Headed to the Big Apple for a quick weekend trip? Don’t get stuck in the throng of tourists crowding Rockefeller Center or meandering through Times Square. For a unique take on the big city, put these obscure but interesting places on your list of things to do.
1. The Other Side of Central Park
Though Central Park is one of the most well-known destinations for visitors to New York City, many tourists end their journey long before they get to the good stuff. If you are staying at the Westgate New York Grand Central, you are just a few blocks from exploring the most ignored beauty of NYC. The northern part of Central Park heads toward Harlem, and if you are ready for adventure, explore the North Woods and the Ravine to find a tranquil stream and five small waterfalls.
2. The Elevated Acre
Looking for more beauty? Head over on downtown and over to 55 Water Street. Here you will find an obscure escalator between two buildings that will carry you one story up to the Elevated Acre. This is a seven-tiered amphitheater and beautiful green lawn about an acre in size where you can catch views of the East River and Brooklyn.
3. Ghostbuster Firehouse
If you need to get away from your hotel in midtown NYC for the afternoon, how about a journey to the Ghostbuster Firehouse. Though this early 20th-century building was the home of the Ghostbuster headquarters, it is also a real working firehouse. In fact, this building is home to the Hook and Ladder Company 8, one of the first groups of firefighters to reach Ground Zero on 9/11.
4. Roosevelt Island
Found between Manhattan and Queens on the East River is a thin island called Roosevelt Island. Not your average tourist attraction, but the ride over on the Roosevelt Island aerial tramway is one the most scenic adventures you will take in NYC. However, once you get to the island, you will find an abandoned 19th-century smallpox hospital that has been inhabited by a colony of feral cats. The island is also a popular spot for summer festivals.
A small but interesting find in lower Manhattan is the Mmuseumm. With a mission to educate the population about world events and humanity through a display of modern objects from around the world, this stop is object journalism at its finest. It’s also a budget-friendly stop, as there is no charge to view the freight-elevator sized exhibit.
Don’t get stuck in tourist traps the next time you head to NYC. Get off the beaten path and track down some of these obscure but worthwhile locations.