Why Vacation in New York City?
The Big Apple, The City That Never Sleeps, Gotham: whatever its name, New York City has something for every taste and every traveler. From incredible art galleries and museums to some of the world’s best restaurants, New York’s many offerings are well known to most visitors. But to explore the real New York, the vibrant, charming, and predictably unpredictable city that engenders such passion among locals and envy among visitors, it helps to have an insider’s perspective. Which sexy speakeasies do native New Yorkers actually go to on the Lower East Side? Where do Brooklynites grab coffee during an afternoon spent wandering Cobble Hills’ brownstone-lined streets? T+L’s New York City travel guide offers a curated, insider-approved list of the best things to do, drink, eat, and shop (not to mention where to stay) in each of the city’s distinct neighborhoods.
Needless to say, New York is a city in constant flux, with swanky new hotels, restaurants, bars, and attractions popping up all the time. Whether you want to check out the hottest new cocktail bars by world-renowned mixologists or the best artisanal shops in the most up-and-coming neighborhoods, we’ve got you covered. T+L editors are always out on the town vetting the latest openings in order to bring you the latest news.
Best Time to Visit New York City
Year-round. Central Park is as beautiful in full bloom as it is blanketed in snow. Each season offers something just a bit different—and equally worth seeing.
New York City Transportation
With more than 650 miles of subway track and the largest fleet of busses in North America, NYC’s public-transit system is the easiest way to get around. A single MetroCard ride (good for all subway and bus routes, plus access in and out of New Jersey on the efficient PATH train) costs $2.75; a seven-day unlimited MetroCard costs $31.
New York City Weather
January is the coolest month with an average temperature of 36°F (2.2°C). July is the hottest month with an average temperature of 83°F (28.9°C).
Know Before Visiting
Snag considerable deals on hotels—and experience NYC when it’s not packed to the brim!—just after New Year’s and in summer. These seasons offer easy access to what would otherwise be crowded exhibitions, activities, and restaurants.
Things to Do
New York City offers world-class museums and galleries, unparalleled music and theater, 1,700+ parks, and myriad other activities. Boredom? Not an option.
More than anything, New York is a city of neighborhoods, each with its own distinct history and personality: the stately apartment buildings and tony shops of the Upper East Side, the bustling, crooked streets of Chinatown, the blend of storied waterfront and new construction in downtown Brooklyn. Each neighborhood can—and should—be explored on foot; a day passed wandering New York City streets is always a day well spent.
Of course, there’s so much more to do in the city besides walking. In fact, most visitors can recite from memory a list of New York’s tried-and-true tourist stand-bys: Times Square, Rockefeller Center, the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, MoMA, the Met, the Museum of Natural History, Yankee Stadium. No one needs to be told that these iconic attractions are worth a visit: they are and they always will be. But to really immerse yourself in the city, with its energy and wit and incomparable blend of cultures, we suggest veering off the well-trodden path.
Art lovers, for example, might want to check out Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, the Milk Gallery in Chelsea, or the Park Avenue Armory on the Upper East Side. Music fans can scope out emerging talents at Mercury Lounge on the Lower East Side, catch a show at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) in Fort Greene, or just walk through Washington Square Park—informal live concerts are legion on sunny days. Film buff? Head to the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria or the one-of-a-kind Nitehawk Cinema in Williamsburg, where you can sip a craft cocktail while you watch a movie. From comedy shows and hidden parks to flea markets and exclusive boutiques, our favorite things to do in NYC are an eclectic mix of can’t-miss classics and beloved local haunts.