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Top 10 unusual things to do in New York City

For many, New York is a ‘must’. Its legendary skyscrapers, cuisine and entertainment rival that of any other place in the world. No matter what time of year you visit, be it in the hot summer or enchanting winter, you are promised an unforgettable holiday. But besides the obvious, what is there to do in New York? Sure, journeying up the Empire State Building and taking the ferry to visit the Statue of Liberty is thrilling, but these sorts of things have become the stock for any tourist’s holiday. By now, it is expected of you to visit these city landmarks. Well, we’ve thought of a few unusual things to add to your New York itinerary, ranging from trapeze lessons to discovering the city’s best deli. This is your chance to explore the core of the Big Apple! 1. Explore Chinatown Chinatown is a vibrant place, bursting with a unique and exciting culture. Besides the abundance of authentic Chinese restaurants serving delicious food, there is much to see and do in this part of the city. Go shopping for “designer” clothing and accessories or Chinese spices and tea; you won’t find anything as good back home. 2. Visit the Strand bookstore The Strand bookstore is not just any ordinary bookstore. Selling new, used and old books, their collection spans over 18 miles. Peruse the shelves and see what gem you can uncover – you never know what you might find! 3. Enrol at the Trapeze School If you’re seeking adventure, look no further than the Trapeze School New York. Offering lessons to both beginners and experts, you will be able to soar through the air with New York’s one-of-a-kind cityscape as your background. 4. Go to an Improv show Although Broadway is filled with wonderful theatre shows starring some of the biggest Hollywood actors and actresses, there is a booming comedy scene in New York. Take the time to attend an improv show, where you might just see the next ‘big thing’ in comedy. 5. Shop at a Flea Market There are many great Flea Markets in New York, including the Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market, all of which sell a variety of second-hand and vintage items. Whichever market you decide to visit, you’re guaranteed to bring an array of fascinating things back with you. 6. Visit Coney Island Coney Island is an affable and quirky part of New York, filled with beachgoers and hot dog stands. Take a leisurely walk along the boardwalk or visit the Coney Island Museum, where you’ll learn about the island’s fascinating history. 7. Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge You will see New York at its best when you walk along the Brooklyn Bridge. Both tourists and residents alike traverse the bridge, and drink in the breath-taking sights of the city. If you’re up to it and want to burn off some extra calories, jogging your way across is an exhilarating experience. Brooklyn Bridge 8. Explore the High Line The High Line Park is built upon a disused rail line, making it appear as if wildflowers are sprouting from the metal tracks. Considered highly trendy, all manner of people visit the park, including the hottest photographers and artists. 9. Enjoy a Sunset Sail As the evening winds down, climb aboard a luxury yacht and witness New York City away from the hustle and bustle. You’ll be able to drink in the city’s unforgettable skyline, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. 10. Eat at Katz’s Deli Featured in worldwide magazines and TV shows, Katz Deli serves notoriously delicious food, from smoked pastrami to baked brisket. The only problem you’ll have here is deciding what to order, but don’t worry, it’s all good. Matthew Coe is Online Marketing Manager for Wanderforth. If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

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  1. for the unusual ladies: Walk topless in central park ( or anywhere else in the city) it’s actually legal in New York to walk topless. Something about equal right for men and woman having a bare chest.

  2. Man I am telling you what I took – the Stanton Island ferry at sunset and it was amazing with the sunset behind the Lady Liberty.

  3. Has anyone been to New York’s Welsh inns? ‘Longbow Pub & Pantry’ claim to serve the best fish & chips in Brooklyn and ‘Peint O Gwrw’ in Chatham say theirs is a real Welsh style pub. I’ve never been to New York should I include these venues on my list of places to visit when I do?

  4. I’m surprised that these are considered “unusual” things to do. Yes, the trapeze lessons definitely are (improv too), but the Highline, Chinatown and the rest are commonly visited and well-known places for tourists (ever take a sunset cruise? Nothing but tourists). If you want to get into the lesser-visited (and therefore perhaps more unusual) things then add a visit to The Cloisters museum in upper Manhattan, check out P.S. 1 in Long Island City (part of MOMA), go out to the historic Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn (which offers guided tours) or ride the Staten Island Ferry for a free trip across the water and a sense of what it’s like to be with real New Yorkers.

  5. I went to New York this year for my 21st and managed to tick off a few of these. I must admit, the high line is absolutely stunning and Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market was the best shopping experience I had in NY. I’m already making plans to go back!

  6. Utterly agree with Caroline Green. Only the trapeze school is unusual here. As a Brit who moves back to the UK after 19 years in New York City, these “ideas” are pedestrian to say the least. Go to Broad Channel in Queens, which looks like it should be on the Chesapeake Bay; buy Indian materials and eat great food in Jackson Heights, also in Queens; discover great cheese cake and see the effects of Hurricane Sandy in Red Hook, Brooklyn; perhaps even visit Manhattan’s Tenement Museum (although it is expensive)…even that is less obvious than these suggestions.
    This blog is written out of Kendall in the Lake District, and this article sounds like research did not look much farther.
    I know from experience you can do far, far better!

  7. Correction to your last point, Terence. *I* live in Kendal (not Kendall, and not actually in the Lake District – it lies just outside the boundary of the National Park). This article is a guest blog post and written by a third party – a travel company based in London.

    I’m sorry you didn’t like the piece. What is unusual to one person is not unusual to another, so it really does come down to taste. Frequent visitors to the city will no doubt find some of the ideas a little mundane – if you’ve lived for 2 decades then sure, you’re probably not finding anything that unusual here.

    The article is probably better suited to those who have just been once or twice and have done the usual sights such as the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty, but are looking for something a little bit different to the main draws for their next visit.

  8. Yes, Carolibe and Terence, different strokes for different folks and your suggestions are good to add to some in the article. Doesn’t make the article bad.

  9. Just done three of those in the last 24 hours and likely to add two more tomorrow :-)

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