It’s known as the city that never sleeps – so it’s no wonder that New York City (or the ‘Big Apple,’ as it is also known), attracts thousands of visitors every single year. Whether you are an American citizen yourself or someone traveling from overseas, New York holds appeal for plenty of reasons, even if you only have a few days to spend there. In fact, it’s the perfect place for a weekend break – you can certainly guarantee that you’ll never be bored!
Obviously, there are certain iconic sites associated with perhaps America’s most famous city. You’ll hop in a yellow New York cab on your way from the airport to your accommodation, drive along the freeway parallel to the Hudson River, and gaze upon the mighty Empire State Building as you emerge from the city’s huge, bustling streets. But New York City isn’t just a place for you to tick off landmarks, especially if you are the kind of traveler who loves getting a feel for the place you’re visiting. Immersing yourself in the vibrant culture of this so-called ‘mega city’ can offer you a unique insight into the way of life for locals in this area – although what you will probably find is that it differs hugely depending on where you visit! New York City is made up of five major areas: Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, The Bronx, and Staten Island. Each of these areas offers the discerning traveler diverse experiences – so if you have time to visit all of them (it’ll be a challenge, but it is possible!), definitely do it. Read on for a breakdown of how you can spend a busy weekend enjoying some of the more unique sights and activities that New York City has up its sleeve.
Brunch (and more) in Brooklyn
For many years, the area of Brooklyn lived in the shadow of its older sister – the rich and flamboyant Manhattan. These days, however, it has evolved into a must-visit destination in its own right, gaining a reputation for hipster eateries and a bustling art scene. That’s why there is no better way to start your trip to New York, than finding a great brunch spot in Brooklyn. Thankfully, there are plenty of them, so it won’t take long for you to find somewhere that whets your appetite. Tom’s on Washington Avenue is one of the most revered breakfast joints in the whole area, famous for its amazing pancakes and freshly squeezed orange juice. Sure, there may be a queue to get in, but there’s no doubt that it will be worth it. If you’ve got a bit more cash to splash and fancy pushing the boat out a little, grab your traveling partner and head to the Grand Army, where you can get the eye-watering Bloody Mary platter for a tasty $70. Once you’ve successful satisfied your hunger, head off to the hipster district of Bushwick to visit Luhring Augustine; a modern art gallery showing indie exhibits to the plaid-shirted, bearded residents of this up and coming area. Don’t spend too long there though – it’s already mid-afternoon, and you need to catch the subway up to Manhattan!
Museums, parks, and nightlife in Manhattan
Manhattan is perhaps the most famous suburb of New York City. It has long been a breeding ground for the arts and anything that attracts tourists, so it won’t surprise you that some of the most recognizable sights in the whole country are located here. You can easily while away an afternoon visiting the various museums, including but not limited to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Children’s Museum, The American Museum of Natural History, and the Jewish Museum. Then, even if you’re looking to go off the beaten track, there are certain major attractions that you simply cannot say no to. After all those hours indoors, you may be craving some time in the great outdoors – and what better place to get a bit of fresh air than perhaps the most famous park in the world, Central Park? Measuring up at almost three and a half square kilometers, it’s the perfect place to relax at the end of a busy day – keep an eye out for the events that are hosted there as well, as you might catch some comedy, play or a spot of live music. Once you’ve caught the last of the evening sun, get your glad rags on and head back out to a fancy NYC rooftop bar. The Manhattan skyline is quite a sight to behold, so order yourself a cocktail or a craft beer and watch the sun go down on the city that never sleeps.
Beaches and boats in Staten Island
One thing you may not know about this lesser-known, but still worth visiting area of NYC is that yes: it’s a real island! It is the only part of New York City not connected to the other boroughs via the Subway system – you have to instead board the ferry from Brooklyn to get to it. Don’t be put off at all by that, though, as it’s well worth the short journey! After all, if you’re visiting in the heat of summer, Staten Island is blessed with the one thing that can cool you down: a beach. Actually, it’s blessed with two, in the form of South Beach and Midland Beach, both offering impressive views across the Hudson. You can spend the afternoon simply sunbathing or swimming, or, if you fancy something a little more adventurous, hire a kayak and take a guided paddle up and down the river. Plus, if you come at the right time of year, South Beach also plays host to some free events such as concerts, as well are firework displays. New York may only be known for specific tourist attractions, but spread your wings a little further next time you are there, and you could have a amazing experience.
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