Off the Beaten Path: Fresh Picks for Fun in New York

New York City universally makes the Top Five lists for world's most visited city. Even with Bangkok surprisingly edging out the Metropolis (not to mention London and Paris) for the championship spot, New York sees millions of visitors every year. With people from all over the world lining up to buy I Love New York T-shirts and gobble Grey's Papaya, it's no wonder the City never sleeps.

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Off the Beaten Path: Fresh Picks for Fun in New York
Image Credit: jahborgs

Before you rush off to the Statue of Liberty, or hasten to see the building where King Kong grabbed a delicately coiffed Fay Wray and made for the sky, consider trying to find something less … obvious to do. Here's a short – but thoughtful – list of things to do in New York that won't leave a tourist taste in your mouth.
  1. The Strand Bookstore. One of the oldest independent bookstores in the country, The Strand has been around since 1927. With books on every possible subject – and over eighteen miles of shelves to browse, The Strand is the must-stop bookshop for new, used, out-of-print, and rare books. Soaking up the knowledge is only part of the experience, too, as The Strand has a history of famous employees, including legendary rocker Patti Smith.
  2. The Hell's Kitchen Flea Market. Midtown West, better known as “Hell's Kitchen,” is a neighborhood – not just a fun TV show. Birthplace or current residence of dozens of celebrities, including Vanessa Carlton, Alicia Keys, Mickey Rourke, and Chevy Chase, Hell's Kitchen also has the best mobster stories in New York. None of that is why it's tourist heaven, though. That honor falls to the Hell's Kitchen Flea Market, a wild mashup of nouveau riche, hipster, and just plain packrat that promises untold treasures at every table.
  3. MoMA. The Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art (MoMA, to locals and those in the know) is quite possible the best modern art museum in the world. Not only is the collection a staggering, breathtaking series of galleries, the building itself is an architectural jewel. While this is a popular destination, it's just as popular with the locals as it is with tourists, making it well worth a visit. Plus, right outside it's double doors you can engage in the one touristy thing New Yorkers secretly love to see outsiders do – buy (and wear) New York T Shirts, with or without the “I [Heart]” section.
  4. Roller Skate through Riverbank State Park. Feeling adventurous? Spend a measly $7.50 to strap on rollerskates and take in the sights at one of New York's most unusual features: a 28-acre multilevel recreational facility that includes pools, sports, a track, promenade views of the Hudson river, and more.
Whether you have already had ample experience visiting the Big Apple, it’s your first time in the city, or you're just one of those people who likes to thoroughly research your vacations beforehand, you want to know that you're going to see the right things. After all, even native New Yorkers like to brag that their home can still surprise them.
Jessica Holmes
About the Author:

Jessica Holmes is an avid blogger who loves writing about her travel experiences.

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