1. Walk the High Line
The High Line, opened in 1934 as a railroad track to carry goods through Manhattan, is now a park in the Chelsea area of the city. It’s not what you would expect from a traditional park, it’s actually elevated above street level and is more of a small sanctuary from the hustle and bustle below. Among the many things along the pathway, you’ll see a coffee stand, a gelato cart, people sun-bathing (during summer only of course) on the wooden lounge chairs with their picnics, artwork, and beautiful landscaping for photo ops. The High Line is a perfect spot to read the newspaper while you’re drinking your morning coffee or relaxing after a day of shopping on the bleacher style seating watching the cars pass under you through the glass overpass. http://www.thehighline.org/
2.Bike ride through central park
Rent a bike and take a leisurely ride through Central Park. I’ve done this every time I visit New York (six times to be exact) and it’s one of my favorite things to do in the city. It amazes me how vast the park is and how quiet it gets compared to the honking horns and sirens echoed throughout the city. There’s multiple places to rent bikes in the park but the easiest one to find is right next to the Boat House restaurant inside the park and adjacent to the lake. Don’t underestimate the size of Central Park, it’s very easy to get lost. Opting for a bike is the best way to see the grounds as there is a designated path that circles the park and the most likely way to NOT get lost.
3. New York Public Library
The Library is a must do and requires only a small amount of your time depending on what exhibits are on display. Situated in the heart of the shopping district along 5th Avenue, it’s the perfect pit-stop. The best part is it’s completely free! Definitely visit the Rotunda room and don’t forget to look up. Beautiful murals are painted on the ceilings and the woodwork framing these murals is stunning. http://www.nypl.org/node/29675
4. Sept. 11 Memorial
Although this is reminder of a tragic and devastating time in American History, the memorial designers did a superb job building the site. A lot of people think the memorial site is just the Freedom Towers ,which are almost complete, next to the old World Trade Tower site. In fact, around the corner there are two reflecting pools impressive in their own right as there are each over an acre in size. Etched around the pools are the names of those who perished not only in the World Trade Towers but also in the Pentagon. This site is a symbol of American pride as you notice small American flags placed in some of the carved out names as well as the amount of people who visit the pools and museum. It’s a reminder that even through adversity Americans are unbreakable. http://www.911memorial.org/visit
5. Walk Brooklyn Bridge
The Brooklyn Bridge is New York’s best kept tourist secret. I didn’t find out you could actually walk the bridge until my fourth time to New York and I wish I had known about it sooner. Not only is it architecturally spectacular it also beholds one of the best views of that famous NYC skyline. I would recommend taking a subway to Dumbo, Brooklyn and walking around the park located on the waterfront. There’s a carousel, ice cream and Brooklyn’s famous pizzeria, Grimaldi’s. Then once you’ve stuffed your tummy with pizza, you can work it off by taking the 20 minute leisurely walk down the bridge and back to the Manhattan side.
If you have more free time in the Big Apple and are on the hunt for some other fun activities, click the link for 25 more suggestions. NYC: THINGS TO DO