Making sure a trip does not break the bank can be an uphill batte at times which is why I try to include free activities in my travel itinerary. The more free activities that make the itinerary the better for my wallet. The challenge is finding free activities that are worthwhile and memorable. Thankfully, New York is a city that has an incredible lineup of free, worthwhile and memorable activities to add to the itinerary. In no particular order, here is a roundup of my favorite ten free things to see and do in New York.
1. The Highline. The train tracks turned park is a favorite amongest locals and tourist. Walking the length of the highline is a must do in New York. I recommend planning your trek to end at the Whitney museum - check out the latest exhibitions, refuel at Gansevoort market or Bubby's (get the apple pie). Less than a mile from the Whitney you will find Chelsea market - you cannot miss this if you are in NYC.
2. Staten Island Ferry. Take the free Ferry ride from the New York Harbour (close to Battery park) to Staten Island. It a nice way to spend a few hours int he city. Plus, you get to see the lady (lady liberty) on your ride to and from Staten Island. On the way to Staten Island, you want to be on the right side of the boat for the best view of Lady Liberty.
3. The Parks. New York has some of the best parks and it will cost you nothing to explore the parks. My top three are - Battery Park; Central Park and Bryant park. During the summer (especially), these parks host events and concerts you can attend for free. Bryant park has a summer movie series and Central park has a concert series in the summer time.
4. Explore D.U.M.B.O. Down Under the Manhantthan Bridge Overpass. No trip to New York is complete without a visit to DUMBO. Restaurants, galleries and bookstores line this area. It is lovely to walk around the area. Grab a sweet treat from one girl cookies; walk over to see Tom Fruin glass house and Jane's carousel. Don't forget to get a snap shot of the Manhantthan bridge from the vantage point on water street.
5. Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge. Once you are done exploring D.U.M.B.O, take a walk across the Brooklyn bridge toward Manhantthan. It is a incredible leisure walk , plus the view of the city from the Bridge is incredible.
6. 9-11 Memorial. Now that you have walked the Brooklyn Bridge back into Manhattan, you are not too far from the 9-11 memorial. Head over for a visit. It is a deeply touching and humbling memorial and worth your time in New York. There is also a 9-11 museum close to the memorial (you have to pay to get into the museum).
7. Time Square. Possibly the most famous square in the world. No trip to New York is complete until you have spent some time in Time Square - people watching. I recommend planning both a day and night time visit. When you have had your fill of time square - find your way to Momofuku on 56th and 5th for a cereal ice cream or M & M world on Broadway. You will also find the TKTS booth here for affordable tickets to broadway shows.
8. Grand Central Station - Main Concourse. This is more than just a train station. Besides being the location of several movies and TV shows including, the upcoming Girl on a train , Gossip girls and law & order SVU, Grand Central also has great shopping and food options. There are over fifty shops including Diptyque , Jo Malone, Moleskin and MAC Cosmetics. You will also find incredible dining - a few of my favorites Magnolia bakery, Shake Shack and Cipriani Dolci.
9. New York Public Library. Another iconic movie location - notable movies include Sex in the City (The Movie) and Spider Man 3. The sweeping staircase is worth a visit (especially if you have seen Sex in the City); take a tour of the library and visit the current exhibition.
10. Coney Island. Looking for a beach day or a getaway from the city ? Head to Coney Island and walk the Broadwalk or lay on the beach. If you are picky about your beaches, don't go for the beaches, go for Luna park , Nathan's hot dogs and the broadwalk.
Any other suggestions to add to this list ?