More than 500 weird and wild artifacts, plenty of interactive exhibits and 20 themed galleries make a visit to this one-of-a-kind museum a real New York experience. From a two-headed calf to a pickled tourist head and an albino giraffe, a visit to Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Times Square is guaranteed to shock and amaze.
In addition to exploring the galleries filled with everything strange, grotesque and truly unique, travelers can also catch sword swallowers and cheese carvers in regularly scheduled (and incredibly wacky) sideshow performances at this quirky museum.
The Whitney (as it’s locally known) was established in 1931 by sculptor and arts patron Getrude Vanderbilt Whitney when the Metropolitan Museum of Art rejected her personal collection of 600 avant-garde works of art. Originally arranged amongst a trio of Greenwich Village townhouses, the present Upper East Side incarnation of the Whitney is a granite cube with upside-down windows, designed by famed Modernist architect Marcel Breuer. The museum houses over 19,000 unique, modern and sometimes controversial works from the 20th and 21st centuries, many by still-living artists.
Especially renowned for its Whitney Biennial exhibition, which highlights the work of young and emerging artists, the museum is devoted to connecting under-the-radar artists with New York’s wealthiest and most influential art collectors. Held every two years in the spring, the Biennial often features huge sculpture displays that are mounted in nearby Central Park.
European sculptures, decorative artwork and Old Master Paintings are part of what make a visit to the Frick in New York City so unique. The private collection of Henry Clay Frick, an old-school Pittsburgh industrialist, now lines the halls of a Fifth Avenue mansion, in what has become the perfect display of art and wealth.
In addition to literal masterpieces by renowned artists like Bellini, Vermeer and Rembrandt, visitors can check out rotating temporary exhibits, lively concert series, informative lectures and educational programs on a visit to this iconic museum in Manhattan as well.
Times Square is one of New York City’s most-visited landmarks and no street encapsulates all this destination has to offer quite like 42nd Street. It represents the heart of the Big Apple and the ultimate success to actors and actresses looking to make it on stage. But this busy spot has more to offer travelers than just live entertainment.
In addition to being the center of the theater district and a Times Square thoroughfare, this iconic stretch of street that runs from east to west is also home to several of the city’s most impressive sites. First-time visitors to this east coast city can check out the stunning Grand Central Station, Bryan Park’s urban Oasis, the United Nation’s Headquarters and the New York City Public Library without ever leaving 42nd Street! Since this is the main artery of one of America’s favorite cities, travelers will find it not only easy to access, but also easy to navigate, since literally all subway lines lead to 42th Street.
The New York Stock Exchange is an icon of commerce and capitalism. Synonymous with Wall Street, it’s the world’s largest stock exchange.
It’s been closed to visitors since 9/11, but the impressive building’s Roman temple design makes an impressive photo stop, complete with soaring columns, carved pediment, lofty proportions, and fluttering US flags.
A welcome patch of green in Downtown Manhattan, Union Square is one of New Yorkers’ favorite city squares. It’s the place for public gatherings, yoga and exercise classes, and for people from all walks of life to take a break and catch some sunshine, eat lunch, or read a book.
Stock up on fresh produce at the wonderful Greenmarket held here Mondays, Wednesday, Fridays, and Saturdays, and if you’re here in November/December you can pick up gifts at the holiday market. Some striking architecture surrounds the square, and you’ll find statues of famous figures dotted throughout, including Washington, Lincoln, Lafayette, and Mahatma Gandhi. Big-name stores and fine restaurants are nearby, and Chelsea, Greenwich Village, and the Flatiron District are just a stroll away.
Also known as the Fashion District, New York’s Garment District is located in Manhattan between Fifth and Ninth Avenues and 34th and 42nd Streets. It gets its name due to the high concentration of show rooms, fashion brands, wholesale outlets and production spaces. Along with being a mecca for fabric and apparel, the Garment District is also worthwhile as shoppers can find everything from designer pieces to budget buys and sample sales.
Start your tour of the area at the Garment District Kiosk at 39th and Seventh Avenue to pick up maps, brochures and coupons that will help you navigate the many fashionable spaces. If you can only go to one shop in the area, make it Mood Fabrics which encompasses three floors of designer textiles. Visitors also enjoy walking the Fashion Hall of Fame from 38th to 40th along Seventh Avenue.
The oldest public park in one of America’s oldest cities, Bowling Green offers a serene escape in the middle of New York City’s urban jungle. Situated at the heart of the financial center and beside Wall Street, it is home to the famous Charging Bull bronze statue that has become a symbol of New York. Many visit the bull, which stands for aggression and economic success, to receive good luck.
The public area dates all the way back to 1733, and you’ll notice it is still surrounded by an 18th century iron fence. The teardrop-shaped square is framed with trees and manicured greenery, with an elegant fountain at its center and many benches for people to pause and enjoy.
Historically the space did indeed house a bowling green. It has also served as a trade route, market, and even a cattle field. It has always been a central meeting point in the city. It is even thought that the sale of Manhattan lands from an Indian tribal leader took place on these grounds.
