The first thing that springs to mind when you think of New York City is the glitz and glamour; the bright lights of Times Square and the rush of yellow taxis. But did you know anything about each of New York City’s five unique boroughs? If not, we’ve got you covered!
People all around the world know the Bronx as the home of the New York Yankees, the Bronx Zoo and the New York Botanical Garden—not to mention as the birthplace of hip-hop. Look deeper and you’ll discover the quaint maritime village of City Island, the cultural attractions of Fordham and Belmont, aka the “real Little Italy,” centred on the restaurants and cafés of Arthur Avenue. Grand Concourse, in the South Bronx, is full of art deco marvels.
What to do? No trip to The Bronx would be complete without a visit to the Yankee stadium. Home to the 27-time World Series champions, the newly built ball park houses 81 home games between April and October – so there’s plenty of chances to catch a game!
Brooklyn offers attractions for every type of traveller. Want to be on the cutting edge? Head for Williamsburg, where you can hear live music every night and shop for vintage threads. If you want to root for the home team, there’s pro hockey and basketball at Barclays Centre in Downtown Brooklyn. Travelling with kids? Prospect Park and the stroller-filled sidewalks of Park Slope beckon, as does the area’s restaurant scene. And since the best things in life are free, consider a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge or along the scenic Brooklyn Heights promenade.
What to do? Head to Coney Island and take a visit to The New York Aquarium. The aquarium is the United States’ oldest continually operating aquarium and is home to more than 350 species of aquatic wildlife including walruses, sea lions, otters and penguins.
When people think of New York City, Manhattan is often the first place they picture. It’s no wonder: the borough is home to big-name attractions, such as Central Park, the Empire State Building, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the High Line and One World Observatory; world-class museums, restaurants and concert halls; and the bright lights of Times Square and Broadway. But there's more to the borough than the obvious sights. Manhattan contains charming neighbourhoods and hidden green spaces, trendy boutiques and classic bars.
What to do? The Whispering Gallery, at Grand Central Terminal in front of the Oyster Bar, is an unmarked archway with an amazing acoustic effect: when two people stand at either end of the diagonal arches and whisper, you can hear each other's voices from across the hall. A unique must-visit!
With adventurous art, international cuisine, gorgeous parks and world-class sporting events, Queens features attractions to satisfy nearly every taste. Sports lovers can watch the New York Mets play baseball at Citi Field and, in a venue nearly adjacent, see the US Open host the world’s best tennis players. But in Queens every day can be an event, whether you’re sampling the delectable Greek cuisine of Astoria or authentic Chinese food in Flushing. View inventive art at MoMA PS1 and Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, and take in the stunning flora at the Queens Botanical Garden.
What to do? The Chinese-immigrant population of Flushing make the town a foodie haven. If you’re looking for Peking duck buns and a dizzying array of teas or Korean street style, Flushing is the place to go.
Visitors shouldn’t miss the opportunity to explore Staten Island, renowned for its museums, historic landmarks, beaches and parkland—including the City’s largest forest preserve in the Staten Island Greenbelt. Reach NYC’s southernmost borough on a free ride aboard the Staten Island Ferry, an attraction in its own right. Take in a baseball game at Richmond County Bank Ballpark; experience a slice of colonial life at Historic Richmond Town; and visit Snug Harbour Cultural Centre & Botanical Garden, with exhibits that pay tribute to local maritime heritage.
What to do? Take a free ferry ride from Manhattan to Staten Island. You’ll be surrounded by amazing scenery and get to travel past the Statue of Liberty without spending a penny!
For more holiday inspiration, headed to our dedicated Eastern America page here.
By Ella Dunham