My introduction to the infamous big apple came from a handful of extremely touristy visits to Manhattan (complete with trips to the MET, Museum of Natural History, Ellis Island, Empire State Building, and Broadway shows) that put a NY size dent in my wallet. Don’t get me wrong, NYC is full of wonderfully EXPENSIVE tourist traps, and I love them all. Unfortunately, not all of us can afford those popular destinations, which got me thinking about what I fell in love with about the city as a New York resident for 2 years. So having checked off the tourist stops, I feel pretty confident in this list of FREE “must do” New York City activities.
1.Walk down the High Line
2. Ride the Staten Island Ferry
The ferry runs 24/7 from Manhattan to Staten Island and best of all it is FREE! You pass right by the Statue of Liberty and you can get some great shots of the city as you drift away. Try to snag a spot on the deck for the best views of the statue!
3. Submerge yourself in Times Square
4. Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge
The Brooklyn Bridge is a great 20-minute walk with impressive views of the city and the Statue of Liberty! It is a wonderful and different experience during the daytime and after sunset. Both experiences will leave you feeling satisfied.
5. Picnic in Central Park
As we have all seen in many movies and TV shows, Central Park is a happening place. There is a plethora of activities to engage in and adventures to be had in the 1.3 square mile oasis in the middle of the congested city. Whether you go for a stroll, get comfy on a bench, or plop down a blanket and picnic while you observe the hundreds of different types of people that gather in this world renowned park, it is well worth a visit. I recommend stopping into the Whole Foods at Columbus Circle (SW corner of the park) and grabbing some to-go food from their delicious buffet style hot bar where you can mix and match different entrees.
6. Walk the boardwalk at Coney Island
Take the D, F, N, or Q line to the very end and hop off at Coney Island. The boardwalk is a nice place to chill out, escape from the city, and enjoy the sight of the ocean with the carnival rides alive behind you. If sitting on the beach doesn’t do it for you, then you can always check out the rides, but beware…they are bumpy.