5 Hidden New York Treasures for the First-Time Tourist

New York City is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. It has much to offer and can be overwhelming for the first-time visitor. There are hundreds of tourist attractions. While most of these are definitely worth checking out, you may want to step away from the crowds and visit some hidden gems in and around the city that native New Yorkers enjoy. Here are a few of those worth experiencing.

The Cloisters in Upper Manhatten

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is likely the most popular museum in all of New York City. The lines to get in can be long. The Met owns another museum on the Upper West Side of Manhattan that has much to offer and fewer crowds. The Met Cloisters is on four landscaped acres overlooking the Hudson River. It is dedicated to the art, architecture, and gardens of medieval Europe. The museum is open from March through October and can be reached by subway (A train to 190th Street) or bus. An admission fee is suggested but optional.

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden

The New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx is spectacular. It attracts large crowds. A wonderful alternative is The Brooklyn Botanic Garden with its themed gardens and pavilions, interactive children’s gardens, and picturesque grounds to wander through. You won’t feel like you are in the city. The Garden is universal with many paved accessible pathways. It is reachable by three subway lines.

Smorgaburg Brooklyn Flea

The Green Market at Union Square and Eataly are two of the most popular and well-visited food markets in Manhattan. Smorgasburg in Williamsburg and Prospect Park, Brooklyn amps up the outdoor food experience in New York. Every Saturday and Sunday from April through November, Smorgasburg showcases 100+ local and regional food and beer vendors. The food is unique with many ethnicities represented. You can spend hours sampling dishes and meeting new friends.

The Hamptons on Eastern Long Island

The small villages known locally as “The Hamptons” on the eastern end of Long Island can be reached by a LIRR train from Pennsylvania Station. The Hamptons are considered the gold coast of New York with wide sand beaches and stately homes. Each village is quaint with upscale boutiques and a mix of casual and fine dining. You might want to visit the award winning vineyards around the area for wine tastings.


DIA:Beacon is worth a day trip outside of NY City. DIA is one of the largest and newest contemporary art museums in the United States with exceptional collections and visiting exhibits. It occupies a former Nabisco box-printing factory on the scenic banks of the Hudson River in historic Beacon. The building is a model of early twentieth century industrial architecture with exposed brick, steel, concrete, and glass. The museum has a book store and a café. The quiet town of Beacon and the museum are a short trip by Metro North train from Grand Central Station.

The first-time traveler to New York will have no problem finding hundreds of tourist attractions to take in. It is always nice to have the inside scoop on things to do and places to visit that may be a little less touristy and more special to the locals.

Author Bio

Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan recommends taking a time-out in The Hamptons with an overnight stay at The Baker House 1650 bed and breakfast for a gracious step back in time, reminiscent of 17th century Cotswolds. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure.