If you are one of those travelers who are trying to avoid the touristy parts or things to do in a city, you’ve come to the right place. If you don’t want to spend half a day in line to get to the Statue of Liberty or NYC museums, read on.
NYC is undoubtedly very resourceful when it comes to opportunities to explore and have a blast. Here are a few of them I got to experience in my first four months here:
- NYC Ferries – I get asked a lot what is my favorite thing about New York. And though it’s difficult to choose given so many options, I must say it’s the ferries. My place is seven minutes away from the pier and seven minutes from a potential “vacation”. Whenever I get on a ferry I get that feeling – wind in my hair and all worries left on the shore. If you’re visiting you can just use it as it’s public transportation to get from Manhattan to Brooklyn for instance. Get more details on the NYC Ferry here: https://www.ferry.nyc/. The trip is just 2.75 dollars and you need a separate ticket, you can’t use the metro card. And if you don’t want to spend that money you can always take the Staten Island Ferry which is free and offers you the best view of the Statue of Liberty.
- Governor’s Island – This is the summer go to spot for New Yorkers and it’s just a 15 minutes ferry ride away. There are no cars on this island. For such a small place there’s so much you can do: from riding a bicycle, watching art shows, free kayaking and even glamping. Sometimes they hold private parties which you can crash if you have the right friends like I did: https://kikiandthecity.com/index.php/2018/08/08/crashing-parties-on-an-island
- Coney Island – Since I moved to NY in the beginning of the summer I tried to get opinions on what the best NYC beaches are. The majority of the votes went to Rockaway beach, but I will not talk about it yet as Coney Island has become my favorite of the two. I feel that Coney Island exerts stronger feelings in people – either they like it a lot or they consider it one of the places you need to visit once in a lifetime. I can understand both the former and the latter. This is a place where you feel like you’ve somehow stepped into the past – check out their amusement park – Luna Park. Their most famous attraction – the Cyclone dates back from 91 years ago. Coney Island, which is actually a peninsula, is also host to the original Nathan’s Famous – which is the oldest hot dog joint in NYC. To be honest the hotdog is pretty disappointing, but the beer is good. It’s pretty easy to reach Coney Island from Manhattan – just hop on the Q line and you’ll be there in less than an hour. – https://coneyislandfunguide.com/
- The Highline has become more and more popular since its opening in 2009. If you haven’t heard about it yet, this is a public park built on a historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side. It’s free to visit and open until 11PM during summer time – you’ll find all the details here: https://www.thehighline.org/visit/
- Free Kayaking in NYC – this city might be expensive, but there are many things that you can do for free or for a small price. There are several spots across New York where you can try it out and enjoy the amazing skyline (if you’re willing to wait in line – for maybe one hour). I would say it’s worth it if you’re with friends – https://www.timeout.com/newyork/things-to-do/free-kayaking-in-new-york-where-to-kayak-on-the-nyc-waterways
- Broadway Lotteries – I watched my first Broadway play back in January and I was amazed. My friend bought tickets to Kinky Boots and we had such a great time. So when I moved to NY and was searching for the tips and tricks on how to get cheaper tickets to the shows. That’s how I found that there are Broadway lotteries where you can play and if you win you get the chance to buy tickets at discounted prices – lower thatn the lowest you can get at the ticket offices. So I downloaded the apps – one is called Broadway Lottery and the other one is dedicated to the famous Hamilton musical – the Hamilton App. By now I won both of them. With the first one I got tickets for 40 dollars for Escape to Margaritaville and then on the now memorable day of 25thof August I won the Hamilton one which allowed me to see the show for only 10 dollars a ticket – isn’t that amazing? Read the story here: https://kikiandthecity.com/index.php/2018/08/26/how-does-a-rainbow-bagel-turn-into-hamilton/
- Hillsong Church – there were plenty of things that used to fascinate me in American movies when I was little. One of them was listening to Gospel music. This was so different from the sad and gloomy atmosphere of Romanian church service. So looking into this, I found that about this church where apparently Justin Bieber is a believer…or is that a belieber?:) You can check my story here: https://kikiandthecity.com/index.php/2018/07/23/nyc-has-it-all-including-a-hipster-church/
- Sofar Sounds -this is a very cool concept for concerts – you buy the ticket and they reveal the location after that. When you get there you’re met by a cosy atmosphere and the feeling that you just arrived at a friends house, a friend who is very popular – because the location I went to could fit maybe 70-100 people. You sit on the floor on pillows, bring your own drink, socialize and enjoy the music of young alternative artists. And if you wine bottle opener breaks this becomes a good excuse to meet the people sitting next to you. I hope you get to enjoy one of these – https://www.sofarsounds.com/
- Cable car Roosevelt Island – this city literally has all means of transportation. My second favorite thing next to ferries is taking the cable car to Roosevelt Island – I’ve already done that three times by now and I will probably take everyone who comes visit. Here is my fantasy story around this modern fairytale place: https://kikiandthecity.com/index.php/2018/07/08/i-think-this-is-the-beginning-of-a-beautiful/
- Coldspring – It was about time I took a trip outside the Big Apple. Other than visiting my friends in New Jersey, I hadn’t been anywhere else since I arrived here.19thof August is a special day and so it was this year too. Me and two other friends decided to go on a day trip to what is called Upstate New York, more specifically the mountain quaint little village of Coldspring. It’s only one hour and fifteen minutes away from the Grand Central Terminal and it cost 30 dollars for a return ticket. It’s a perfect place for a one day trip where you can enjoy fresh air, hikes and kayaking in a silence you never get to experience in the city. https://trip101.com/article/things-to-do-cold-spring-ny