The city that never sleeps – New York City – needs absolutely no introduction. You all know where it is and what it looks like. It’s the biggest city in America, and it’s definitely a place that’s on everyone’s list of “places to go!”. But finding things to do in New York that aren’t that clogged up by tourists can be difficult, so you often have to think outside the box to find a hidden gem in the city.
Let’s see why the touristy things are so popular. There must be a reason, right? The Empire State Building is the certainly the city’s most iconic location. It’s at the centre of the city, right in between Central Park and the Business District at the very bottom of the island of Manhattan. It’s traditional to go up to the top and see views of the city and its many skyscrapers. Some of these are famous in their own right, like the Chrysler Building. However, the trouble with going to the top of the Empire State is that you can see everything but the Empire State. For this reason, it might be worth going up the equally touristy but less picturesque Rockefeller Centre, which offers child tickets for just $20. You get great panoramic views of the city, and you learn a little something while you’re at it.
If you’re tired of skyscrapers and polluted city life, retreat to Central Park, possibly the most famous park in the world. You’ll find a multitude of lakes, bridges, gardens and little patches of woodland to hide away in. There are also ice rinks and playgrounds, if you’re looking for a more active pursuit. The park stretches all the way from Midtown (that’s where the Empire State is, roughly) to Harlem in the very north of Manhattan. You can see why it’s full of tourists! In spite of this, though, there will always be a quiet little spot you can take a break from the city and all its people in Central Park.
It’s compulsory to see the Statue of Liberty, of course. However, if you don’t have the money or the time to get up close, but want some good photographs, take the free ferry to Staten Island. It sails past both the Statue and Ellis Island, where historically immigrants would enter the US and be questioned by customs. The ferry ride costs nothing and only takes 25 minutes each way, so you’ll only be out of Manhattan for an hour. But you have to run to catch the ferry back, unless you want to be caught in Staten Island for another half an hour!
There is too much of New York to fit into one little article, so there will be more information on New York City to come. In the meantime, have a think about exactly what it is you want to see, and plan out your travels in detail. It’s important to stick to this itinerary, otherwise you’ll leave the city feeling sad that you didn’t do everything you wanted to do because you slept in too much/spent too much time doing something else. Next up – some of the less typically “tourist” things to do!
Image credit: Alice Barnes-Brown