New York is a playground offering outdoor thrills, year-round events, quaint villages, bustling cities with a chock full of all-day entertainment, and competitive sports like you won’t believe. Its diverse landscape lends itself for activities galore.
From scenic waterways, moving rivers and quiet lakes, to lush mountains and sandy beaches, there's something for everyone. Whether you’re hoping to soak up some arts and culture or simply catch a ballgame, purchase a souvenir or grab a slice, you can do it all in New York. Here are some musts for your New York bucket list.
Get artsy at one of New York City's most popular museums like the Guggenheim, MoMa, or the Metropolitan Museum of Art which include massive collections of art as well as rotating exhibits. Visit the National September 11 Memorial and Museum just south of the Freedom Tower at One World Trade Center for a moving experience unlike any other.
Outside of the city, there is also a wealth of museums such as the Rochester Museum and Science Center which includes hands-on exhibits and a great planetarium or the Albany Institute of History and Art which highlights and preserves the history of the region.
To see the sights of the city when you're in Manhattan look no further than the skyline itself. The Empire State Building offers amazing panoramic views from the observation deck. Below are a few more places that you should visit including Rockefeller Center, Times Square and the Broadway Theater District where you can enjoy a spectacular show.
Head downtown to visit Wall Street and take a selfie near the iconic bull sculpture. Hop on a short boat trip to visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island where you can learn about early immigration to America. Or visit Castle Clinton for an even deeper look into the past. Outside of Manhattan, get an earful of some concert favorites at Upstate Concert Hall in Albany. And see architectural marvels inside Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park.
Find an experiential event like the National Buffalo Wing Festival which takes place in their New York birthplace or the Great New York State Fair in Syracuse. Check out some tennis at the US Open if you happen to be near Queens at the end of the summer.
Shopping in Manhattan is a must. Plenty of high-end flagship stores along 5th avenue. Look for jewelry at a boutique shop on Madison Avenue. Or find trendy clothes in SoHo. For extra bargains, squeeze through the crowds of Chinatown. Make room in your suitcase for items from the famous Macys in Herald Square. Outside of the city you can find sprawling super malls like Destiny USA in Syracuse with plenty of family-friendly fun including an IMAX 3D theater.
With a region as blessed as New York, you’ll find plenty to do outdoors. Wander around the vast Central Park, an oasis inside the hustle and bustle of the city. Visit Adirondack Park, Catskill Park or Niagara Falls National Heritage Area to enjoy the wonders of nature in the greater New York area. Visit beaches like Coney Island in Brooklyn or have your pick from one of the beaches in Long Island. The area also has plenty of fun in the form of amusement parks like Darien Lake or Magic Forest in Lake George, and zoos such as the Bronx Zoo, Buffalo Zoo or Central Park Zoo in the city.
Whether it’s basketball, football, baseball, hockey, or racing you’re into, you’ve come to the right place. You can always catch a competitive event at Citi Field in Queens, the Barclays Center in Brooklyn or Madison Square Garden in the heart of Manhattan. Outside of the city, you can watch the Orangemen show their skills at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse or at the Lake Placid Olympic Center which hosted the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics.
Journey outside of the city for a fun road trip. Some popular destinations include the Hudson Valley or Catskill Mountains. The journey through rural Upstate New York is just as beautiful as the destination.
After all of this adventure, you must have worked up an appetite. Luckily you can find classic New York favorites, like pizza at Di Fara as well as many options when it comes to diverse eats like sushi at Nobu Downtown, Italian at Pasquale Jones in Nolita, or tasty tacos at Cosme in the Flatiron District. Check a classic restaurant that has become a New York institution like Union Square Cafe.
After all the sightseeing, you deserve one of their famous desserts! Be sure to check out the cozy wine bars or rooftop lounges with panoramic views to get a true sense of the city’s pulsating magic. Head out of Manhattan and hit Binghamton’s Union Hall for casual grub like wings, burgers, pizza, and plenty of beers on tap.
It goes without saying that the Empire State has something special to offer.