The Big Apple is a city like no other. It’s got some of the tallest skyscrapers in the world, flashing lights everywhere and some of the most mouthwatering dishes from all over the planet.
Some of the most popular attractions in New York City include visiting Staten Island by ferry, Central Park, Times Square and the Empire State Building. Those attractions are awesome - I’ve been to many of them myself but the real prize are the hotspots that are a little off the well worn path.
And that’s what this blog is all about. What’s the point of regurgitating the same old recommendations and attractions that you probably already know about?
So without further ado, let’s dive deep into some of the most epic (yet alternative) attractions that everyone already knows about.
Roosevelt Island (and Tramway)
If you like being suspended in mid-air and looking out over the city, then head on down to Roosevelt Island for a different view of the world.
The island is wedged inbetween Manhattan and Queens. You’ll be able to take a tram to the city and see it from a perspective that very few others get to see. It’s one of the most scenic rides you’ll ever see, and easy to access.
Oh and there’s also an abandoned smallpox hospital and a cat colony that resides there.
Jazz In Bed Stuy
If you’re a fan of live music and jazz, then head on down to Bedford-Stuyvesant, which has an authentic Brooklyn feel, but without the hordes of tourists. One of the bars you might want to hit up is LunÀtico, a tiny bar owned by three musicians with live music every night. Here you can find lots of jazz music that transports you right back to the 1920s with the rise of popular jazz musicians such as Fats Waller, Besse Smith and Bing Crosby.
Aire Ancient Baths
Aire Ancient Baths are the definition of relaxation. Here you’ll find a mixture of thermal baths, massages and holistic rituals that date back to antiquity. It’s an experience that lets you wind down from the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy a glass of wine while the tension in your muscles drains away. Based in Franklin Street New York, this therapeutic attraction is a must for anyone wanting to relax their body and their mind.
On the other hand, if you’d prefer to roll with the gangsters then be sure to stop by the Museum of the American Gangster. This little building only has two rooms, but they’re two rooms you won’t forget in a hurry. Inside this little building tucked away in East Village, Manhattan, you’ll find the most emblematic figures of the American prohibition period such as Al Capone, as you dive deep into the dark belly of the underworld in New York.
The Ramble Cave
Alternatively, you could crawl deep into the labyrinths of the New York caves. In New York City’s Central Park, just below the 79th St. Travers, you’ll find the Ramble Caves.
Now I’m not going to lie to you - it appears to be the most natural places in the city, but in fact it was meticulously planned by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, as well as the original builders of the Park who put in countless hours constructing a landscape that would seem rustic and remote. Over time it evolved into what became known as the Ramble Caves.
This is a true off-the-beaten track destination, partly because they’re so difficult to find. My best tips is that you’ll find the steps leading to the caves on the western side of the Ramble, just below the Ramble Arch. The stairs are on the west side of the second small bay in the northwest of The Lake.
So far in this blog we’ve been suspended in mid air, explored abandoned cave systems, hit the local jazz bars and rolled around with gangsters, before letting it all go in a collection of steamy, ancient baths. Not bad for a day in New York eh? The truth is that The Big Apple has many wonderful surprises, and in this blog, I’ve covered just a few.
So if you ever get tired of queuing to enter the Empire State Building - I want you to remember one thing if nothing else. That is, New York is a culture-rich hub of humanity, with almost every kind of person and attraction you can possibly think of.
While seeing the big tourist traps should at least be done once in a lifetime, you might also want to do something a little more offbeat and explore some of the local museums, bars, art exhibitions and shows for a truly holistic experience. If you do that, then I guarantee you will never be the same again.
Fancy taking off sometime soon?
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Janine is a copywriter and marketing manager from England, with a background in journalism. She runs a popular travel blog called janinesjourneys.com and a Youtube blog where she shares her top tips and travel advice with other travelers. As a digital nomad, Janine spends most of her time exploring new places, creating dynamic marketing campaigns on behalf of other companies, and producing inspiring content about travel and photography. She represents a number of different entrepreneurs and startups. She also has a passion for helping people to reach their full potential.