Best Hostel In New York City The Local Nyc
If, like us, budget travel is more your style dont fret. Staying in a fabulous budget friendly hostel in NYC is an option. The Local NYC is likely the best hostel in New York City. The Long Island City hostel is located right across the East River from Midtown and is only a 10 minute subway ride away from 5th Avenue in Manhattan.
The hostel has a lovely rooftop patio with skyline views of Manhattan, large and immaculately clean rooms with lockers and uber comfy mattresses, and an onsite bar for mingling or to enjoy live music and locally crafted brews on tap. For the cheapest prices at The Local NYC click here.
As always, happy travels, and well see you on the road!
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Kusama: Cosmic Nature At The New York Botanical Gardens The Bronx
Tucked between lush flowers, meadow grasses and perfectly manicured gardens are some of the most psychedelic, weird, fantastical, colorful works of art by internationally celebrated Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. Among them: polka dotted trees, gigantic dancing pumpkins, a 13-foot tall sunny biomorphic form and humongous tulips that would give ever-growing Audrey in the play Little Shop of Horrors real competition. The art show is a complete delight, one that doesn’t require an advanced degree in art appreciation to enjoy.
What to do: It’s nearly impossible to miss the artwork. Just wander around the garden and you’re bound to hit upon Kusama’s polka dotted works. . They’re big. They’re stunning. They’re unique.
What you need to know: Tickets for the show do sell out. So it’s wise to get them in advance online. Cost: $25/adults, $12/children 2 to 12 for a pass to all outdoor installations. But, take my advice, and pay $35/adult and $15/children for indoor access. I dare you not to be awestruck with “Illusion Inside the Heart,” Kusama’s newest mirrored installation.
Go: 2900 Southern Blvd, Bronx 718-817-8700, nybg.org.
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Discover The Work Of A Trailblazing Early Photographer At The Alice Austen House
For many visitors, this is part of New York unseen culture.
A native of Staten Island, Alice Austen was one of the first to elevate photography to high art capturing everyday life through the eyes of a lesbian woman in the early 20th century.
Today her home is a museum dedicated to preserving her legacy and celebrating the work of photographers throughout the ages.
Need help capturing your uniquely New York experiences with you in the photos? Book one of our Private Photo Journeys, a walking tour that includes photos of your group to keep. Or step your game up even further with an NYC Influencer Shoot. Email with inquiries.
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Lower East Side Tenement Museum
This museum requires a tour and is only for children 8 years and older, but is worth a visit for the history lesson in store. This five-story brick tenement building was home to an estimated 7,000 people, from over 20 nations, between 1863 and 1935 and is a testament to the fact that our nation and New York City, in particular, was built on immigration and the working class. Buy tickets online in advance for a timed tour. There are several tour types to choose from. You must book your tickets to the Tenement Museum in advance as the tours do sell out quickly. You can book your tickets here.
Savor The Cultural Diversity Of Nyc At The Ganesh Temple Of Queens
There are unique things to do in New York that are also spiritual like visiting the Ganesh Temple of Queens.
Located in Flushing, its the first authentic Hindu temple built in North America and is seen as one of the most important temples in the West.
The temple acts as an important community center for New Yorks Hindu community and visitors are always welcome though note that there is a dress code and photography of the temples shrines is prohibited.
One of the temples biggest draws is probably its canteen, which serves some of the best South Indian food in the city.
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Explore One Of The Worlds Most Famous Collections Of Information At The New York Public Library
Though the New York Public Library has tons of locations throughout the city, the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on Fifth Avenue is the grandest of them all.
The building is one of the best-preserved examples of the Beaux-Arts style of design and features tons of gorgeous rooms to explore.
You can also peruse rotating exhibits featuring highlights from the librarys vast collection past exhibits have featured Broadway producer and director Harold Prince, the original Winnie the Pooh characters, and artifacts from the Stonewall Uprising.
Check Out The Chelsea Market
The Chelsey Market is exactly what it sounds likea cool market in Chelsey district of NYC. There are tons of cool restaurants, shops, and places to spend your money at which makes it attractive and scary at the time.
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Visit The Harry Potter New York Store
One of the more recent additions to this list of the most unusual things to do in NYC, the Harry Potter New York store just opened on June 3rd and is a bohemoth, 2-story retail outlet that is located right near the flatiron building in lower Manhattan.
So, if youre a Harry Potter fan of even the smallest measure, be sure to stop by and puruse through their amazing collection of Harry Potter-related merchandise, including everything from wands to pens to notebooks to t-shirts and full-on Harry Potter-inpsired robes.
