New York City was hit early and hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. The city shut down in March 2020, and in many ways, has remained closed since then.
The city is starting to see signs of life once again, however, and it may be the case that 2021 is one of the most compelling times to see the city.
The following are some of the biggest reasons to visit New York in 2021.
It Can Give You a Taste of Global Travel
While there are multiple COVID-19 vaccines available right now, the rollout in the U.S. has been faster than it has been in several other places around the world. Many countries still have their borders closed to incoming or outgoing travel.
That means you might not be able to see the world right now, but in many ways, New York can feel like you are seeing a bit of the world without having to even know another language, although, of course, 20% of the global population speaks English.
The reason New York can feel like you’re leaving the U.S. is that there is so much diversity represented in the city, from the food and restaurants to the interactions with people you’ll have around every corner.
If you’re dying to get some international travel in but can’t just yet, New York can fill that desire a bit.
New York Ended Its Domestic Quarantine Policy
In the summer of 2020, New York introduced a travel quarantine policy. Before April 1, 2021, if you went to visit New York, you would have to quarantine for 10 days or quarantine for four days, get tested, and then you could be released if your test result was negative.
New York ended their domestic quarantine requirement as of April 1, 2021, however, making it simpler to travel there.
Get the City to Yourself
While New York is starting to reawaken after a long slumber, and there is a significant easing on restrictions, such as indoor dining, it’s still quiet here. There aren’t nearly as many tourists or people on the streets as there would have been pre-COVID.
That can be a good thing.
It allows you to experience the city in a very different way.
Before COVID, visiting New York was of course, still magical, but it was also hectic. If you visited the tourist areas, you could face long lines and extreme foot and car traffic.
It could take hours to get from one part of the city to the other.
While a lot of residents have started returning to New York after leaving during the pandemic, a lot of them are still working from home, and companies aren’t yet recalling employees to the office.
All in all, what you get right now is a different experience than any other time visiting New York.
You can savor the sights without the crowds and take in everything New York has to offer in a much quieter way.
For example, you can stroll in Central Park or go to the top of the Empire State Building and soak it all in.
Going now, before New York fully reopens, could give you the chance to have the most meaningful trip to New York.
There are also a lot of things that you can do in the city that aren’t impacted by shutdowns at all, like walking across the Brooklyn Bridge or shopping the Brooklyn Flea.
Of course, there are things that you won’t be able to do for the time being, too, like going to a Broadway show, so you’ll have to weigh the pros and cons.
You Might Find a Deal
Typically, New York is a very expensive city to visit. Everything from lodging to food is among the highest in the country and even the world for visitors.
Right now, with the tourist and hospitality industries hurting so badly, however, you might be able to find a great deal.
You could stay in a luxury hotel for a fraction of the price of what it would normally be, for example, or you might be able to afford that dream room upgrade to a suite.
Take some time and browse online and see what deals are out there for you.
Take Advantage of Outdoor Dining
New York restaurants were forced to get creative last year and into 2021 because of the pandemic. Indoor dining was closed down for most of the year, while outdoor dining was permitted.
That meant that many New York restaurants have introduced exciting outdoor dining concepts, and this spring and summer could be the perfect time to take advantage.
For example, head to Le Bain & The Rooftop, which is on top of The Standard, High Line hotel. You’ll have views of the Hudson River and skyline, and the grass-covered terrace is a beautiful place to get appetizers and drinks.
Tribeca’s Kitchen is an exciting neighborhood restaurant that just opened in February 2021, and as such, has made a beautiful outdoor dining setting.
Cantina Rooftop is in Hell’s Kitchen and has skyline views and a great patio.
Katana Kitchen is in the West Village, and it’ll catch your eye because the restaurant set up tents outside for diners.
Another great outdoor dining concept is at the Greens at Pier 17. It’s been a hit on Instagram with greenhouse-style dining.
Restaurant owners have really gone above and beyond to stay current on safety and health while still being creative and offering the dining experiences the city is known for.
Finally, another reason to visit New York in 2021 is to support the city and the people who live and work there. It’s a great time to support the tourism industry in the city, which has been badly damaged by the pandemic. You can be part of helping it get back up and running again this year.