Although you may have your day agenda in New York City all ready to go, don't miss out on some lesser-known alternative ideas, from Brooklyn to the Bronx to Manhattan. Here are just five things you might want to explore, as an introduction to all that NYC has to offer.
1. Check out an antiques or artisan market
NYC flea markets are great places to score the city's unique vintage items. I’m sure a lot of the days are dedicated to shopping when visiting, so why not stop by a couple of flea markets along the way, such as Hell's Kitchen Flea or Chelsea Flea Market? You might end up scoring some sweet antiques or other vintage items. On the East Side, the Manhattan Art & Antiques Center is is the largest center of its kind in the country, boasting 100 galleries and three full floors filled with antiques, fine art, decorations, silver, and jewelry. For amazing artisanal arts, crafts, and jewelry, every Sunday the Upper West Side is home to Grand Bazaar NYC.
2. Walk the Brooklyn Bridge in the morning
Bring a bottle of water, your camera, a great companion or two, and make a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge your first priority of the day. The Brooklyn Bridge is a hugely popular attraction for visitors, as it has been a landmark since the 1880s. You'll find fewer people walking the bridge in the morning, which is a plus; you'll also have the sun at your back.
3. Spend a day at the Bronx Zoo
What is a better way to spend the day than visiting the world-renowned Bronx Zoo and all the animals it holds? The zoo is open from 10am to 5pm during the weekdays and from 10am to 5.30pm on the weekends; you'll get to se see tigers, monkeys, partake in a Treetop Adventure, you name it! The zoo is one of the biggest zoos in the world and it is a lot of fun for kids, as well as adults!
4. Check out the Whitney
There are a lot of museums in New York City. One of the more popular ones, and one you shouldn’t miss out on, is The Whitney Museum of American Art, open from 10:30am to 6pm Sunday to Thursday and from 10:30am to 10pm Friday and Saturday. Founded in 1931, but recently moved to a super-modern new spot near the Meatpacking District, you'll want to set aside several hours; there's a lot to see. Now through Oct. 23: Calder: Hypermobility, celebrating movement and sound in the work of artist Alexander Calder.
5. Stop and smell the flowers at Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Hibiscus-Lord Baltimore, at Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Put on some great walking shoes, bring a coffee and some water, and take in the beautiful views that the Brooklyn Botanic Garden offers. It is $15 for adults, $8 for seniors, and free for kids under 12 years. If you enjoy a quiet stroll through some greenery this might be perfect for you. The garden is open from 8am to 6pm Monday through Friday and from 10am to 6pm on the weekends. Coming up on October 1, check out the garden's 25th annual Chile Pepper Festival.
About the author: Nina is the Engagement and Corporate Communications Analyst for RentHop, a national apartment rental site based in New York City. She moved overseas from Norway three years ago and has since been living and working as an expat in New York, enjoying everything the city has to offer.