No matter how many times you’ve traveled to New York City, there’s always something new—a place, thing, or food—to discover. So instead of sharing the usual tourist attractions, like the Empire State Building and Times Square, we’ve curated a list of hidden gems and local hotspots, including unique dining, attractions, shopping, and more.
Read on to discover the places you’ll want to add to your itinerary to take your next visit to New York City to the next level.
While most visitors might head uptown to explore the big-name museums like the Met and MoMa, consider traveling to the Chelsea neighborhood on the West Side of Manhattan to scope out the area’s smaller art galleries, most of which are free and open to the public. The galleries are concentrated largely between West 18th and West 28th Streets and 10th and 11th Avenues and are known for displaying important works of contemporary art.
Once the private collection of financier Pierpont Morgan, The Morgan Library houses an impressive selection of books and art. With grand marble staircases and ornate ceilings, the library recently underwent a renovation that improved the grounds, enhanced the building’s exterior lighting, expanded public access, and created a new garden. It’s located in Midtown Manhattan, not far from Bryant Park.
One of the city’s newer attractions, this urban park offers unique views of NYC and the Hudson River. Located on Pier 55, near the intersection of West Street and West 13th Street, Little Island features a meandering design that’s nestled among flowers, trees, and shrubs. During the summer, events are held in The Glade, an intimate stage area within the park.
Indulge in a spa day at the New York City location of AIRE Ancient Baths. Housed in a restored historical building in TriBeCa that was originally a textile factory, the luxury wellness space provides a magical, restorative experience that will soothe your mind and body after a day filled with business meetings or sightseeing.
This collection of indoor markets that’s filled with merchants selling arts, crafts, clothing, and more boasts two New York City locations: Williamsburg and Chelsea. Both outposts feature an eclectic mix of local vendors and goods, and are the places where you’ll score quirky, cool, and unusual souvenirs and gifts.
Located on Fifth Avenue between 78th and 79th Streets, Albertine bookstore is known for its dreamy ceiling decor of astrological imagery that’s worth seeing IRL. It also boasts the largest collection of French-language books and translations from French into English in the U.S. Kinokuniya New York is another under-the-radar find for readers that’s situated next to Bryant Park and features a collection of Asian books and magazines, plus cool stationery and coffee table books.
Head to the Midtown location on West 52nd Street of this antique shop to browse unique treasures and trinkets. With an impressive inventory of “olde good things,” including original and restored antique items such as chandeliers, furniture, art, and more, this retail spot is as much a museum as it is a store. Be sure to leave room in your luggage for all the must-have things you’re sure to find here.
This Chinatown gem might look like a typical trinket shop, but here you snag some crystals and get a pic of your aura. Discover the kind of energy that you radiate and receive a reading explaining what the rainbow of colors in your portrait actually means.
One of New York City’s newest culinary destinations, the Tin Building by Jean-Georges, which is located in lower Manhattan’s historic Seaport District, is home to restaurants serving a range of cuisine—from Chinese to French to vegan. It also includes a stocked market with locally sourced seafood, meats, cheeses, seasonal produce, chef-grade pantry staples, and rare ingredients.
In addition to its pretty vaulted ceiling that’s painted with constellations, Grand Central Terminal hosts another unique feature—the “whispering gallery.” Tucked away in the dining area of the station, this spot boasts an interesting acoustical effect. Put your ear up to the tile work in the domed convergence of walkways on the lower floor of the terminal and listen to hear something as quiet as a whisper over the din of commuter crowds from across this interior intersection—thanks to the perfect arches that compose the space.
At Park Terrace Hotel, there’s always a yoga mat in your room for when you want to do downward dog in private. But if you’re thinking about venturing beyond the hotel to attend an IRL yoga class, head to Chelsea where you’ll find Humming Puppy. This spot doesn’t look or sound like a usual yoga studio though. While the welcome area is light and airy, the practice room is dark, black, and dimly lit. And a constant ambient purr of singing bowls “hums” in the background. The sound is supposed to help yogis relax and deepen their practice.
From whimsical bookstores to thoughtfully curated shops, there is so much to explore and find when you look outside of the regular activities of the city. Book your next stay at Park Terrace Hotel to be near all the hidden gems of New York.