, 2018 at 4:27 pm

      Agreed, many people (including myself) try too cram too much into one trip. I’ve learned to slow down a little as it’s meant to be a vacation! ;)

  • Reply
    Kristina
    December 17, 2018 at 12:45 pm

    for so many years, NYC was my second home! I miss it a lot, and this post has me wanting to book a ticket. heading over to see your vegan eats itinerary post – thank you for this!

    • Reply
      wazwu
      December 20, 2018 at 4:28 pm

      NYC is very special for me as it’s where I went from omnivore to vegetarian to vegan. Hope you find the vegan eats list helpful!

  • Reply
    Jana Seitzer
    December 17, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    NYC is maybe my favorite domestic city ever. I love these ideas!

    • Reply
      wazwu
      December 20, 2018 at 4:30 pm

      I miss NYC so much, but it gets exhausting after a few days!

  • Reply
    Kelsey
    December 17, 2018 at 8:31 pm

    I have never been to New York and I have always wanted to go- this rekindles my desire! Gorgeous photos.

    • Reply
      wazwu
      December 20, 2018 at 4:30 pm

      Thank you! Hope you have an opportunity to visit soon!

  • Reply
    Amanda
    December 17, 2018 at 9:41 pm

    I haven’t been to NYC in ages…but this looks like a great list to go off of!

  • Reply
    Amanda
    December 17, 2018 at 9:47 pm

    I haven’t been to NYC in ages, but this is a great list! NYC can be so overwhelming at times

    • Reply
      wazwu
      December 20, 2018 at 4:32 pm

      Thanks! It’s definitely a very overwhelming city, but I try to make myself slow down a little every time I go back.

  • Reply
    Pech
    December 17, 2018 at 11:27 pm

    I can’t emphasize wandering through neighborhoods enough… perhaps while foodcrawling through them amirite

    • Reply
      wazwu
      December 20, 2018 at 4:32 pm

      Food crawling and wandering… that’s the way to do it!

  • Reply
    Erin @ Platings and Pairings
    December 18, 2018 at 7:44 am

    I really need to get out to NYC soon (but maybe when it’s not so chilly out!). You look so cool and right at home in the City Waz!

    • Reply
      wazwu
      December 20, 2018 at 4:33 pm

      The spring and fall are the best times to visit. I know you’re gonna love it!

  • Reply
    sileas
    December 22, 2018 at 7:57 am

    Certainly you mentioned some of the best things to do in NYC besides eating ;) Gosh I’m still overwhelmed sometimes what the city has to offer!

    • Reply
      wazwu
      January 1, 2019 at 10:18 am

      It’s a bummer we didn’t live in NYC at the same time, but I love watching your stories as you’re exploring the city!

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