8 Must-See Places & Things to Do in New York City

So you call yourself a New Yorker… or someone who’s ‘done’ New York.

There are a ton of must-see neighborhoods, museums, parks, restaurants and shows in this city. It can take years to check off all the things on the ‘must see and do’ list.

I bet there’s at least one thing on this list you haven’t done... And a bunch of good reasons to add it to your list! 


1.  Flushing, Queens. The World’s Fair was held in Flushing Meadows Park in 1964, and today it ranks as one of the top five commercial and retail areas of New York City.

Not to mention some of the best, most diverse food in the city can be found here. Dumplings, dim sum, noodles, Korean barbecue… we could go on and on. Heck, even some of the best Italian food can be found in Flushing!


2. The Cloisters. So you’ve probably heard of it. But have you actually ever visited?

Part of the MET museum, it’s located in Washington Heights, and it’s 66+ acre property contains portions of various European abbeys which were taken apart, brought to New York, and reconstructed back in the 1930’s. 

Medieval manuscripts, gardens, and art overlook the Hudson River and can make you feel like you’ve been transported to another country. Next time you wish you could escape to castles in Germany, try heading here for an awesome day trip.


3. Roosevelt Island. Take the areal tram over to Roosevelt Island and wander this unique, and slightly odd island. It’s mostly residential today, but a walk around this two-mile long island can take you back in time to experience some strange and often shady history.

You can check out and go into what is now a large condominium with a unique, rotating art collection that used to be an insane asylum in the mid-1800’s.

And you can view the ruins of a smallpox hospital, also from the mid-1800’s, which later turned into one of the first nursing schools in the US.

And you can get an early glimpse of the soon to be home of Cornell University’s Tech Campus.

4. Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Whether you walk around the Japanese garden, or stroll through the herb garden, you’ll probably forget you’re in the middle of Brooklyn. There’s always something new blooming or developing within the 52-acre grounds of the BBG.

What’s that? You’ve been before? Mark your calendars to come back again once their water conservation project is completed, which will be a model for cities to reduce their dependence on freshwater through a sustainable approach to water management.


5. The Morgan Library. Want to see a truly beautiful building? Next time you’re in midtown, take 30 minutes to check out the Morgan Library.

This building, which originally housed the private library of JP Morgan in the early 1900’s has an incredible collection of prints, drawings, books and manuscripts. Today it houses the museum and a research center.

Step into the East Room, the rare books treasury designed for Morgan, and you are sure to be inspired!

6. Fort Tilden Beach. Technically in Queens, but on the Rockaway Peninsula between Jacob Riis Park and Breezy Point, Fort Tilden consists of a beach, dunes and small forest area.

And it’s one of the best, most laid back, most pristine beaches in the city.

Hurricane Sandy put it out of commission for a while, but it’s reopened to the public.

7. Off Broadway. So maybe you and your relatives have gone to a Broadway show when they’ve been in town, but have you been to an Off-Broadway one? So they’re not as big, and don’t have Tony Awards to boast about, but they’re less expensive, and often just as good.

In fact, many Broadway shows actually got started Off-Broadway like Avenue Q, Hair, Rent, and even Hamilton!

Off-Broadway shows like Blue Man Group and STOMP are some of the famous ones, but there are new ones popping up all the time. Fancy a night at the theatre? <Insert British accent here>

8. Governor’s Island. Another great island to check out!

This island wasn’t accessible to the public for centuries, but starting in 2003, the public was allowed to visit on weekends in the summer.

Opening day this year is May 28, when you can take the ferry from Manhattan or Brooklyn to check out this 172-acre island for a really great day trip.

-Bring a picnic lunch or take your pick from food trucks.
-Rent a bike and explore.
-Stake out a hammock or Adirondack Chair for a relaxing afternoon.
-Wander through the history of Fort Jay.
-Did I mention the free mini golf?!

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