New York City seems like the center of the world for some. It is a natural vacation spot for Americans, as well as families from abroad. There is always life happening at every corner so it is no wonder that there are so many cool things to do in NYC. From Battery Park to Washington Heights, here are some of the guilty pleasure tourist attractions that will show you how cool NYC can be.
Check Out These Cool Things to Do In NYC
A Night at Broadway and Sardi’s
Broadway is home to some of the best theater in the world and seeing a show here is one of the cool things to do in NYC. You can see plays, musicals, something kid-friendly, or something more adult, in the span of a few blocks. Tourists can buy tickets in advance, from the official show website, or visit the TKTS Booth in the center of Times Square the day of the show. A cool thing to add on to your night on Broadway is a pre-show dinner. Many restaurants understand that theater guests must be punctual, so they will offer a pre-show dinner with meals that will guarantee you are in and out in time to catch your show. Otherwise, you can have a relaxing post-show dinner to unwind and talk about the amazing show you just saw.
For Broadway Die-Hards looking for cool things to do in NYC, you must visit Sardi’s. Sardi’s has been the toast of Broadway for 90 years and the birthplace of the Tony Awards. The walls are covered in caricatures of Hollywood stars and Broadway performers. Enjoy a meal or dessert of your choice, and keep your eyes peeled for the stars, whether they be on the walls or in person.
The American Museum of Natural History and The Met
There are so many museums it is hard to choose from. If you are hoping to hit all the main, must-see tourist museums, you must pay a visit to The American Museum of Natural History and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. These two museums hold so much information, replicas, and original works of art that going to see them is one of the coolest things to do in NYC. Make a day out of it and eat lunch on the steps of either museum.
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This place is HUGE and can take up an entire day if you want it to. You can explore the statues of Central Park, visit the Central Park Zoo, or play a game of checkers at The Chess House. Explore Central Park by foot or pay for a pedicab and zoom around. One of the coolest things to do in NYC and Central Park is to have a fancy brunch or lunch at the Loeb Boathouse. Want a peek into some cool and quirky history? Ask if you can see the Loeb Boathouse “Bird Registry”.
Empire State Building
The view at the top of the 102-story Empire State Building is incredible and definitely one of the most cool things to do in NYC. You can really see everything from the 86th floor, known as “The Main Deck”. Want to get the highest view of all? Go straight to the 102nd floor and take it all in. If you have some time to soak up a history lesson, take a stroll through their “Dare to Dream” Exhibit and learn about the construction of this man-made marvel. Do not forget to walk through the famous and illustrious art deco lobby.
Taste The Tourist Traps
There are many restaurants to visit when you are doing all these cool things in NYC. Magnolia Bakery’s cupcakes and banana pudding, Serendipity 3’s frozen hot chocolate, Carmine’s family-style Italian dining, Junior’s cheesecake and matzo ball soup, $1 New York style pizza from any location, Carlo’s Bakery outside of Times Square, and the classic street vendor “Dirty Water Hot Dog”. Some of these restaurants take reservations, but most are first come first serve. Do your research before you embark on all your excursions, and plan out the best times for when and where you should be for the best experience ever.
Yankees Game at Yankees Stadium
“Buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks. I don’t care if I ever get back”. Rooting for the “home team” is one cool thing to do in NYC. Visit the historic Yankee’s Stadium and take in a classic game of baseball.
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The Plaza Hotel
Are you a fan of “Eloise at The Plaza”? If you are not, then you should be. The Plaza, which used to be a hotel, is now filled with restaurants and shopping centers for the high society of NYC. One of the cool things to do in NYC at the Plaza is to schedule High Tea at the Hotel’s Palm Court. Besides being the setting for the beloved children’s books about the lovable rascal Eloise, it has also been featured in countless movies. Remember “Home Alone 2” anyone?
Home to 30 Rock, Radio City Music Hall, and the magnificent Christmas Tree we have all seen from the movie “Elf”. Guests can tour NBC studios, end up in a taping of the Today Show, or take on the shopping that surrounds Rockefeller Center. Just being in Rockefeller is one of the most cool things to do in NYC and can make any city-walker feel like they are in the middle of a metropolis.
Tip: Some people wait months to book a reservation. Plan ahead to ensure a spot where you want to stay.
One of the only pedestrian bridges in NYC and a beautiful one at that. A cool thing to do for any tourist ready to venture over to Brooklyn is to walk the Brooklyn Bridge. This is an iconic bridge that anyone with Instagram will want to capture in a photo. Die-hards should walk across and spend a moment at Brooklyn Bridge Park. The view of the bridge and relaxing atmosphere of the park make for a pleasant afternoon.
The National September 11th Memorial
This memorial pays tribute to all those who lost their lives during the September 11th terror attack. The twin reflecting pools sit where the twin towers once stood. The perimeter of the pools has the names inscribed of all the victims from the 2001 and 1993 attacks. The memorial is a powerful tribute and an important site for everyone to visit. Guests can arrive by taking the subway to the Oculus, a transit stop that was constructed to look like a child releasing a dove.
The Statue of Liberty
Oh Lady Liberty. She is one cool lady. Explore the historical side of NYC and pay a visit to the inspirational landmark. Some tourists will take a ferry to the island, a helicopter tour, or take a boat around the island. No matter which way, make sure to stop by and give her a wave.
There are so many cool things to do in NYC that you could make several trips out of it. Do yourself a favor and tackle all the tourist traps as soon as you can. Once you get a feel for the city, you can find what is waiting off the beaten path.
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