The Local’s Guide to NYC
There are endless activities to experience in the city that never sleeps. Once you have seen the main attractions and done the tourist-y things, then it's time to go off the beaten path and discover the real New York City. You can feel like a local for a weekend with this top 10 Local's Guide to NYC.
- Stone Street: Stone Street is steeped in history. It is the oldest paved street in New York City and it is lined with historic buildings that have been converted into restaurants. On a beautiful day, it’s packed with outdoor seating on the cobblestone street. The atmosphere is a great place to get a bite and do some day-drinking. The atmosphere is always lively with locals getting outside and spending time with friends.
- Brooklyn Rooftop Farms: Many people do not realize there are farms on top of the Brooklyn buildings. You can take a tour of these organic farms and learn how they are creating greenspaces in one of the most crowded places in the US. You also can’t beat the views from the rooftops!
- Bushwick Street Art: Once you’ve gotten your fill of the classic NYC art museums, then head outside to explore the street art in Bushwick, Brooklyn. The art on the walls here is more than just graffiti, it makes a statement and inspires change. There are plenty of Instagram-worthy shots here, too.
- Historical Landmarks: Of course, there is the Statue of Liberty, but did you also know that George Washington was inaugurated in New York City? He was the only president to be inaugurated here before the capital was moved to Washington DC. Also, if you’re a fan of the popular Hamilton musical, then it would be worth it to check out the church where Alexander and Eliza Hamilton are buried.
- Catch a Game: Cheer on the NYC professional sports teams alongside the locals! New York has plenty of sports teams to choose from including baseball, basketball, football, and hockey. Even if you are not a huge sports fan, the atmosphere is always lively and energetic. You can get great food and drinks, and enjoy a good time.
- Greenacre Park: In the midst of the concrete jungle lies this quiet little park with a 25-foot waterfall and a café. There is no wifi, so it’s a great place to unplug and relax. This is a classic local favorite to escape the crowds.
- Thrift Shop in East Village: East Village is a hip and trendy section of New York City. There are plenty of thrift shops where you can find vintage items at bargain prices. You will always remember your trip to NYC if you bring home some unique pieces from the thrift store. Popular shops include Buffalo Exchange, L Train Vintage, AuH2O, Cure Thrift Shop, and Housing Works in SoHo.
- Smorgasburg: One of the best food festivals in NYC is Smorgasburg at Williamsburg’s East River Park. It happens every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from April to November. There are over 100 vendors where you can try an assortment of delicious food at great prices.
- Union Square Market: Pretend to be a local and walk around the market shopping for local fruits, vegetables, jams, flowers, and more. Grab items for a picnic and then head to a local park. You will feel right at home in NYC.
- Highline Park: This park is unique because it is elevated above the Manhattan streets on a historic freight rail line. It is a hybrid public space where you can enjoy nature, design, and art. There are plenty of food and drink vendors there, too!
Want a real local New Yorker to show you around?
If you wish you had a friend in New York City to show you around, well now you do! The tour guides at Manhattan Walking Tour are so friendly and the tours have an 8 guest maximum, so it really feels like you are just exploring New York with a group of friends. Not only that, but they have a LOT of food on their food tours. Or you could do a combo tour to experience 2 neighborhoods (1 for food and 1 historic neighborhood). The combo tours are my favorite and they are your best bet to experience everything (and they are currently on sale, yay!). On the tours, you will learn the rich history of ever-evolving neighborhoods, such as Greenwich Village, Chinatown, or Hell’s Kitchen. You will see how their inhabitants have changed and shaped the culinary culture of the area. Also, you will walk famous New York areas like The High Line, Central Park, Historic Downtown, or Times Square and learn the history of these incredible spots. You can choose what areas you want to see! The folks over at Manhattan Walking Tour will make you feel like you saw it all, but will leave you wanting to experience New York City even more!
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