20 Things I Want to Do in NYC (Summer Edition)

Simply majestic!

Next week at this time, I'm going to be packing for a trek out to the big apple! I last went in 2013 with my in-laws to meet Justin's aunt and uncle for the very first time. The 12 hour drive we made over night was just long enough to settle my nerves, wear me out, and dehydrate me. Nevertheless, we only spent enough time to take our belongings in and change before we were headed out to the subway and on the streets of New York City in the hot sun. While we did get to do and see a lot during our visit in 2013, the overwhelming heat and a sick traveler slowed us down a bit by day 2. (Sidenote: don't try to drink the water from the fountain at the 9/11 memorial. You WILL get sick.) Needless to say, there is still a lot that we haven't seen or done in NYC!


1. One World Trade Center Observatory

Recently opened in November 2014, the height of the building, including spire, reaches 1776 feet (a nod to when the Declaration of Independence was signed) and has 104 floors. The observatory is located on the top three floors of the building and includes a gift shop and restaurant. While it makes me a little nervous to go so high into such a well known building that was built in the aftermath of 9/11 and the fall of the twin towers, the experience as noted by The Points Guy looks well thought out and pretty awesome.

Of course, I'd be happy to go anywhere with a view. And it looks like there are plenty of business buildings, hotels, and restaurants that have just that in NYC! :)

2. Coney Island

From rollercoasters to fireworks to hot dogs (blech!), I'm looking forward to the day when I get to experience walking on the boardwalk and taking in all of the sights and people-watching that can be done here. No guarantees a hot dog will find my mouth, but perhaps a slice of Brooklyn style pizza will suit just as well!

Books, desks, and chandeliers!

3. Visit the New York Public Library.

Last time I was in the city, the public library had an exhibit about children's picture books which I was unable to convince my in-laws to go to. However, even without an exhibit, this is definitely a place I would like to visit. It's probably because I've seen Breakfast at Tiffany's one too many times. ;)

4. American Museum of Natural History

I admit it. Thanks to the movie Night at the Museum, I want to explore this city treasure. Will it be worth the time and suggested entry fee? Who knows?

5. Go on a Food tour

The walking food tour looks especially interesting. I'm so particular in what I eat that it would be nice to only have to pay for the foods I will eat rather than all of the foods. On the other hand, what's the point of going on a food tour if you aren't going to try all of the foods presented?

All of the subways!

6. Get a glimpse of the Old City Hall Subway Station.

You have to be a member of the Manhattan Transit Authority Museum and the dates are pretty limited, but I imagine it would be fun and exciting to get a rare glimpse of NYC transit history.

7. Collect artifacts from Dead Horse Bay.

I'm not sure if this is really cool, awkwardly gross, or strangely creepy, but it might be fun to search for turn of the century finds on this forgotten island. Of course, it's quite possible that I will need all of the best hand sanitizer in the world after exploring this place. Nose plug anybody?

8. Get a drink and take in the past at a Speakeasy.

One of my favorite places in Atlanta before it closed a few years ago was Dante's Down the Hatch. I loved the atmosphere, the delicious fondue, and best of all the live jazz music! While I can't bring back the restaurant, perhaps a trip back in time to a secret, hidden (or more likely, not hidden) NYC Speakeasy could be just what the doctor ordered for a fantastic jazz fix.

9. Go on a photography tour of the city at night.

Like the food tour, the pay-what-you-want photography at night tour offers three of the things I'd want most in NYC at night: great suggestions on where to take pictures, safety in numbers, and a free tour. The idea of coming home with fantastic night time city landscape photography makes me very, very happy. :)

10. See a broadway show.

Technically I've done this before, but Justin has not. I definitely think this is a must at least once in NYC. Plus, I'm totally up for supporting the arts. Phantom of the Opera? The Lion King? Mama Mia? Really, any show will do!

The combination of gardens and art make the Cloisters a worthwhile stop!

11. Explore the Cloisters.

The museum featuring medieval art doesn't interest me as much as the gardens, but a google search reveals only positive comments about the location and beauty making it a must-see on my list.

12. Enjoy the sights of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

I imagine this would be much prettier (and less hot to visit) in the fall or spring, but nevertheless the architecture and nearby lakes definitely add to the beauty. With 52 acres of gardens, you could probably enjoy it for hours.

13. The Skyscraper Museum

Focusing on architecture and skyscrapers located in NYC, this museums takes a look at the city from the vantage point of a designer. It looks especially perfect for those who have an interest in the growth and expansion of New York City's landscape over the years.

14. Go shopping!

Farmer's markets, vintage stores, hole-in-the-walls, and tourist shops could all make for unique and exciting places to find local treasures and gifts.

Right when you think the city is expensive…

15. Take a day trip to the Hamptons.

Why not live like royalty for a day – grab a bite to eat, soak up the sun and relax by the water with my favorite drink in hand?

16. Eat at a fancy restaurant.

No, I don't have any in mind, but NYC is known for amazing food and imaginative chefs. I think blowing the budget for one meal could be okay… :)

17. Take a walk on the Park Slope neighborhood in Brooklyn.

It totally reminds me of the walks Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks took in You've Got Mail. Beautiful with trees but still in the city. Definitely what you would call picturesque!

18. Wander through the Chinese Scholars Garden.

If you can't go to China, perhaps this is the next best thing? Built in 1999, the garden was constructed as an authentic Chinese garden through the support of many partners. The google images make it look gorgeous and completely different from any of the other gardens on my list.

19. See the Wave Hill House and gardens.

Home to big names like Teddy Roosevelt, Arturo Toscanini and Mark Twain, the Wave Hill House opened in July 2013 adding just one more reason to visit these gorgeous gardens located in the Bronx.

Just when you think you've seen it all…

20. Enjoy the natural beauty of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

Site of the 1964 New York World's Fair, the ~897 acre park is the fourth largest park in NYC and was created on a former dumping ground (wikipedia). One of the defining features of the park is the New York State Pavillion which currently sits unused. The park is also the home of Queens Theatre in the Park, the New York Hall of Science, the Queens Museum of Art, and Terrace on the Park.


New York City is a huge place and offers so much to do and see that a list of 20 sights certainly could never contain them all. If you are looking for more things to do in NYC, be sure to check out The Baltimore Sun's 100 Things to Do in NY. There are so many more ideas that I simply didn't have room to include here! (And I didn't want to copy their article verbatim!)

What would you do if you went to NYC? Anything on my list? Something else? Share! I'd love to hear! :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...