When you first visit New York, choosing what to see and where to go can feel overwhelming. There are so many fun things to do in NYC that it’s hard to know where to start. As a local, I can tell you that there’s no wrong answer because you’ll probably have a great time no matter what you choose to do. When it comes to sightseeing, NYC offers a little bit of everything. So many cool things to do in New York can be accessed just by walking.
Lots of people who visit New York in the summer like to take day trips in the area. There are plenty of New York day trips to be enjoyed, but before taking a day trip out of the city, get to know NYC by taking an adventure right here in the concrete jungle. After all, great NYC day trips don’t always require leaving Manhattan!
Below are some of the best NYC tours you can take. The best part? These tours all take place on foot. We New Yorkers walk just about everywhere we can, especially during rush hour when the subway is too crowded to bother with. By taking a walking tour yourself, you’re getting a taste of the local experience, and you’ll be getting some exercise in the process too. Take a look at some of the best walking tours NYC has to offer.
You can sign up for a City Tales tour to take an expert guided walk through some of the most significant locations in the neighborhood surrounding the World Trade Center. You will see National September 11 Memorial, which features two memorial pools in a thoughtful courtyard next to One World Trade Center. You’ll also visit the Fireman’s Memorial, nearby St. Paul’s Chapel, and the new built Oculus, an architectural wonder. Your guide will take you to lesser-known memorials and areas to pay tribute to the lives lost on 9/11, and you’ll get firsthand local insight on the meaning of every design and structure. If you choose, you can also include a visit to the National September 11 Museum with your tour.
When it comes to things to see in New York, Central Park tops the list. You can start exploring the park at 59th Street, just off of Fifth Avenue’s famous row of shops. From there, walk to famous sites like Bethesda Fountain, Sheep Meadow, the Great Lawn, Strawberry Fields, and Belvedere Castle, all without leaving the park. The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Museum of Natural History sits on opposite sides of the park, so if you’re feeling extra energetic, you can even stop by one of them at the end of your park tour.
Midtown Manhattan is one of the most vibrant places to visit in New York City. You can start your tour on Manhattan’s west side and work your way east along 42nd Street. You can begin in Times Square, one of the most popular things to see in New York for visitors. Then, walk east to Bryant Park, a favorite spot for hardworking locals from nearby offices to get some fresh air at lunch. There, you’ll see a beautiful green space, and you can go inside the New York Public Library’s most famous branch location. After that, head east again, this time to Grand Central Station. Grand Central’s main concourse is one of the gorgeous sites in New York City, and even locals like me can’t help but stop and stare when we pass through.
There are so many cool things to do in New York waiting right outside your hotel door. So lace up your walking shoes, and hit the pavement like the locals do!
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