We’ll go to Coney, and eat bologna on a roll… sang Ella Fitzgerald nearly 100 years ago. Coney Island is New York City’s premier boardwalk and amusement park located in the most up-and-coming borough, Brooklyn. Development of the famous boardwalk began in the early 1900’s. Since then, it has been a host to thousands upon thousands of amazing events in addition to the famous rides like The Cyclone and restaurants like the first ever Nathan’s hot dog stand. Coney Island not only offers a plethora of history but beaches, games, and food that people of all ages will love and enjoy.
The Staten Island Ferry
This ever-popular boat ride in New York City earns its popularity for quite a few reasons. The route across the New York Harbor has been in use since the 18th century, serving as a ferry service between the two islands for various owners until it was obtained by New York City’s Department of Docks and Ferries in 1905. The ferry carries over 21 million passengers annually and the ride takes approximately 30 minutes each why. Why is this a hotspot attraction? The Staten Island Ferry offers amazing views of the Lower Manhattan Skyline (including the World Trade Center), the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island. And the best part? It’s completely free.
One World Observatory
This fairly new attraction in New York City provides a panoramic view of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and New Jersey. Observers are taken up in the Sky Pod elevator, where you can watch New York literally from the ground up and get a breathtaking look at landmarks like The Empire State Building, The Statue of Liberty, and New York Harbor. While in the observatory, you can rent an iPad to zoom in on landmarks in the horizon and get more detailed information, grab a One World t-shirt, or have a custom photo taken to capture your moment above the city.
Bronx Zoo Wildlife Conservation Society
This world-famous zoo is home to gorillas and snow leopards and polar bears, oh my! Jam-packed with fun activities like a 4-D theater experience, butterfly garden, and Wild Asia monorail, everyone has a place at the Bronx Zoo. Originally named the Bronx Zoological Park, the conservatory first opened its doors to the public on November 8th, 1899. The property of the zoo extends far and wide, making for an entire day of meeting animals and workers to gain a well-rounded zoo experience. Another great perk of the park is that general admission is free on Wednesdays!
Jekyll and Hyde Club
Based upon a word of British classic literature, this themed restaurant is unique to New York, giving those who go a spooky and exciting experience. The restaurant emphasizes English Gothic themes, making diners feel like they’ve stepped into a novel from the 19th century. What’s most exciting about Jekyll and Hyde is the live actors who wander the restaurant to entertain patrons. While enjoying your meal, you may get a visit from the creepy mortician Jervis or the frightfully odd Gertrude K. Book. These characters are the guests’ link to the club’s history, and they even induct new members into the club right at the table. To step into a wholly immersive and fun dining experience, a trip to Jekyll and Hyde is an absolute must.
Possibly the most aesthetically pleasing bit of New York City, the Cloisters Middle Ages Museum feels like a time machine into the past. This extension of the Met Museum of Art is set in a park overlooking the Hudson River, housing the Met’s medieval art collections. It was built in the 1930’s but it certainly feels older as it was created using material from five French cloisters. A wholly historical and peaceful atmosphere makes for a day in medieval paradise.
This former Nabisco factory is now home of one of the trendiest food courts in the country! This food market is a chameleon like location with its constantly changing food and drink options like the oyster-and-seafood bar and the Corkbuzz Wine Studio. Also available for pickings at Chelsea Market are vendors such as Posman Books, Anthropologie for your fancier side, and local artists and creators. This happening market is a jump away from the High Line Park and the nightlife of the Meatpacking District, making it an essential destination in any New York trip.
Madame Tussauds New York
Have you ever met a celebrity? Would you like to make your friends think you ran into Taylor Swift in New York City? Madame Tussauds is the place to do just that. This pop-culture themed museum is the homage to Madame Tussaud, who created wax figures in Europe in the late 18th century, immortalizing figures from the French revolution. Now her legacy lives on all over the world, but no other can compare with New York’s 5-story wax museum in Times Square. You can pose for pictures with the 200-plus wax figures, imitating figures in music, Hollywood, sports, and even politics. Incredibly, each wax figure costs a monumental $300,000 to create!
The Circle Line
One of the most popular ways to learn about New York City is by taking a trip on The Circle Line. Offering 9 different types of cruises, including a “Best of” cruise, a Brooklyn-inclusive cruise, and the Liberty Cruise, the multi-hour boat rides feature a full guided tour of Manhattan from the water. The cruise first set sail in 1945, and still operates today as a must-do for many NYC visitors. The Circle Line is one of the only cruise companies in the New York Harbor that is specifically dedicated to sightseeing, with boats designed to give passengers optimal views of Manhattan, all year round.
The New York Water Taxi
An accessible water tour of New York can offer visitors a unique view of various different paths in the New York Harbor. The New York Water Taxi offers many services, one of which includes a day pass that travels around Lower Manhattan and DUMBO, in addition to admission to the National September 11 Memorial and Museum. They also offer seasonal cruises like Fall Foliage, Summer EcoCruises, and, Audubon Winter. The taxis dock at different spots all over Manhattan, including but not limited to the Wall Street Ferry Pier and Christopher Street, Pier 45, making the New York Water Taxi easy to get to and enjoy!