In 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.
Things to Do in New York City
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?