13 May 2021 Travel Inspiration

An Alternative Guide to New York (12 Things to Do and See)

Start spreading the news, because New York isn’t just about the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building and Times Square. There’s another side to this majestic city that’s well worth your attention. So we’re inviting you to join us as we discover the Big Apple from a different perspective. Here’s our alternative guide to New York. 🚕

Sunset Park 🌳

Instead of walking around Central Park, why not head to Sunset Park and appreciate that world-famous Manhattan skyline from a different angle? The South Brooklyn park offers you the chance to go on a scenic stroll and take in the sweeping skyline views from its highest points. Look at New York through an entirely different lens.

Head to one of the alternative markets 👚

Sure, New York is all about world-famous shopping along 5th Avenue. But there are many markets throughout the city where you can find a gem or two and shop like the locals. Go for a wander around Chelsea Market, a refurbished warehouse with designer shops, clothes stores, bars and restaurants.

The Color Factory 🎈

An interactive and multi-sensory experience, you say? That definitely sounds like an alternative attraction in New York to us. The Color Factory also happens to be a great day out for you to embrace the big kid in you thanks to its life-size flow charts, edible treats and spearmint-coloured ball pit. It’s even open until late at night, so there’s a smaller chance of kids being around.

The museums you don’t hear about 🎨

Head to the Brooklyn Museum to find sprawling collections of world art, including works from feminist artists found in the permanent collections. Or pay a visit to the New Museum on Bowery, which curates thought-provoking group shows on gender expression and solo exhibitions by exciting and contemporary artists.

Visit the Woolworth Building 🏛️

Once upon a time, the Woolworth Building was the tallest structure in the world. Opened in 1913 by President Woodrow Wilson, the neo-Gothic building was a marvel of the US. Today, it’s off-limits to the public. But you can still see its stunning marble facade and stained glass ceiling by booking a guided lobby tour which will get you close enough to sneak a peek.

Visit Flushing in Queens 🚕

Who needs Manhattan when you can experience the city like a true New Yorker? Flushing in Queens is home to the city’s largest Chinatown and has some seriously tasty Asian restaurants to sample. You’ll find more variety than in the Manhattan restaurants, and the whole experience of visiting Flushing is much less overwhelming.

Catacombs of St. Patrick’s Basilica ⛪

Underneath the Basilica of St. Patrick is where you will find catacombs. Once closed for many years, they’ve now been opened up to the public and give you the chance to see a tourist attraction that’s slightly different from the norm. Go on a candlelight tour and learn about the history of the Basilica.

Bushwick Street Art 🖌️

Get yourself down to the Bushwick and admire the amazing street art on offer. Thanks to The Bushwick Collective and other local muralists, the alleys and neighbourhoods have doubled up as street art landmarks where you can see fantastic work. Just make sure you take a few pics for the Gram.

Snug Harbor Cultural Center 🌳🌳🌳

What used to be a retirement home for ageing sailors is now a snazzy art centre and botanical garden. Snug Harbor Cultural Center features nine gardens, including a bamboo forest and koi ponds of the Chinese Scholar’s Garden. There’s also a maze of boxwoods to work your way out of. The Staten Island location means there aren’t as many tourists compared to other boroughs, so you can wander the gardens in relative peace and quiet.

The original underground to City Hall Station 🚆

Book a guided tour and discover the oldest underground station in New York. Walk in Lower Manhattan’s abandoned City Hall Station, which closed in 1945 because of dwindling passenger numbers. It only ran for 41 years before being shut down. A visit today is full of charm with dazzling brass chandeliers and glass skylights reflecting one of the city’s greatest eras.

Walk the High Line 🛤️

We’ll admit that the High Line is becoming more and more touristy by the day, but it’s still a great and relaxing New York experience – especially during the summer. The abandoned train tracks have been turned into a green space right in the heart of the city. Stroll along the 1.45 metre-long park and escape the hustle and bustle of the city below.

The Royal Tenenbaums house 🏠

If you’re a Wes Anderson fan, then get yourself down to Hamilton Heights, an area known for its stunning architecture. The home at the corner of 144th Street and Convent Avenue has its own folklore, as it used as the family home in The Royal Tenenbaums movie. The home is a private residence, but that doesn’t mean you can’t admire its beautiful exterior from the outside.

New York, New York

You can visit New York more than 100 times and still find something new to do. And if you’re looking to see another side of the city and visit places usually reserved for the locals, the suggestions on our list are a great starting point. From fantastic views to alternative art, embrace the quirks of New York from an alternative point of view.