Cultural Xplorer

A Local’s Guide To Visiting New York City

New York City is one of the best places on earth.

Despite having a love-hate relationship with this concrete jungle that I have called home for almost fifteen years,  New York is a place that I could not easily tire of. One of the main things that I love about my city is that there is ALWAYS something going on.

Since the city is a such a popular destination for tourists, I constantly have friends coming to visit, and I am always giving recommendations, I finally decided to turn some of my many recommendations of things to do in NYC into a list.

This list does not include made-for-tourist places like the Empire State Building, Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, or Rockefeller Center. Instead, this is a list of places that I enjoy going to and experiences that I enjoy having here in my hometown.

Experience Cupcake Culture

Yes, my friends, cupcake culture is a thing in New York City. (To be more precise, the act of eating is a thing in NYC, as you will find out in this post).

Experience New York City’s cupcake culture by enjoying a cupcake from some of New York City’s most famous bakeries such as Magnolia Bakery or Molly’s Cupcakes.

Here are some cupcake shops you should try out:

Check Out A Museum (For Cheap/Free)

From time to time, I enjoy visiting the City’s museums.

One recommendation that I always give people visiting is to find out how you can get into a museum either discounted or for free. One way you can do this is to see if a museum’s admission sign says ‘Suggested General Admission’ (which will usually be in very small print). When the sign says this, it means ‘pay-what-you-wish‘.

Visit an Urban Winery

Want to visit an urban winery without leaving New York City?

Check out Brooklyn Winery, Red Hook Winery, or City Winery, where you can experience both wine production and tastings.

Walk Across A Bridge

Something that I really love doing when the weather is warm is walking across either the Williamsburg Bridge or Brooklyn Bridge between Brooklyn and Manhattan.

The Williamsburg Bridge is much less crowded than the more famous Brooklyn Bridge, however, it will take you between two really cool neighborhoods: the Lower East Side and Williamsburg.

The Brooklyn Bridge offers stunning views of downtown Manhattan and will take you between the Financial District and DUMBO. This bridge is really popular with tourists, so it can be extremely crowded at times.

Tip for crossing Brooklyn Bridge: STAY OUT OF THE BIKE LANE. No, seriously, unless you want to lose a limb or two.

Do Sunday Brunch

One of my favorite things to do in New York City on a Sunday? Go to Sunday brunch of course!

Here in NYC, bottomless (all-you-can-drink) brunch is the name of the game, and everyone loves to do it.

Here are some of my favorite (bottomless & non-bottomless) brunch spots:

Check out New York City’s Street Art

Head over to Bushwick, Brooklyn or Astoria, Queens to see some of the best street art that New York City has to offer.

Visit A Food Hall

One thing that never gets old is visiting different food halls in the City. Some of my favorites include: Hudson Eats at Brookfield Place, Chelsea Market, Gotham West Market, and Gansevoort Market.

Attend A Food Event

If there is one thing New Yorkers like to do, it is to eat! There are more than enough food festivals, fairs, and food events during the year to fill your social calendar from January through December.

One of my favorite food festivals to attend is the biannual Madison Square Eats in the Flatiron area of Manhattan, where you can sample unique and innovative food creations such as a fusion between Korean and Mexican foods.

There are also a number of other great food events and festivals including: