Forget the Empire State – must visit alternative attractions in New York City
“Start spreading the news,” sang old Frank, leaving to be a part of New York City – one of the world’s most recognizable skylines, with the sights and attractions to match. Conservative estimates of visitor figures claim the city is drawing in around 65 million tourists each year, the vast majority of whom will naturally (and quite rightly) visit the most popular spots.
But what about the folks who’ve seen it all before? Maybe you’ve been several times? Maybe you’re not into crowds? Perhaps you just don’t like major tourist attractions? Whatever your motivation for straying off the beaten path, we’ve got you covered. Here we present just a few of the must-visit alternative attractions in New York City, but before we do, we’d like to share a valuable tip.
Abandoned City Hall Station/New York Transit Museum
There’s another New York built underneath the one that people see, a fascinating, historic, subterranean world that you can learn all about at the New York Transit Museum. While the museum itself is well worth a visit with their eclectic variety of public events, exhibitions, tours, and talks – the real highlight is exploring the beautiful abandoned City Hall Station – which dates back to 1904. You can see it from the downtown number six train from Brooklyn Bridge, but contact the museum if you actually want to stop there – you won’t be disappointed.
Brooklyn Bridge Park
The crowds will descend in their droves on Central Park and Brooklyn Bridge itself, so why not dodge the crush and head to the lesser-known Brooklyn Bridge Park? It’s a charming waterfront greenspace of around 85 acres that never feels overcrowded. With six piers offering different attractions, activities and cultural events, plus some of the best views of the bridge and to Manhattan beyond, it’s a great place to spend an afternoon with the family – or a peaceful stroll by yourself.
The High Line
It’s only a matter of time before the High Line is no longer included as part of the alternative attractions in New York – with blossoming popularity since the doors were first opened in 2009. It’s just under two miles of beautifully landscaped gardens, built to save a historic, raised railway track that was due for demolition. It’s a peaceful way to see the city from another perspective above the traffic as it transports you through Manhattan’s famous Meatpacking District. Such is its overwhelming success, that copycat projects are springing up all over the world.
New York Ghost Tours
Down through the years, these city streets have seen their fair share of gruesome and grisly events, tales of ghosts and ghouls, witchcraft and wizardry. If stones could talk, they might very well make your toes curl. Allow one of the many professional ghost walk operators to do the talking instead, and whisk you away on a spine-tingling night tour of New York that’s perfect for Halloween (or any time of year). And while you’re at it, pay a visit the Ghostbusters firehouse set from the much-loved 1984 movie in lower Manhattan. Much better than the Friends apartment, anyway.
The Woolworth Building
Opened in 1913, the lights of the Woolworth building were turned on by a switch flicked by then-President Woodrow Wilson – from the White House in Washington D.C. For a short time it was the tallest building in the world, but this decadent, neo-gothic behemoth dubbed “the Mozart of Skyscrapers” and “the Cathedral of Commerce” had all but been forgotten since the Woolworth company collapse in the 1990s. It’s off-limits to the general public, but it’s still possible to book a tour to witness the stunning marble staircase and breathtaking entrance lobby. Either that or you can fork out up to $30 million for a luxury apartment.
The House of Yes
This is a crazy, sexy and fun blog, so why not finish with a crazy, sexy and fun attraction? The House of Yes will be one of the most memorable nights out you will have spent in many a moon, a visual art dance party extravaganza with ariel and circus performers. Located at 2 Wyckoff Avenue, Brooklyn, this is a feast for the senses, with toe-tapping live music as a soundtrack for some thrilling and often bizarre theatrical cabaret. Do you want to experience the city that doesn’t sleep? This is a good place to start!
Be a Part of It…
Hopefully, this has whetted your appetite for more alternative attractions in New York City, because we’ve barely scratched the surface. There are some truly incredible things to see in this truly incredible town, and you should catch as many as possible. See them all before they become popular.
TIP: And if you get tired of exploring the NYC, you can pamper yourself relaxing in ancient baths 🙂