5 Cool Things to Do in NYC a Bit More off the Beaten Path
New York City. It’s one of the greatest travel destinations in the world. Every year, millions of people come to the Big Apple to visit the famous sites and attend one-of-a-kind special events. Visiting New York City for the first time, of course there are certain things you’re going to want to check off your list: the Empire State Building, Times Square, Rockefeller Center, a Broadway show, Wall Street, the High Line, and a visit to the Met. When you get here, you’re going to see and do it all, baby!
But what happens when you’ve exhausted those main tourists attractions? What do you do on your fifth or even eleventh trip to NYC? While this list is in no way conclusive (let’s be honest, you could never do everything in NYC, there’s just too much!) here are five awesome things to do in the Big Apple that you should definitely check out on your next visit or even if you’ve lived in the city for decades. Some are a little more well known, some a bit more off the beaten path, but all are a pretty good time.
1. Skyline views at the Mandarin Oriental and Wythe Hotel:
One thing that everybody loves is a great Manhattan skyline. I’ve lived in New York City for over 10 years and it never ever gets old. I’d like to share two awesome and very different views of the city that everyone should check out. The Mandarin Oriental is located right in Columbus Circle with unreal sights overlooking Central Park. Wythe Hotel is located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, with one of the best sweeping views of Manhattan you’ll ever see. Both hotels have bars that anyone can frequent, and at certain times are completely free. Just take the elevators up and you’ll be on top of the world!
2. Comedy Commune and Secret Loft Show:
New York City is no stranger to comedy. There’s endless comedy clubs, theaters and shows to catch where you’re able to check out some of the funniest people in the world. While you can read about most comedy clubs, I’d like to highlight two specific shows here that you’re not likely to find in your typical New York City guidebook. They are Comedy Commune and The Secret Loft Show. Both are stand-up comedy events that take place in hip Brooklyn apartments constructed in old warehouses that have been converted into loft style living spaces. Both are incredibly cheap to attend, and if you check out either one, you’re bound to see some of the best comedians in the world working out new bits in some of the most unique performance spaces around.
Comedy Commune - https://www.facebook.com/comedycommuneNYC/
Secret Loft Show - https://www.facebook.com/SecretLoft/
3. Pier 62 Skatepark at Chelsea Piers and LES Coleman Skatepark:
New York City is home to some of the best skateboarders in the world. If the weather is decent outside, check out these two skateparks, where you can find some of the greatest skate wizards and innovators in the sport sliding down rails and catching airs that will make your eyes pop. Pier 62 Skatepark is filled with huge pools and bowls, while LES Park houses completely different terrain and more of a flat land trickster’s dream with ledges, staircases and gaps galore. Even if you don’t skateboard, it’s totally worth checking out. These guys and gals are so good, you’ll definitely be wowed. You’ll see some of the sports’ top athletes push the limits and define what it means to skateboard at these parks. Each park also holds skate competitions and events that are for sure worth checking out.
4. Train ride to Cold Spring, New York:
This is a must do for anyone visiting New York city or for anyone who lives in the concrete jungle and hasn’t had a chance to go outdoors recently. Located about 60 miles north of the city, Cold Spring is a small town right on the Hudson River, and it’s as quaint and cute as any town in America. It’s got ice cream shops, knick-knack stores, outdoor stores, art shops, all the charm you could ask for. Grabbing a coffee and walking around this town is second to none. There’s also incredible hiking all around the area. For me, the train ride is what really sets this adventure over the top. The town itself is amazing, but getting there is just as sweet. The Metro North commuter train from Grand Central takes about an hour and 20 minutes, and once you travel north out of the city, after about 15 minutes or so, you cruise right alongside the Hudson River all the way to Cold Spring. It’s got unreal views and it’s one of the most incredible and awesome experiences I’ve ever had.
5. Walk around midtown Manhattan at 2 a.m. on a weekday night:
This is another one of my absolute favorite things to do in New York City that a lot of people might not think to do. Everybody knows about Manhattan during the daytime with it’s rushing pedestrians, honking cars and crazy sights and smells everywhere, but walk around midtown after midnight on a weekday and you’ll see a vastly different place. You’ll see garbage collectors and street cleaners, fruit and hotdog vendors still about, employees stocking store shelves and restaurants getting ready to open for the next day. You’ll see this city in a way you never imagined and it’s totally awesome. I particularly like to stroll around 50th-59th streets between 2nd Avenue and 6th Avenue. It’s pretty wild walking down Fifth Avenue with just a few people. A very rad experience for sure.