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Best Things to Do in New York | Places to Travel & Explore

Last Updated: February 23, 2024

Last Updated: February 23, 2024

Saying, “Ugh, there’s nothing to do today in New York” in the Big Apple is not an option! New York’s heart beats to a different rhythm, one fueled by year-round festivals and events that’ll have your excitement at the peak. It’s a city that never sleeps, and its calendar doesn’t either. 🥹The hidden gems and the best things to do in New York are listed here for you to explore around the year! 

Times Square, Broadway, Greenwich Village, Exquisite, excellent museums, and the best thrilling activities will leave your heartbeats racing faster than F1 cars!🤩 Yes, it’s New York, and it has something for everyone! At least if you get tired, get away for a Day Trip, but I promise New York is not just a city; it’s an addiction!  

1) Detoxing Day Trips

New York can be too much of an urban culture sometimes. And who doesn’t need a detox, right? The detox is the day trips around the Big Apple, which will make you breathe better,😮‍💨 and you won’t be stumbling into walking every second of the day while roaming these places! 

Beacon, NY

The smoke town of Beacon has been converted into a beautiful East Coast premiere art destination alongside the Hudson River. The Dia Beacon Art Museum has insulated the artworks from masterminds like Richard Serra, Donald Judd, Louise Bourgeois, et al. Snatching the opportunity, entrepreneurs soon began building galleries, boutiques, artist workshops, exquisite restaurants, and tadaa,💫 making it one of the prettiest places beside the Hudson River

Do make a checklist and write comfort shoes👟 in bold when you visit Beacon!  Well, Mount Beacon offers heart-melting views, so hiking is mandatory. Also, kayaking and cruises🛶 will allow you to roam the place and see the core!

Kingston, NY

A city that Bristishers burned, Kingston used to be the oldest Dutch settlement in New York and the State’s first capital. Kingston is getting its flame back and has become a famous tourist attraction for history buffs after its revival. Every historic sculpture is turned into a museum, and the city has gotten its light back with more and more recognition. 

Now, the Ulster Performing Arts Center is a stage for top-notch events and festivals like the Kingston Jazz Fest🎺 and the quirky Artists’ Soapbox Derby. The highlight of the city is the iconic Rondout Lighthouse,🗼 standing sentinel over the Hudson River like a weathered storyteller. While climbing, it isn’t currently possible. You can still capture its majestic presence from the decks of the historic Rip Van Winkle II cruise or while exploring Kingston’s other hidden treasures. 

Fire Island 

Connected with wooden boardwalks, Fire Island is your spot for cycling and walking (avoid cars)! If you fall for it, the breathtaking beaches🏖️ will turn your one-day trip into two or three days. It once used to be a nude beach, attracting many tourists meanwhile, clothes were mandated later on! 

Here’s my list of places that you cannot miss. Head to Kismet for eateries and shops; The Pines and Cheery Groove, the LGBTQ+ haven; Ocean Beach’s cocktails (triple liquored)🍸 will get you drunk as much as you want, and at last, beautiful lighthouse for the view! 

2) The Art of Storytelling at its BEST! 

New York is a magnet🧲 attracting artists from every field in the world. No doubt it is the dream city to live in. Experience the skilled performances in theatre events in New York by creatives of the world right here. 

Identical to the name, Broadway is so huge in New York that the theatre district winds through Times Square in Midtown Manhattan. A hubspot that pulls every talent in the world pulls you along as well to watch the world’s best plays and shows

The performers never fail to create a glittering gateway to a world of larger-than-life productions,👯 electrifying live performances, and stories that transport you above and beyond! It is an experience of a lifetime that will stay with you forever. Some of the most selling shows are Wicked, The Lion King, and Hamilton, so be on the lookout for tickets and grab’em🎟️ when you can!

Let the laughter and claps continue for New York, the comedy capital of the world! The city is flooded with comedy clubs, but two steal the spotlight!⚡ Gotham Comedy Club is your go-to place if you love elegant aura, professional behavior, and mutual respect (you are still getting roasted).😏 The lovely environment encourages national-level talents Jim Gaffigan, Tom Papa, and Ted Alexandro to perform here frequently! 

On the opposite end is the Comedy Cellar in Greenwich Village, a red flag for claustrophobics because the place is crowded like crazy every day!😵 Amy Schumer to Aziz Ansari can pop in the show anytime, so make this place a part of your routine so you don’t miss out on the best! The acts are more X-rated than other clubs (SHUSH!), so don’t be juggy and come with dark humor in your pockets.😈 Drop your phones in pouches at the entrance because everything stays in the walls of Comedy Cellar at last. 

3) Festivals That Make New York Shimmer! 

The reason for the Big Apple’s happening and lit vibe’s credit goes to the annual festivals in New York! You will find serenity for a leisurely walk, exciting summers full of free concerts, and film fests recognized worldwide! Make your choice🤔 and let us know which you loved the most! 