Fraunces Tavern is a national historic landmark, museum, and restaurant in New York City, famous for being the place where George Washington bid farewell to his troops at the end of the American Revolution. Since 1904, the building has been owned by the Sons of the Revolution in the State of New York Inc., who claim it is Manhattan’s oldest surviving building. It is part of the New York Freedom Trail and the American Whiskey Trail. The museum’s mission is to create appreciation for New York City history as it relates to Colonial America, the Revolutionary War, and the Early Republic.
Through the varied exhibitions of art and artifacts relating to the museum’s historic site, the museum aims to create this appreciation through educating the public. Different exhibits include the ‘Long Room,’ the site of General George Washington’s farewell to his officers at the end of the Revolution. The room is a recreation of an 18th century public dining room.
This bank in the heart of Lower Manhattan is one of 12 Federal Reserves in America. Visitors can go behind the scenes of trading rooms, museum and the famous vault—which holds some 900 tons of gold—on a guided small group tour of this iconic finance destination. Informative guides share stories about the banking system, American currency, global trade and importance of gold to the national economy.
Although tours are free, space is limited and most visitors will need to book at least 30 days in advance. Tours of this high-security landmark are ideal for families and visitors receive packets of shredded out-of-circulation cash as they leave the premise. It’s unlikely non-ticketed travelers will be able to enter the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, but the building’s exterior is impressive and still worth wandering past while in Lower Manhattan.
For the best free cruise in town, hop aboard the Staten Island passenger ferry. The free round-trip cruise takes you past the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, with terrific views back to Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn.
The trip takes 25 minutes each way, and ferries run 24 hours round the clock. Around 60,000 passengers use the ferries daily.
You have to disembark at Staten Island by law, so while you’re there why not take a walk around the Snug Harbor Cultural Center museums and Botanical Gardens.
The legendary borough of Harlem has been famous in New York City since the 1920s, when the Harlem Renaissance brought about a cultural revolution among African-Americans in New York with a focus on the arts. Today Harlem is an increasingly gentrified area of classic brownstone townhouses, iconic jazz clubs, churches, cultural centers, cocktail lounges and soul food restaurants.
Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard (125th Street) is Harlem’s main roadway. The neighborhood's slew of sights include the Apollo Theater, the Studio Museum, the Cathedral of St John the Divine, Striver's Row, Astor Row and the Museum of the City of New York. Take a local-led walking tour, catch amateur night at the Apollo Theater on a Wednesday, order up some soul food at Sylvia's on Lennox Avenue or listen to the glorious sound of full-throated gospel at the Abyssinian Baptist Church on a Sunday.
The Apollo Theater in the heart of Harlem is one of the world’s most famous live music venues. Some of the biggest names in contemporary music have played the Apollo, including Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, and the master of soul, James Brown.
Hear jazz, blues or R&B, or come along on a Wednesday evening for the long-running Amateur Night. Stars who first flexed their talents as amateurs on the Apollo’s legendary stage include Michael Jackson and Lauryn Hill.
Informative and entertaining daily tours highlight the history of the Apollo and the performers who've played there.
Built in the former home of the National Biscuit Company (where the Oreo was born), this Chelsea landmark was opened in 1997 as a multi-purpose market and business complex. A foodie haven, the Market is home to some of the most sought-after treats in New York City (including Jacques Torres Chocolate), as well as a handful of acclaimed restaurants (like sushi hotspot Morimoto), and the studios and offices of the Food Network.
Gently redesigned by Vandeberg Architects, Chelsea Market today features a splashy shopping arcade, but still incorporates much of the vintage ductwork, tiling, and signboards of the original National Biscuit Company. The 1890s version of the structure was divided into two major buildings connected by a pedestrian walkway; that walkway, which runs through the building on its 10th Avenue side, is now a portion of the High Line, a mile-long elevated greenway that repurposes an old stretch of the New York Central Railroad.
Ground Zero is the 16-acre site on Lower Manhattan that, until the tragic events of September 11, 2001, was home to the twin towers of the World Trade Center. America's most sacred ground is now a construction site, as the frames of the Libeskind Memory Foundation take shape.
The planned redevelopment includes several World Center tower buildings, a memorial museum, and landscaped plaza. The original footprints of the two former World Trade Center towers will be preserved as reflecting pools.
Whether you take a walking tour, drop into the nearby Ground Zero Museum Workshop or view the tributes on nearby Church Street, a visit to Ground Zero is an emotional, numbing experience that's not soon forgotten. It's a site for reflection and respect rather than snapping photographs.
Located at 151 West 34th Street, Macy’s Herald Square is the department brand’s flagship store. Since its opening in 1902 the flagship store in particular is advertised as the world’s largest department store, although according to the “Guinness Book of World Records” the title now belongs to Shinsegae’s store in South Korea’s Centum City, which is 5,487,595 square feet and over twice the size of Macy’s Herald Square. Even so, it is almost impossible not to find what you’re looking for in the department store, which showcases over 1 million square feet of merchandise over 10-and-a-half levels. Browse everything from cosmetics to apparel to housewares and beyond. In fact, the space is so expansive they have a Visitor Center on the 34th Street Balcony Level and restaurant located throughout.