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NYC – Visitors Check List – things to do – must see places -don’t miss

Updated July 2016

Visiting a city for the first time can be confusing but one of the benefits can also be exciting. Imagine yourself exploring parts of the city and finding the unexpected.  This Blog will give you some of the highlights of NYC. However, the city is best experienced if you wander past the main landmarks and sample the feel, smell and look of each neighborhood. 

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Central Park One of many places in NYC to visit


Here are a few of the most visited attractions. I will not add too much description but will give you an idea as to their location in the city.

Lower Manhattan 


  • Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island
  • 9/11 Memorial
  • Wall Street
  • South Street Seaport
  • The High Line – just a little higher than lower (west 12th st)


Note on the High Line: At the south end, you’ll be by Chelsea Market, an indoor shopping plaza (Old Nabisco Plant)and  if you keep walking south a bit, you’re in the West Village. A really neat  neighborhood to walk around, shop, people watch, drink.Under the highline between 15th and 16th Streets is Chelsea market, is an indoor avenue of shops and cafes that would be a place to get lunch.

get out on the harbor: Visit Ellis Island and/or the Statue of Liberty. If that’s not your thing, just take a FREE ride to Staten Island and back on the Ferry,

A guided tour of the Tenement Museum on the Lower East Side for history buffs.

the New Museum on the Lower East Side

The Strand. If you have any time leftover (which is doubtful if you’re into books)

Mid Town

P1160475_Times Square_south

  • Times Square
  • – Rockefeller Center
  • – Top of the Rock (May be better view than ESB but doesn’t have the history)
  • Empire State Building
  • Grand Central Station – (whispering Gallery)- Museum of Modern Art
  • you might be interested in touring the UN, then having lunch at theDelegates’ Dining Room (which even many natives don’t know about).

Central Park

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  • Strawberry Field
  • The Pond
  • The Bow Bridge
  • It may not be your thing, but I like to suggest seeing Cleopatra’s Needle to visitors. Red granite, 70 feet tall, it’s inscribed with Egyptian hieroglyphs. It’s 3400+ years old, and the oldest outdoor man-made object in New York. (I think they are cleaning it now)
  • Central Park is just plain fun, not to mention great people-watching, whatever the season. The park’s grandly named Wildlife Center (formerly Children’s Zoo) is fun for, as they used to say, “children of all ages.”

Upper West Side

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  • New-York Historical Society’s Free Fridays:
  • American Folk Art Museum.
  • New York Public Library, Library for the Performing Arts, 40 Lincoln Center Plaza.
  • American Museum of Natural History. Central Park West at 79th Street
  • Saint John the Divine    SECRET . nearby and not to be missed
  • Lincoln Center
  • – American Museum of Natural History
  • Grant’s Tomb
  • Joan of Arc Statue SECRET small art museum
  • Soldiers and Sailors Monument
  • Riverside Park

Upper East Side

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-the Asia Society Museum and eat at their Garden Court Cafe

The Metropolitan Museum of Art – you could spend days here though

a little bit of a ride, but I think the Cloisters is not to be missed.


This  list might appeal to a visitor who hasn’t been for a long time.

-Macy’s in Herald Square – original escalator
– Take the 6 train to City Hall and stay on as it turns around inside the old City Hall station (it might also be worth becoming an MTA museum member just to take the old City Hall station tour)

– Spend some time just people watching at Union Square.

– Take a Central Park tour
– Walk the Brooklyn Promenade and visit the new Brooklyn Bridge Park
– Tour the cheese caves at Murray’s Cheeses in the West Village

– Eat your weight in “only in NY” type foods: bagels and smoked salmon, pastrami on rye, hot dogs & papaya juice, black and white cookies, cheesecake, egg creams, pickles, halal carts

For Economy Candy: The address is 108 Rivington)

LES pastrami sandwich at Katz’s, and maybe sit at the famous table from When Harry Met Sally?

– Stand in line at a Shake Shack.


-The next logical step after the touristy things already mentioned is a walking tour of the Village, Little Italy and Chinatown. If you had to choose one it would be the Village.


Since I like to walk in the city here are a few random suggestions:


–Walk west across 42nd St. to New York Public Library and go to Bryant Park for a coffee. (If it’s raining, take your coffee at Grand Central Station.)

–Walk farther west to 8th Avenue and go to the madness in Times Square.


Go online at Yelp or Trip Advisor for other charming, affordable restaurants in the West Village and other places .

Wear decent walking shoes–many cobblestone streets.

The districts you want to read about before you come are Meatpacking District (many designers have boutiques there), High Line, West Village, Chelsea and Central park.

With a couple of weeks and a good feet, go for some good walks. For example, start at Lincoln Center and walk down to Greenwich Village, seeing much of city along the way. (Weather permitting.)


If you have teen with you check the following:



One comment on “NYC – Visitors Check List – things to do – must see places -don’t miss

  1. I’m going to have to visit one day! Lovely photos.


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