Things to do in New York City
by Daniel | Last Updated June 21st, 2019
New York City is one of the most famous cities in the world (and one of the most popular travel destinations).
It is a place where you can go to experience nearly anything that your heart desires. And It has everything you would expect to find in a world-renowned city, from some of the most magnificent hotels and restaurants to some one-of-a-kind entertainment venues.
New York City is truly a city that doesn't sleep.
Really, the biggest problem with New York City is that it can be overwhelming trying to figure out just where to go and what to do next. It can take months to finalize your plans because it takes that long to narrow down all of the options that are available.
This article will help you take a more focused approach. You can get some of the essentials taken care of knowing that you will be in good hands for both room and board and food.
Since it is a major international city, New York City has an extraordinary number of hotels for the millions of people who visit the city every year. Finding the right accommodations can be an incredibly tricky and time-consuming endeavor – particularly if you don’t know exactly what you are looking for.
We’ve done some digging, and here are the names of some of the hotels that have consistently scored well with visitors. These hotels also provide you with a wonderfully enjoyable and relaxing place so that you can unwind after each day of working or enjoying the city.
Crosby Hotel (Nolita)
If you are planning to enjoy the famous SoHo area, the Crosby Hotel will be the perfect place for relaxing and unwinding.
Decorated in a contemporary style, every room has a quiet elegance that is very inviting.
Just exploring the different rooms can be a unique experience, and you definitely won’t have to worry about what to do on a rainy day:
The Crosby Bar is a gorgeous area where guests can eat, drink, and chat.
A private garden provides a place for people to escape and reflect on their day.
If you prefer a nice quiet area inside, there is an elegantly designed drawing-room.
On rainy days or when it is uncomfortable outside, there is a screening room and a gym to keep you happily occupied indoors.
For those who are looking for a great place to stay for business, there are a number of stylishly decorated rooms for meetings and events.
Located in the heart of the Lower East Side, checking into this hotel not only gives you the comfort of a luxury hotel, it gives you a stunning view of Manhattan. In addition to the artistic history of this area of New York City, you will notice the details that the hotel has added to create an aesthetically pleasing and inspirational atmosphere in every room.
You can walk through the different rooms – including your own – and see just how much of a role art has played in creating a place where you can really feel truly comfortable and mentally stimulated.
One of the unique aspects of this hotel is the gallery. Not only can you enjoy the aesthetics of the rooms, but you can also go view the L.E.S. Tribute Mural and other pieces of artwork in the gallery.
If you want information about New York City and its sights, this is definitely the hotel for you.
It isn’t just about looking good either, the hotel Indigo rooftop has a bar and pool so you can enjoy your evenings as much as your days. The bar is called Mr. Purple, and it is definitely something that should be on your list of places to see while you are in town.
The Lowell New York
Also located in the Upper East Side, the Lowell Hotel enjoys a much more classical beauty than many of the other options.
The hotel features marble floors and comfortable, stylish seating in the lobby and other public spaces in the hotel. It is often ranked as one of the best hotels in New York because of the luxury, but the building also has a long and unique history.
The doors first opened in 1927, and the architecture reveals the splendor and elegance of the Roaring 20s. Surrounding the beautiful building are some of the most iconic neighborhoods in the city. You can easily plan to spend your days visiting Madison Avenue and Central Park knowing that you won’t have to go far when you are ready to relax and prepare for the next adventure.
Such an elegant and historic building comes with a lot of both traditional and modern amenities. As one of the few hotels in New York with a wood-burning fireplace, you can sit by a fire and feel a comfortable sense of nostalgia or peace during those cold days.
On warm days, you can enjoy everything the city has to offer and come back to relax. In the evenings, enjoy some fantastic seasonal cuisine at the hotel restaurant, Majorelle, or enjoy the nightlife at Jacques Bar.
Everything about the Mark Hotel is lavish. From the luxurious suite with sophisticated comfort to the amenities and surrounding area the Mark has something for everyone.
Naturally, the hotel includes a fantastic restaurant and bar for you to enjoy in the morning and evening, but they have so much more. Check out The Mark Experience that includes an entire list of things to do, such as getting your hair styled and places to shop. They even have a fragrance to remind you of your time in this amazing hotel.
While it does have an appealing appearance, children are very welcome at The Mark. Most hotels strive to bring in adults, but The Mark wants your kids to have just as much fun as you have.
So much so that they have put together an entire kit of activities just so your kids can enjoy their time in the hotel playing cards, coloring, or putting together puzzles.
The hotel has a list of nearby activities that your children can enjoy, especially Central Park.
The Plaza New York
The Upper East Side is packed full of great hotels, but the Plaza is different from the rest of the hotels in the area.
The doors to the hotel first opened in 1907, which means you get to have a unique experience of historical beauty with modern luxuries. The Plaza is world-renowned and is the place where many world leaders and industry heads choose to stay when they are in the city.
