Just mention “New York” and what may come to mind is the iconic tourist sites such as the Empire State building, the Statue of Liberty and Central park. If you are looking to experience New York a little differently or even like a local then here are five places you should add to your New York itinerary.
1. High Line New York
The High line New York is a linear garden that spans about 1.6 km along the former West side rail line. It’s elevated gardens and walking path is a little oasis hidden within the skyscrapers of New York on the lower west side of Manhattan. It was first opened in 2009 and now boasts established gardens and great views on either side that you will be unable to get elsewhere. The well set out plantings may give you the feeling like you are walking in the air. Along the path there are art exhibits, food vendors, coffee and places to sit, rest and reflect on the city that never sleeps. The park is free to enter and is open from seven a.m to eleven p.m at night and hours may vary from season to season. Entrances can be found all along the path with end points at either Gansevoort Street or West 30th Street.
2. Brooklyn Heights Promenade
The Brooklyn Heights promenade is a platform situated above the busy Brooklyn – Queens expressway. The walk along the promenade is very romantic and the views of lower Manhattan are just magic. During the day there are Lemonade and ice-cream stands along the way and within the area you will find lot’s of restaurants and pizzeria’s. There is plenty of seating to admire the view in front and a lovely lush backdrop behind. The Promenade is a free public space.
3. Flushing Meadows – Corona Park
Flushing Meadows is one of the great parks of New York and home to two previous World Fairs. Often overlooked by tourists who prefer to spend their time in Manhattan, the Flushing Meadows park is full of endless activities and attractions. Here you will find wide open spaces, families having picnics, lakes for paddle boating, the US tennis open, the Art and Science museums, Queens zoo, golf and mini golf, sculptures and relics on the former site of the world’s fair, childrens carousel and playground, bike rentals and the botanical gardens. Be sure to be armed with a map as the park is huge.
4. Bronx Zoo
The Bronx Zoo is located in the Bronx and is the worlds largest metropolitan zoo. Home to over 6000 animals, the park itself is over 107 hectares and animal enclosures boast amazing re-creations of natural habitats. The exhibits include the Congo, the Bengali express monorail, Jungle world, Tiger mountain, Baboon reserve, Himalayan Highlands and the newly added Madagascar exhibit. Ensure that you get there early as you will need the whole day to explore the zoo. If you don’t like crowds then you may want to avoid Wednesdays as entry to the zoo is free and will be super busy.
5. Meat packing district
Not far from the High Line, in West Village is the meatpacking district. An area that originally served as a farmers market then a meat packing area until it’s decline in the 1970s, leaving many derelict buildings. During the late 1990s the area went through a transformation and resurged as New York’s most fashionable neighbourhood. The meatpacking district is popular with young professionals and here you will find high end boutiques, restaurants, bars and the Chelsea market.