There are also some uber-cute photo ops on the first floor, including a spot where can snap a selfie with Hagrids giant shoes and a place where you can take a photo with an iconic, vintage, red phone booth from London.
Afterward, head downstairs and explore the cavernous basement, which is filled with even more Harry Pottter-related awesomeness, like an adorable tunnel of books where you can try and snap a wicked awesome selfie. Theres also a unique, virtual reality experience for you to try if you have a little extra cash to burn.
Finally, before you leave, be sure to visit the on-site cafe and order a giant mug of butter beer for me. Its delicious and tastes just like the most glorious, cream sodathat you ever did taste.
Because trust me, this really is one of the best hidden gems in NYC for the entire family.
Address: 935 Broadway, New York, NY 10010
Hours: Open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm and on Sundays from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm.
National Museum Of Mathematics
11 E 26th StNew York, NY 10010 542-0566
If you find Math to be scary or nerdy, this will give you a new perspective. This is one of those underrated places that has a great variety of kids stuff, waiting to be explored. It has a lot of exhibits demonstrating the value of math, science and technology in our everyday lives.
Theres also little wonders like square-wheeled tricycles and a range of quizzes and puzzles that will blow your mind. Theres also the option of painting on a digital canvas. So if youre not math-y but artsy, you will still enjoy this museum.
We couldnt skip this one and neither should you. It sounds a bit of an obvious choice but it really is among the fun things to do in NYC with kids. The observatory on the 102nd floor, for example, is an iconic piece of art in itself.
You get to go over 1,200 feet above New York and enjoy a panoramic view of the city. The whole family can get a good look at the Manhattan skyline without having to go there.
Recommended Hotel Nearby:Hôtel Plaza Athénée
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New York City Helicopter Tour
No matter how high the observation deck, you may come away feeling like theres a patch of Manhattan that you wanted to see from above but could not.
There might not be a cityscape more suited to a helicopter tour than New York, so its little wonder that theres an abundance of options with GetYourGuide.com.
To single out one, the New York City Deluxe Helicopter Tour affords the ultimate views of the Hudson River, the Chrysler Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, Ellis Island, The Statue of Liberty, the New York Harbour and USS Intrepid.
Taking off from the heliport at Pier 6, this flight lasts 15-30 minutes but will give you memories to last a lifetime.
Take A Cupcake Tour Through Greenwich Village
The delicious vanilla cupcake with brown butter frosting that I designed during my last trip to Mollys Cupcakes!
In my humble opinion:
Life is uncertain and you should 100% eat dessert first.
Thats what my mom told me and I am for SURE sticking with her sage advice. Which is why this epic cupcake tour is perfect for someone like me.
Not only does it reinforce the IMPORTANT life lessons that my mom taught me , but its also a dream activity for a dessert addicted, sugar-loving, individual such as myself.
Because lets be honest:
Where else in the world are you encouraged to not only eat dessert but to eat MULTIPLE desserts within a two-hour time frame?
Its like this cupcake tour is some super awesome, alternate universe where youre encouraged to sample as many desserts as humanly possible.
And I for one am totally down with any and all unusual things to do in NYC that make it socially acceptable for me to eat like 12 desserts at one time.
The desserts you get on this tour are just small samples that obviously only have like one calorie in them.
Or at least:
Thats the lie I tell myself so that I can justify eating like a pig .
Gear up for 2-hours of foodie fun as you savor the gastronomic goodness of Greenwich Village, and enjoy desserts from iconic, NYC foodie hotspots like Mollys Cupcakes, Baked by Melissa , Amorino , Milk & Cookies , and more.
And while all of these desserts meccas are good
Last time I was here:
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The Statue Of Liberty And Ellis Island
New York City was a prominent welcoming port for immigrants to the United States throughout a significant portion of its history. Today the Statue of Liberty is not just a symbol of America’s history as a welcoming land of opportunity and freedom for immigrants, but also a great vantage point from which to view the sprawling metropolis.
There is a Statue of Liberty ferry available, as well as boat tours that circle the island, and other tours offered right on the premises that can be reserved in advance. These tours allow visitors to travel up the stairs to the crown of the statue, which is truly an experience unlike any other.
Visit The Graffiti Tunnel At 191st Subway Station
The graffiti tunnel at 191 st subway station is definitely a hidden gem of NYC. Normal tourists usually dont pass by this area because of how far it is from the regular tourist attractions. It is a secret only known to the locals of Washington Heights.The tunnel that connected the subway station with the street used to be dark, dirty and full of rats. In an effort to make it more lively, artists hired by the city came and revitalized the 191st subway tunnel. Now it is becoming a , a place where photographers and creatives practice their crafts. Location: 191 St Subway Station, accessible through the 1 train.
