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Areas of New York
There’s really no place like Manhattan, an area of New York that seems to have it all. If you’re traveling on a budget, you can take advantage of plenty of free activities, from enjoying the fresh air on The High Line, a park built on old railroad tracks, to perusing the shelves at The New York Public Library, whose paintings and intricate design is as impressive as the classics it houses. Central Park is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike—you can rent a rowboat the Central Park Boathouse or just meander through the trails. If you’re looking for entertainment, head to Times Square to catch a Broadway show. There’s a TKTS Discount Ticket Booth right in Times Square, where you can get a ticket for a Broadway or Off Broadway show for as much as 50% off (the average full-price ticket can run upwards of $100). Radio City and Madison Square Garden are also located in Manhattan. The borough is also known for its museums, from the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or the Museum of Natural History and the Lower East Side Tenement Museum.
From Lower Manhattan, take the subway to or walk across the famous Brooklyn Bridge, to Brooklyn, an area of New York that offers tons of things to see and do. Walk along the Brooklyn Heights Promenade to take in stunning views of Lower Manhattan, especially at night, when you’ll see the bright lights of the Manhattan skyline at their finest. Or, head over to Williamsburg and attend a tour and tasting at the Brooklyn Brewery. For younger visitors, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum and the New York Aquarium are sure to keep young minds interested. Or, for the child in everyone, there’s the amusement park at Coney Island.
Just north of Brooklyn lies Queens, an area of New York that’s becoming more popular, especially with areas like Long Island City. We recommend going to Flushing Meadows Corona Park, which is full of walking trails as well as museums like the family-friendly New York Hall of Science and the Queens Museum of Art. For baseball lovers, there’s Citi Field, the stadium in Queens where the New York Mets play. Queens is also the site of two major airports: LaGuardia and JFK.
One of the most popular attractions in the Bronx is the Bronx Zoo, a 265-acre zoo that provides an educational experience that caters to visitors of all ages. Highlights of the Bronx Zoo include the Wild Asia Monorail, Astor Court (see a sea lion feeding), and Tiger Mountain. In the Bronx, you’ll also find the New York Botanical Garden, where places like the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, the Rock Garden, and the Azalea Garden may provide the perfect break from the hubbub of the city.
Staten Island is a ferry ride away from Manhattan. Staten Island has several historical sites, including Fort Wadsworth and the Historic Conference House Museum. Both of these sites have histories dating back to the 1600s and were important during the Revolutionary War. If you want to get off the beaten path, consider going to the High Rock Park Preserve, a park in Staten Island that might make you forget you’re in the middle of the country’s most bustling city.
New York Nightlife
While museums, zoos, stadiums, parks, and shopping can keep you busy during the day, New York City is also known for its nightlife. A few areas should definitely go at the top of your list for a night out: Williamsburg, the Lower East Side, Chelsea, and the Meatpacking district. From grabbing a beer at McSorely’s Old Ale House on East 7th St. to going to the nightclub Marquee in Chelsea, you’ve got plenty of options.