No matter how long you’re in the city, here are five fun and unique experiences you won’t want to pass up. Some of these I’ve loved for years, and others I experienced for the first time this week. Either way, I loved them enough to make the list.
1. Strand Bookstore
This bookstore, located in the East Village, also has a cart right in Times Square! It’s famous for having enough books to span 18 miles, and it’s a mix of old and new titles. It’s been around for 90 years and it’s going to be here for many more! Also stop by for the vinyl records and souvenir socks – you won’t be disappointed.
2. The Cloisters
This museum is a branch of the MET located in the northernmost tip of Manhattan. It’s unique in that many people haven’t even heard of it and it’s out of the way of most tourist hotspots. It’s also unique in that the museum it overlooks the Hudson River and is located in Fort Tryon Park so it’s quiet, peaceful and relaxing. It showcases Medieval Art, some tapestries dating back to the 14th Century! This week when I was visiting it was also showcasing Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination. It was an absolute dream.
3. Roosevelt Island
This little island, sandwiched between Manhattan and Queens, is mostly residential. It’s a nice break from the business of the rest of the city, and it’s a great spot to grab lunch overlooking Manhattan. You can either take the subway or the tram to get here, and I definitely recommend taking the tram. It gives spectacular views of Manhattan and the East River, and it’s just plain fun!
4. Highline Park
This park is one of my favorite spots in New York. It’s no hidden secret, and for good reason. Built on old train tracks, the park is elevated and winds its way through the west side of Manhattan. It can be a little crowded, but it’s worth it for the views of Manhattan and to get a little green space.
5. Chelsea Market
I had never visited the Chelsea Market before but I enjoyed it so much that I went twice on this visit. It has nice stores like Anthropologie, but it also has unique souvenir stores and a large array of restaurants. There are really unique treasures, and despite the crowds it is a very fun spot on the west side.