6 Non Touristy Things to do in NYC

Updated: Mar 31

1. Secret Speakeasies

The Prohibition Era is long gone, but there are still dozens of speakeasies sprinkled throughout NYC. Don’t worry, all of these bars are legit and you won’t need a fancy password to get inside. All you need to know is where to find these well-hidden watering holes. Here are a few tips to get you started on your speakeasy search.

First, travel to 8 Stuyvesant Street in the East Village. Here you should find a Japanese restaurant called Village Yokocho. As you head into this restaurant, look for a nondescript side door near the entrance. This door will take you into Angel’s Sha, one of the most celebrated speakeasies in the city. Be sure to try Angel’s Share’s famous Grasshopper as you enjoy a beautiful view of Stuyvesant Triangle. Angel’s Share is open between 6 PM and 1:30 AM every day of the week.

2. Sensationally Smelly: The Flower District

When you live in a place like Manhattan, it’s difficult to stop and smell the roses…unless you’re in the city’s Flower District! Located on 28th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues, this tiny area has provided New Yorkers with exquisite fresh flowers for decades. Delivery trucks usually arrive in the Flower District at 3 AM every day to drop off the freshest flowers imaginable.

The best time to visit this area is at 8 AM when most florists open to the public. Even if you’re not going to purchase anything, it’s well worth waking up early to see all the colourful flowers in this lovely area of the city.

3. Ride Roosevelt Island Tram Over The East River

A single swipe of a Metro Card is all you need to get on the Roosevelt Island Tram, which connects the Upper East Side of Manhattan and Roosevelt Island and offers sweeping views of Manhattan skyline and the East River. It is a great way to enjoy what the city and Roosevelt Island both have to offer.

4. Have A Picnic At One Of The Secret Gardens

NYC is at its best when summer is around, and one of the best things to do during this beautiful time is to escape the city hustle and roll out a blanket to picnic.

One of our favorite picnic spots in the city is Heather Garden at Fort Tryon Park. Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted Jr, son of the famous Central Park architect, Fort Tryon Park is a perfect spot to have a picnic, relax, or finish your favorite book.

If you visit the park on a warm day, you will also come across squirrels and young blue jays as they venture out for food.

While you’re there, don’t forget to check out the Cloisters Museum and Gardens, which is a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A few other great picnicking options include Battery Park, Elevated Acre on Wall Street, Creative Little Garden in East Village, and Queens Botanical Garden in Flushing.

5. Chelsea Market

Chelsea Market’s often packed with New Yorkers but it’s worth shouldering your way in. If you prefer fewer people, and a chance to tackle more tasty samples, try a damp day. Inside, the former factory houses plenty of food vendors. Plus there are some sit-down restaurants. If you’re self-catering or just want to pick up something for a barbecue or picnic, try the bakeries, cheese shops, and imported Italian groceries. Look out for some local fashion, and some souvenirs to pick up from your trip. From handmade jewelry to jams and spices, the market is a great place to browse for a few hours.

If you’re wondering what to eat in the market, here are some of our favorites: adobada taco at Los Tacos, tingly cumin lamb soup at Very Fresh Noodles, whole lobster at the Lobster Place, sinatra at Cappone’s Salumeria, jerk chicken at Tings, and lavan at Miznon.

6. Have Fun With Times Square Cams

When you pass by Times Square next time, don’t rush through it. I know New Yorkers want to stay away from this area as much as they can.

Make a stop at the TKTS ticket booth and open this page.

Wait for a bit and you will see yourself! It is one of the webcams at Times Square, through which hundreds of thousands of people around the globe see this famous crossroad. Wave to the camera and take a screenshot for a fun memory.



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