Even if you don’t plan to stay here, you should plan to stop by and enjoy the culinary arts and comfort that they have to offer.
The Palm Court serves some of the best breakfasts you will find, and they have some of the best evening snacks to round out your day. You can look out over Central Park while enjoying a relaxing cup of tea when you are taking a break from shopping or enjoying the other amusements of the city.
New York City Restaurants
If you find yourself out on the town or simply aren’t interested in staying in the hotel for meals, you have a wealth of options. To help you narrow down the search for some great food, here are a few of the places we recommend.
Tim Ho Wan
When you go to New York City, you expect to find some great food from anywhere and everywhere in the world. This is particularly true of the incredibly popular Dim Sum.
For some of the best Dim Sum in New York, you should try Tim Ho Wan. A chain that originated in Hong Kong, Tim Ho Wan has authentic Dim Sum that is like no other.
In 2010, it won the Michelin star, officially becoming the most inexpensive Michelin starred restaurant in the world.
Little Collins NYC
If you are looking for something that will give you a taste of some of the best dining in Australia, Little Collins cafe should definitely be on your list of places to eat.
Just walking into the café is like walking into a restaurant in Australia. From the environment to the food, everything is inspired by the typical Australian cuisine.
Enjoy a scrumptious breakfast or step in for a coffee and escape from the world for a while.
Jack’s Wife Freda
With a unique name and an interesting history, this is a place for any romantic to visit. With locations in Soho, West Village, and Chelsea, you can stop by one of these charming little restaurants for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or drinks.
Make sure to ask about the name while you are there. It’s a touching tale that will make you want to return to enjoy the cozy atmosphere with a little more appreciation for what went into the making of this great restaurant.
Polo Bar NYC
Founded by the famous designer Ralph Lauren, the Polo Bar has the kind of food that gives you the authentic classic New York City dining experience.
With higher-end food and drinks, you can dine on some amazing cuisine unlike anywhere else in the world.
You will need to make a reservation, so plan ahead if you want to enjoy luxury dining at its best.
La Esquina (SOHO)
The original La Esquina, located in Soho, is a completely unique dining experience. You can get some of the best Mexican cuisine in New York.
It is often crowded, so you may want to build in a bit of time waiting to be seated, but it is well worth the wait to taste this incredibly scrumptious and delicious food.
For those looking for a quick dining experience, your best bet is the taqueria upstairs. For a real delight, go to the brasserie downstairs – it is a meal you aren’t likely to forget any time soon.
There is so much to do in New York City that it is entirely understandable if you aren’t sure where to begin.
In addition to the activities everyone knows they want to do (like visit the Statue of Liberty, watch a play on Broadway or go to a museum), here are a few places you can go to enjoy your time in the city.
If you are planning on being on the upper east side for even part of a day, you should plan to visit the nearly unrivaled Frick museum collection of masterpieces.
You will definitely want to check out the exhibits before you go so you can get a feel for the kind of artwork that will be on display when you visit.
With a wealth of exhibits passing through the museum each year, it is well worth at least a few hours (if not a few days) to immerse yourself in some inspiring works from ages past, as well as some from today’s forward-thinking artists.
The best way to know about a destination is to let them describe themselves: “A rugged clandestine colonial American tavern restaurant, inspired by the Old World tradition.”
They have done a lot to create a real old-world feel as well. Located in an alley, you can truly escape from the rigors of today without giving up the conveniences of today.
It's a great restaurant tucked into a little alley, giving you the feeling of being removed from it all. It is the kind of place where real New Yorkers go, so you are likely to meet more locals than in many of the places typically recommended to tourists.
You should plan to visit at least once during the day to check out the graffiti decorating the alley. Decorating is the right word because a lot of people stop to take pictures in the alley as a way of catching some of the really authentic New York experience.
If you want to do something a little more peaceful, consider stopping by Greenfingers.
It is a shop that originated in Japan and a place where you can find a lot of different kinds of gifts and souvenirs. They are best known for their plants and lifestyle products, but you can escape the rest of the city in this comfortable little shop.
If you want something unique to bring home or just want a bit of quiet time to browse, stop by here for a unique gift for family and friends.
If your plans to visit New York City will take you to East Village, this is definitely a location you should visit. It is the kind of store that you can only find in New York – a design store with artistic souvenirs and goods that you won’t find anywhere else in the world.
Even the playing cards are visually appealing, giving you something to really look at when you play cards.
Everything in the shop is stylish and artistic. There will be no mistaking where you bought it a decade or two down the road, giving you a purchase you will likely use for years to come.
Top of the Rock
Central Park is definitely a place where everyone who visits New York City should visit, but if you want a really spectacular view of the world-famous park and also the Empire State Building, visit Top of the Rock.
Located at the top of Rockefeller Plaza, Top of the Rock is an observation deck where you can get a completely unique view of the city. You can get some selfies or panorama pictures that you can use as your computer wallpaper after you return home.
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My name is Daniel and I am a full-time world traveler and constantly on the move.