One of the greatest aspects of living in Boston, is the city’s close proximity to amazing towns, natural areas and to the several states located along the East Coast. New York City is located only three and a half hour drive from Boston and one of our favorite things to do is to grab the car, drive into town and uncover the city’s limitless attractions.
Scroll down for a collection of some of our favorite museums, eateries, unique sights and green areas that you should definitely visit.
The Green Spots Around the City
As you walk along New York City’s alleyways and wide avenues, it can sometimes feel like a very gray town. If this is your first time visiting, you will soon notice that there are many green spaces built to break the craziness of the mundane and the most famous of them all is of course: Central Park.
Almost a forest smacked in the center of town, this massive park is difficult to visit all in a day, especially if you are short on time. My recommendation would be to choose specific zones, walk through some of the park's several paths and enjoy its less populated spots.
If you enjoy designed landscapes, head to High Line. This newer public park was built onto a former elevated rail line that extends across the city from Gansevoort Street all the way to West 34th Street.
The added modern structures complements the rail line’s beautifully gardens; there sitting areas to watch the city from above and walking paths meandering in between buildings, offering a great prospective of the train’s former path.
Tip: In the southernmost entrance to High Line is the newly redeveloped Meatpacking District. The area is filled with restaurants, fashion and the busy Chelsea Market. Go inside this old factory building for a plethora of choices to eat and shop!
Another green area in town to visit - especially on a sunny day - is Nelson A. Rockefeller Park, located along the shores of the Hudson in the financial district. This is small, but very lively park, features spacious lawns, playgrounds, gardens and footpaths along the river.
If you enjoy walking, approach Rockefeller Park through the Hudson River Greenway: A long boardwalk lined with patches of grass, dispersed pathways and great views of the Hudson, New Jersey City and eventually the Statue of Liberty.
Tip: Consider a trip to the Bronx and visit the New York Botanical Gardens. Visitors can walk through different environments, built specially to house specific types of plants, flowers and trees. If you are interested in manicured gardens, recreated wild forests or just want to explore the area’s massive 250 acres of land, you should make this a stop!
Must Go Museums: Art - Architecture - History - Space - Military
One of the largest museums in the world, the MET, houses a permanent collection of more than two million artifacts from different periods in history.
Nestled inside Central Park, along 5th Avenue, visitors can enjoy stunning views of nearby landscapes as they walk amongst its exhibits. As the museum is an architectural marvel, its large, expansive windows pour natural light onto its posh cafes and antiquity collections.
Egyptian Ruins, sculpture gardens facing a neoclassical façade and a multitude of Period Rooms are a few stunning layouts that become a great variation from the museum’s permanent collection of celebrated European artists
Tip: Located only a 10 minute walk from the MET is the Frick Collection, a renowned art museum housed in the former residence of Pittsburg Industrialist Henry Clay Frick. If you enjoy architecture, the stunning 19th century mansion is a few of the remaining left in the city and Frick’s assembled collection showcases artists such as Rembrandt, Vermeer, William Turner and Bellini.
The American Museum of Natural History is renowned for its permanent exhibition halls containing animals, plants, ancient civilizations, fossils and cultural artifacts.
You do not want to miss its Fossil Halls, located on the entire 4th floor and featuring a vast collection of dinosaurs and remnants of multiple species.
Also part of the museum is The Rose Center for Earth and Space located on the north side and where you will find anything you need to know about the universe. In the heart of the building is the Hayden Planetarium, a sphere that appears to float in the middle of the cubed-shaped Rose Center.
Their theater seats 430 and features some of the best planetary shows you will ever see. We have actually purposely traveled to New York just to catch some of their new shows.
A Special Mention: The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum should be a must-visit to anyone interested in military history and exploring military installations.
Located along the shores of the Hudson River, in Hell’s Kitchen, the complex includes an immense aircraft carrier (USS Intrepid) which houses several military aircraft and the Space Shuttle Enterprise.
Nearby the ship, you can also see a British Airways Concord and head inside the Growler Submarine – the best part of the whole visit!
