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The 10 best things to do in NYC

Are you traveling to New York, but want to keep away from the big tourist destinations? We’ll show you the essential activities that locals in the Big Apple swear by.

1. The High Lane – A once-abandoned elevated train track The High Lane was transformed into an elevated park that has become a crazy-popular, walkway on the west side of Manhattan. Now, it is an urbanite playground that features wildflowers, greenery and outdoor art installations in addition to killer views of New York’s skyline.  How do I get to the High Line NYC? Take the 1 or C train to 23rd Street and walk up to Tenth Avenue.

2. The Metropolitan Museum – For nearly a century and a half, the Met has remained the cultural epicenter of New York City, thanks to forward-thinking exhibits and an extensive permanent collection. With its Gothic-Revival-style building, iconic tiered steps, and Central Park location, the building is a sight to be seen. How to get there: Subway: 4, 5, 6 to 86th Street. Contact: metmuseum.org.

3. Brooklyn Botanic Garden – The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is really a series of gardens, pavilions, and conservatories connected by a looping path. Greenhouses house bonsais, rare orchids, and desert plants, while outdoor spaces range from a lush Shakespeare garden to a Japanese-style lily pond traversed by a romantic bridge. Depending on the season, you might spot hot-pink tree peonies, cherry blossoms shedding their confetti-like petals, or stately rose bushes heavy with lush flowers.

4. Central Park – Arguably one of the most famous parks in the world, Central Park is a manmade wonder. Not only is it the first public park built in America, but it is also one of the most frequently visited, with over 25 million guests per year. From secluded waterfalls to a booming birdlife population, New York City’s Central Park is full of surprises for everyone.

5. Ride on the aerial tram over The East River – In the East River, there’s an island called Roosevelt Island. Because it’s residential, it’s not really popular for tourists. However, don’t let that stop you from taking a ride on the aerial tram that offers an amazing view of Manhattan’s skyline. The Roosevelt Island Aerial Tram uses the same MetroCard system as NY’s subway. It also offers the same fares – $2.75 per person. The tram runs every day, making 115 rides and holding up to 110 people. It travels at 3,100 feet, allowing you to see the exceptional view of Manhattan. It really is a wonderful experience that nobody should miss.

6. Visit the Cloisters – Located in the beautiful Fort Tryon Park, The Cloisters displays art and architecture from medieval Europe. Not many tourists come here because it isn’t widely known, especially in comparison to the Metropolitan Museum. The building also showcases endless artifacts and illuminated manuscripts. But it’s not just what’s inside that’s important. The building itself looks like it belongs in Game of Thrones. Constructed from European monasteries, The Cloisters building is simply divine. You won’t be able to take enough pictures during your time there.

Courtesy of Flickr

7. Stroll through Fort Tryon Park – People go to Central Park to escape the city. But if you want to escape other people escaping the city, this probably isn’t your best option. Central Park is still a major tourist destination. Fort Tryon Park, on the other hand, isn’t. This Washington Heights green space provides way more of a peaceful and intimate outdoor experience than Central Park. To soak up the best views, take a walk to Linden Terrace and wander through the local gardens.

8. Prospect Park – Prospect Park is the Central Park of Brooklyn; in fact, it was designed shortly after by the same team of architects, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, and has many of the same features: sprawling meadows made for picnicking, walking trails that snake through dense forests, and a picturesque lake. There’s also a carousel, playgrounds, a zoo, basketball and tennis courts, and a 3.35-mile loop road that’s popular with runners and bikers.

9. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum – One of New York City’s most prized art institutions, the Guggenheim is one of many necessary stops on the Upper East Side’s Museum Mile. Aside from their unparalleled exhibitions, the building itself, designed by famed American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, is a sight to see.

10. Coney Island – Coney Island has a reputation as a circus-worthy tourist trap, which is exactly what it is. But you may be surprised by the old-timey charms of this beachfront American town. You’ll definitely be impressed by the food and drinks—Totonno’s Pizza, Gargiulo’s and Coney Island Brewery in particular. Locals and tourists hang out on the beach, eat ice cream cones on the promenade, and stand in line for the famed Cyclone roller coaster.

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