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Pay Respects At Ground Zero 9/11 Memorial
Two reflecting ponds now live where each building once stood to commemorate the victims and heros of that day. Instead of using the property to rebuild new tours, the city of New York created a mammoth memorial.
The memorial is free to visit since it is an outdoor memorial open 24/7. That said, there is a museum and souvenir stand which generate revenue to support the memorial.
While you are there, definitely walk through the Oculus at the World Trade Center PATH station which connects 12 subway lines and is honestly one of the most beautiful subway stations on Earth. The station, according to NY Port Authority, serves over a million people every week.
The station even has its own specially built crane named Big Red to reach the taller points of the atrium when construction, or light bulb replacing, needs call for its help!
Embrace The Macabre With A Tour Of Nycs Very Own Catacombs
Am I right?
Well, believe it or not, NYC actually has its very own set of catacombs too!
Totally crazy but totally true!
And guess what?
Theyre actually hidden beneath NYCs one and only, St.Patricks Cathedral.
I know, my mind was totally blown too. So:
If you think that you might want to visit this hidden gem of NYC for yourself, then all you need to do is book a 90-minute, Catacombs by Candelight Tour, and prepare for the experience of a lifetime.
Maybe not a lifetime since I can dream up some pretty outrageous things, but whatever, this tour still sounds pretty cool.
Because along the way:
Youll get to explore super-secret, totally mysterious parts of St. Patricks Cathedral that no one else EVER gets to see.
And believe it or not:
This set of catacombs in actually the only one in NYC that is open to daily visitors.
This experience really is the very definition of unique since you cant actually do this type of tour anywhere else in the city!
And while I havent done this tour myself:
You better believe that the next time Im up in NYC, Ill be taking part in this wickedly weird, totally unusual thing to do in NYC.
Dont answer that. LOL. Youre probably infinitely more normal than I can ever hope to be.
I do know that Im not alone in my weirdness since um, hello, American Horror Story is a very real THING.
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Get A Rainbow Bagel From The Bagel Store
One of the most unusual things to do in NYC is to stop by the Bagel Store in Brooklyn and pick up a rainbow bagel with cake better cream cheese!
Believe it or not:
There was a time, a much simpler time, when not every food on the planet was totally rainbow-ified.
An era, way back in 2014, when food items were left in their natural state of being and everyone was totally, a-ok with that.
That all changed when Brooklyns, The Bagel Store burst onto NYCs foodie scene with their now immortal, rainbow bagel.
Yes my friends:
Children wailed , Facebook videos that featured delectable rainbow bagels went viral, and lines stretched out all the way to Coney Island.
The lines were never really THAT long. Thankfully.
And although rainbow bagel mania has died down a bit:
You can still get in on all this rainbow bagel fervor at The Bagel Store, which makes an ultra-perfect pit stop before heading to the famed, Bushwick Collective.
Definitely one of the more unusual things to do in NYC:
This fine purveyor of all things bagel-related does indeed carry more traditional bagel flavors like everything, onion, sesame, and cinnamon raisin.
But real talk:
Wheres the fun in being ordinary?
No my friend.
Youre here to embrace the Instagram maven within and be the totally extraordinary diva that you are by purchasing a super snazzy rainbow bagel.
And just in case you were at all curious:
Rainbow-fetti cream cheese = cake batter cream cheese with rainbow sprinkles.
Enjoy A Mule Wine At The Union Square Holiday Market
Union Square is proud to host over 25 years of holiday markets and this year will be no exception. The markets layout was initially modeled after European Christmas markets and despite some changes since its original inception, the Union Square Holiday Market still mirrors its cousins across the Atlantic pretty closely. It is one of the largest Christmas markets in New York and a holiday tradition for any visitor.
ENJOY A MULLED WINE HERE ITS A GERMAN STAPLE!
Theres no way you will leave this holiday market without a full belly and a happy smile.
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Have Fun In Central Park
No visit to New York is complete without popping over to Central Park, the iconic green hub sitting pretty in the middle of Manhattan. The grounds are a great place for a picnic or horse-drawn carriage ride, and the wild inhabitants of Central Park Zoo are a favorite with families.
Feeling energetic? Then jump in the saddle for a guided bike tour around the park and nearby sights.
Watch A Famous Broadway Show
Broadway is the bright beating heart of NYCs performing arts scene. Watching a Broadway show is an experience like no other, fun guaranteed. There is no better place in the world to watch worldwide famous musicals, such as Aladdin, The Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King, Wicked, The Book of Mormon, Jersey Boys, and many more!
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