Flip through the pages of any guidebook or tourism brochure for New York City and you will be met by picture of the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty and Times Square. While these are all exciting places to visit, they are certainly not all that the Big Apple has to offer. These are some of the hidden gems in the city, known primarily to locals, that reveal a little more about New York to travellers. Take a look at Virgin Holidays who are specialists in package holidays to New York.
1. Snug Harbour: Believe it or not, one of the best views of Manhattan’s skyline is actually found in another borough. If you are searching for a unique way to view the city, take a charming ferry ride to Staten Island. The journey takes just 25 minutes, but the change is scenery is incredible. From Staten Island’s Snug Harbour, take photos of New York City’s skyline in a completely unexpected way and walk through the botanical gardens just along the water.
2. Castle Clinton: Although few modern tourists have heard of Castle Clinton, it was once a very important destination for immigrants to the city. The castle was built for the War of 1812 as a way to protect the city’s harbour, but eventually it became a point of immigration for people from around the world. Today, Castle Clinton provides travellers with a wonderful way to explore the city’s history and diversity from one convenient location in New York Plaza. Although it is located next to the ticket counter for Ellis Island, few visitors every head inside.
3. Affordable Broadway Shows: Many tourists visiting New York City go out of their way to buy tickets for Broadway musicals and theatrical performances. This is a great choice, but these tickets can be incredibly expensive. If you want to save money and do as the locals do, head to one of the three TKTS booths in the city to get tickets for the day’s evening performances at significant discounts.
4. New York Public Library: As one of the most impressive and influential structures in the city, the New York Public Library is often included on tours and in guidebooks. However, there is more to the library that just the stunning exterior. Head inside to see the free exhibits or take part in one of the regular tours that are completely free for guests.
5. Serendipity: This was New York’s first boutique coffeehouse, and it is still a favourite among locals. Stop by for a coffee or a decadent dessert and consider ordering the specialty, the Gold Opulence Sundae. Be warned, however, that this sweet ice cream treat costs more than 1,000 dollars and was awarded the Guinness World Record for being the most expensive ice cream sundae on Earth.