  • The beauty of the New York Botanical Garden cannot be comprehended in mere words by anyone! The presence of NYBG keeps leaving everyone speechless!😭 With events happening now and then, the place is an escape to find peace and get amazed. Meanwhile, New Yorkers’ annual most awaited show is The Orchid Show.🌻 Every year, the theme is different, and the installations are guided by people who are well-versed in the theme! This year’s theme is Florals in Fashion.
  • With a history of more than a century, it ought to be one of the most awaited car shows in the world! Yes, I am talking about the New York International Auto Show.🏎️ Every year, millions gather to get just a glimpse into the future! Its first show was in 1900, and after 124 years, it is still the ideal place where new technology can be explored and explained freely! The two floors of the display are filled with cars that will make you lose count again and again! Reach Manhattan every year to understand cars or just maybe fall in love💖 with a few (all) of them! 
  • As the summer comes, every New Yorker heads to Central Perk and neighboring parks for SummerStage!🌞 The broadly accessible festival of NYC is famous for its’ free outdoor concerts among nature. For 40 years, more than six million people from New York and around the world have attended these concerts. You will undoubtedly hear a concert while passing through a street in summer. I must say if you are in the Big Apple in summer, then it would be a shame to miss SummerStage Festival! It goes on for over a month, so as many as possible. After all, it’s FREEE! 💸
  • The tears or laughter will tell you how strong the art of storytelling is. Experience the rush of feeling every emotion (but end up with joy!) at the Tribeca Film Festival🎬 every year. Missing the chance to watch the masterpieces of established and emerging artists is not recommended.🤔 If you are a person who loves more than just films, then this is even more fun than you can imagine. The festival has expanded to television immersive games and audio storytelling as well. The live events and music fests are the new addition to the list! The only thing that is missing is your presence at the prestigious annual festival! 

4) The  Quirky Museums of NYC 

You cannot expect New York to be typical, can you?🤷‍♀️ The quirkiness comes as a package deal with the city’s amazing museums. Some of these museums in New York that will make the Big Apple even more appealing!

Museum of Sex 

Out-of-the-box is another name for New York!🎁 Even the museums of the Big Apple are unique and try to send a message in a fun way. Museum of Sex (MoSex) is a live example of it. Don’t get any wrong ideas here!😶‍🌫️ It is built to promote open dialogues, free from constraints, and break the taboo around discussing one of the world’s most (secretly) talked about topics. With more than 50 exhibitions, it addresses serious gender issues and the impact of new technologies on human sexual behavior through time. 

Swing by the Super Funland for an innovative carnival experience and the gift shop for spicy souvenirs!😏 It is an inclusive space where being giddy is applauded. Carry your ID and leave your kids at home. 

New York Transit Museum

NYC’s transportation system is the busiest and oldest in the world, dating back to 1904! If you love to swim through historical waters, take the ferry to explore vintage subway cars parked in a deactivated subway station!🚇 The New York Transit Museum is one of the best for kids and will cheer them up quickly. 

Every car displays era-appropriate ads that will leave you chuckling. Even your kids can understand and laugh at it!😂 Don’t miss the photographs that highlight the whole evolution of the Big Apple. The display will leave you shocked and hooked! 

5) Guaranteed Goosebumps with Thrilling Activities! 

Bring your daredevil spirit (and prayers) to trips and adventure events in New York.😨 Memorize all the gods you believe in because backing out is not an option. Scream your fear out, and go for it.  

Don’t you ever say Shark films cannot (almost) be real! I don’t mean the dying part, but looking at the marvelous creatures’ beady eyes is surely possible in New York. For 12 years, Montauk’s Sea Turtle Dive Charters can get you close to Mako, Thresher, Blue, and Hammerhead sharks in open waters. How? Follow some simple steps. Sign up first! Get on a boat with a wet suit and gear (no certifications required). 

Here, you start the two-hour trip out in shark territory, where you will be thrown in water! Haha, I’m just kidding.😝 Get in a highly insulated aluminum cage with the instructor and see at least 12 sharks roaming around you for a 30-minute session! Don’t worry; it is entirely safe and impenetrable🦈, but drinking something is highly recommended before submerging. 

Want to do something so cool that you can say, “I have flown over New York!”? Well, is Flying a Helicopter🚁 good enough for that? Trust me, it is! Grab that pilot seat in the Robinson R-44 helicopter at Westchester County Airport in White Plains. You cannot handle complexities, so let the pilot take care of take-off and landing while you do stunts (not literally) in mid-air. 

I’m pretty sure it’s difficult to believe it, so take two of your friends with you👯 for proof! They will help you show off as well. Go boost your new skill in the Big Apple by screaming it out from the chopper. 

The Episode Ends! 

The city that never sleeps? Or the city that never has a dull day? Things to do in New York are endless, and you never can get enough of them.📃 You live in a city which is a dream come true for millions of people, so why not live your best life ever🤷‍♀️? 

I tried to enlist some unique ones for you, but don’t lose hope if these aren’t THE best for you. Click on the link below to see events in New York from various categories!

Author Bio

Rashmi Ramchandani

With a passion for exploring new cities, Rashmi Ramchandani loves creating a bucket list of things to do and places to visit. Her hand-picked events and the undertone of reliability, sarcasm, and wittiness will hit you to the core. Let her create this weekend’s to-do list for you. You are indeed in good hands.

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