Williamsburg and the Skyline To and From Brooklyn
Williamsburg is an up-and-coming and eccentric neighborhood. Known for its diverse demographics, indie and hipster culture, it is a hub for great restaurants, bars, shops and an influential art community.
Bedford Avenue is the neighborhood's main thoroughfare and it is filled with indie boutiques selling everything from jewelry to books.
Some places that you should not miss are the Mast Bros factory for the best chocolate you will have in your life and the Brooklyn Brewery for their diverse beer samples.
Check out the Artist and Fleas, an indoor antique and local artist market with artisan stalls selling different types of clothing and jewelry. It can be somewhat pricey, but just a quick walk through to check its wares is well worth it.
The Ferry to and from Brooklyn: The East River Ferry from either Wall St/Pier 11 or E.34th St/Midtown is a great way of getting to Brooklyn.
The ferry itself is nothing much, but if you are going from lower Manhattan and heading north on the East River, you can see the skyline views of New York City to the left and Brooklyn to the right.
During the ride, you will also pass under various bridges such as Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg and catch a glimpse of the various interesting historical buildings that exist along the river.
KEEP IN MIND
Finding places to eat in New York is one of our favorite things to do whenever we come into town! Here are for some of our recurring favorites and recently discovered spots:
Lady M. Confection: Located on 2nd Ave on the Upper East Side, this boutique cheesecake store has some of our favorite desserts in the city. Elegantly made, creamy, tasty and with an incredible variety of flavors, this small store easily separates itself from all the others.
B-Side Pizza & Wine Bar: Highly rated restaurant in Hell’s Chicken, offering a delicious selection of brick oven pizzas. Make sure to order their Killer Bee Pizza – told by its patron to be the best they serve – with toppings such as sopressata, chili oil and honey. For the appetizer: Order their ground-up-together bacon and meatball!
IL Laboratorio di Gelato: Located on 188 Ludlow St, Lower East Side, this large sorbet and ice-cream shop looks inside just as the name suggests - a large lab. They serve a variety of flavors such as chili chocolate, basil and beet.
The Meatball Shop: We had their chicken meatball with special sauce (Mexican style with chocolate) and the classic meatball with tomato sauce accompanied by focaccia bread. As the name suggests, this restaurant specialized in delicious meatballs and has multiple locations in New York City.
The Gorbals: For a global fusion of different flavors, try this modern restaurant located on the top floor of a converted building on Williamsburg, Brooklyn. A small sample of their Spring Menu: Bacon Rapped Matzo Balls, Beef Tongue, Banh Mi Putine and Whole Roasted Pig Head.
Burger Joint: The best way to explain this spot …. a regular, cash-only burger place, hidden behind a curtain in the atrium lobby of the luxurious Le Parker Meridien Hotel. Once you find it, it actually has a fun interior and most likely a long line that takes over most of the space within this small joint famous for its cheeseburgers.
Grumpy Café: We accidentally stumbled upon this local chain while walking in a quiet transversal street in Chelsea. They have coffee from various parts of the world, but the reason I recommend this place is for their scones! Try their current rosemary scone…it is delicious!
Sullivan Street Bakery: Located on 9th Ave. in Chelsea but also in Hell’s Kitchen, this bakery makes all types of bread and sweets. They have a menu with variety of sandwiches: We had the Prosciutto di Parma Panini served on their Bottone bread, a delicious flowerless chocolate cookie as well as a walnut chocolate chip cookie.
Hell’s Kitchen: It is a neighborhood of Manhattan located around Midtown West and one of our favorite areas to eat! Walk along 9th Street, just above the Theatre District, and choose from the different ethnic restaurants that line this street. If you are into Thai food, try Room Service, they are not expensive and make a delicious Pad Thai.
Must-Go Food Halls: New York City is filled with Food Markets, offering a variety of food choices and at-times combining eateries with a market-style atmosphere. Some to check out are Gotham West Market (Hell’s Kitchen), Eataly (Near Madison Square Park) and Le District (Financial District - inside Brookfield Place).