If you’ve been to the Big Apple before and have already seen the city’s top attractions, you might be looking for something a bit different. There really is SO much to see and do in New York, with plenty of weird and wonderful experiences and lots of hidden secrets waiting to be found. Here’s just a few fun things to keep you busy…
1. Whispering Gallery
During your stay in New York City, a visit to the bustling Grand Central Terminal should definitely be on your must-do list. This world-famous station is huge, and the incredible architecture and fascinating history make it well worth a visit. In fact, more than 750,000 visitors pass through every single day!
For a bit of fun, head to the Whispering Gallery, which you’ll find in front of the popular Oyster Bar & Restaurant. When two people stand at opposite sides of the archway and whisper, the sound will travel all the way to the other side, where the other person will be able to hear you clearly! As well as being the place to get convenient transport throughout the city, there’s also a variety of shops and restaurants to try too.
2. Old City Hall Subway Station
Image credit- Julian Dunn
Most people visiting New York City put riding the subway on their holiday bucket list. Not only is it an easy way to get around, but it’s also an iconic Manhattan experience. When you think of a New York City subway station, your first thought isn’t likely to be of somewhere beautiful, but this amazing station is just that.
Back in 1904, the city’s very first subway ride departed from City Hall Station. However, it later closed to the public in 1945 as the curved building meant it could only accommodate five-car trains. Even though the station is now closed, the stunning décor remains. If you’d like to see it for yourself, you can book an underground tour and admire the elegant chandeliers, skylights, tiled ceilings and towering archways. Tickets often get booked up far in advance, so it’s a good idea to book early if you don’t want to miss out.
3. The High Line
Image credit- David Berkowitz
Ever been to a park that’s above the city? Well, in New York anything is possible, and you can do just that. The High Line is a public park built on an old freight rail line, that’s elevated above the streets of Manhattan’s West Side. It runs all the way from the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street- that’s 1.45-miles long in total.
The High Line is covered with hundreds of beautiful wildflowers, colourful plants, shrubs and trees, as well as unique artwork. Spend some time admiring the plants and taking in the incredible view of the city around you.
4. Roosevelt Island Tramway
The Roosevelt Island Tramway has made it onto our list because even though it’s not exactly top secret, it’s something that most first-time visitors don’t know about. This aerial tramway is not only a great way to get around, but also a great (and cheap!) way to admire spectacular panoramic views of New York City. A one-way ride on the tramway will only cost you the standard subway fare, which is less than $3! If you’ve invested in an unlimited MetroCard for your stay, you’ll be able to ride it for free.
The Roosevelt Island Tramway takes you over the East River, connecting the Upper East Side of Manhattan with Roosevelt Island. Once there, you can visit Blackwell House (one of the oldest houses in New York City), the Roosevelt Island Visual Art Association (RIVAA) gallery, and the lighthouse to name just a few.
5. The SeaGlass Carousel
Image credit- cultivar413
This has to be one of the city’s most stunning secret attractions. Located in Battery Park, this incredible carousel was built to honour the New York Aquarium, which originally opened at the same location in 1896.
The striking carousel is designed to make visitors feel as though they are underwater. There’s a total of 30 huge fiberglass fish, which are internally illuminated with colour-changing LED lights to make them appear bioluminescent. The immersive experience reflects an underwater atmosphere, using colour-changing lights and “water effect” light projectors. The SeaGlass Carousel is only open on Saturdays and Sundays, and we’d recommend visiting in the evening, when the gleaming lights are even more impressive then usual.
6. Waterfall Tunnel
Image credit- Štěpán Roh
This unique spot definitely deserves a place on your Instagram. If you didn’t know it was there, you’d probably miss it, but the secret tunnel can be found on the western side of the McGraw-Hill Building (just a short walk from Times Square). Walk through the tunnel and you’ll be surrounded by water rushing down from the waterfall wall. Don’t worry though, you won’t get wet! This is a popular spot for those wanting to take photos so you might have to wait a bit, but it’s worth it to get a good shot.
7. Marilyn Monroe’s Subway Grate
Image credit- Masayuki (Yuki) Kawagishi
Everyone has seen the iconic photograph of Marilyn Monroe standing over a subway grate in NYC. If you’re a big fan, you can recreate the picture yourself during your visit. Of course, there are thousands of subway grates in the city, so you’ll need to know where to go. To find this particular one, you’ll need to head over to the southwest corner of Lexington Avenue and 52nd street. This is the spot where Marilyn’s white dress flew up into the air as a subway train passed underneath the grate. While it might’ve seemed like an ordinary mishap, the scene was actually a publicity stunt orchestrated by 20th Century Fox to promote the Seven Year Itch movie that Marilyn was starring in.
The famous department store Bloomingdales is just a short walk away, and if you’re feeling hungry (and have a serious sweet tooth!) Sprinkles Bakery is close by too. It even has a 24-hour cupcake ATM! Just choose a cake, swipe your card and a delicious cupcake will magically appear.
Ready to start planning your holiday to NYC? Click here, to view our full range of New York attractions.
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