The world’s most famous city has a tourist to-do list longer than the east coast, but for those returning to New York City, or who like to go off the beaten path a little bit, there are plenty of local adventures that await once you’re finished with the top attractions.
So once you’ve ticked off The Statue of Liberty, Times Square, Central Park and everything else the guide books list for you, why not check out some of these more hidden gems throughout the city?
Hidden Gems of New York City
Hudson River Park
Central Park gets all the attention in NYC, and this is where all first time visitors go. But if you’re looking for a nice walk along the beautiful settings of the river, make a beeline for Hudson River Park.
Hudson River Park is the longest riverfront park in the United States, and they’ve done an incredible job of transforming four miles of decaying piers and parking lots along Manhattan’s West side into a beloved, urban recreational paradise.
The park is a favorite among locals and visitors alike, and they host many fun events throughout the yea, from outdoor movies to fun runs.
This park was the first waterfront park in the States, and has since been the inspiration for numerous waterfront parks, city- and nation-wide.
The Ghostbusters’ Firehouse
Any fans of the hit 80’s film Ghostbusters should take some time out to drop by this firehouse. There are many famous TV and film locations throughout the city, though this one is a little more hidden.
Firehouse, Hook & Ladder Company 8 is the iconic fire station from 1984 classic, and while hidden on the corner of North Moore and Varick Street in Tribeca, fans will instantly recognize it’s unique exterior.
Still in use as a working fire station, don’t expect to see their Ecto-1 parked in the garage! If the doors are open you can, however see a number of Ghostbusters signs that are hung up.
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Aire Ancient Baths
After a long day of sightseeing, why not pamper yourself in Aire Ancient Baths. Located in what was once an 1883 textile factory, the AIRE experience focuses on Roman, Greek and Ottoman traditions to transport you back to ancient times.
The stunning building alone is worth the trip but the thermal baths and massage treatments, along with the holistic rituals they have brought back to life will help you enter a state of deep relaxation.
Their ancient thermal bath is a signature experience; a tour through baths at different temperatures: the Caldarium (Hot Bath 102ºF), the Frigidarium (Cold Bath 57ºF and Ice Bath 50ºF), the Tepidarium (Warm Bath 97ºF), the Balneum (the One Thousand Jets baths) and the Laconicum (Steam Room).
During your visit you can also access the relaxation area to rest on warm marble stone and refresh yourself with some cold water or enjoy our special selection of AIRE tea.
Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club
If you fancy a fun night out in NYC but without going to the usual haunts, give The Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club a whirl. Set up like a cruise ship deck, there are a number of shuffleboard courts, and a great drinks menu.
It’s said that shuffleboard takes 2 minutes to learn and a lifetime to master. And that’s without taking into account your mai tai consumption! But if you’ve never played, it’s a pretty hard sport to be bad at to be honest!
Everybody gets a lesson from their Royal Palms crew member the minute they land on the courts and you’ll be pushing biscuits in no time.
Courts are $40 and are rented on a first-come, first-served basis. They always keep a number of courts available for walk-ins and if there’s a line, they limit play to one hour per party to try to get as many people on the courts as possible.
Brooklyn Bridge … From the Water
Of all the things to do in Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Bridge is an iconic New York City must-see, and tourists from around the world flock to walk across the 134-year old connection between Brooklyn and Manhattan.
Featured in countless movies and television shows, the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the most recognizable bridges in both the pop-culture and engineering world. So what’s it doing on a list full of hidden gems in NYC?
While walking, biking or driving across the bridge offers an amazing view of the river and towering suspension works, sailing underneath gives a whole new appreciation for the engineering behind this gargantuan span, and this is a view that not many people think to go for.
Image: Daniel X. O’Neil CC BY 2.0 via Flickr
The Met Cloisters
The Met Cloisters are a lesser known NYC attraction. Located along the Hudson River in Northern Manhattan, the Cloisters are a tribute to medieval European architecture, with rebuilt French abbeys, Gothic architecture, and gardens spanning over four acres of land.
The Cloisters are considered an offshoot of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. While touring the Cloisters by foot can be a unique, immersive experience, removing yourself and viewing the expanse from the water is breathtaking.
If you’re planning a trip to NYC make sure you have all of your documents in order and apply for ESTA visa well ahead of time for permission to enter the United States. It usually takes around 72 hours to get your confirmation.
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