Travel has been more than a little iffy for the past couple years, leaving many of us longing for a trip to somewhere a bit more exciting than the nearest grocery store. If you’re not ready to book tickets just yet, you can indulge your wanderlust by checking out these awesome photographs of New York City. We’re featuring some of the coolest destinations in NYC, from famed landmarks to cutting-edge developments of the future, to help you lose yourself in a bit of armchair traveling around the Big Apple — no taxi fare needed.
Grand Central Station
Grand Central Terminal, also known as Grand Central Station, started out as a railyard for New York City steam trains in the 1800s. But by the turn of the 20th century, New York was ready to usher in the age of the electric train, and Grand Central was given a 10-year upgrade that cost around $2 billion in today’s money.
The hard work paid off: Grand Central Station became a world-renowned landmark after reopening its doors in 1913. Not only does it feature gorgeous architecture, but it also has shops and restaurants, and it even hosts events. The Grand Staircase and the celestial mural ceiling are the stuff that great selfies are made of. Want to see more? Check out this free Grand Central virtual tour.
Even if you’re not familiar with the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, you’ve likely heard of many of the organizations that call it home. The Lincoln Center is one of the home bases of the rich culture that New York City is known for and is the spot where you can catch incredible performances by organizations like the Metropolitan Opera, the New York City Ballet and the New York Philharmonic. Why wait to get in on the action? Head over to Lincoln Center at Home, where you can check out its events from anywhere in the world.
The Chrysler Building
This emblematic Art Deco superstar is arguably among the most famous skyscrapers in the world and a true NYC icon. Towering to a height of 1,048 feet, it was briefly the tallest building in the world upon its completion in 1930, but it only managed to maintain the title until 1931. Nonetheless, it’s an instantly recognizable staple of the New York City skyline, and many architects consider it the most incredible building in the city.
New York may be full of history, but it’s also at the forefront of the future. Enter Hudson Yards, the largest private real estate development in the history of the United States. Touted as a model for cities of the future, this West Side Manhattan development features residential and commercial buildings with tons of shopping, public gardens, the Shed cultural center and plenty of restaurants.
On a search for top contenders for “best view in NYC”? Look no further than Edge, the highest outdoor sky deck in the entire Western Hemisphere. It’s best to imagine Hudson Yards like Disney’s Epcot — but in the real world, and with a spectacular focus on architecture.
The Brooklyn Bridge
No trip to NYC is quite complete without a stop at the Brooklyn Bridge. The structure made history upon its completion back in 1883, when it officially became the world’s first steel suspension bridge. Amid towering Gothic arches and incredible views of both Manhattan and Brooklyn, a walk along the bridge’s pedestrian walkway is truly an incredible experience. Check out this panoramic Brooklyn Bridge experience to get a better idea of what it’s like in person.
If you’re up for some high-end shopping in New York, have your cab driver drop you off on Fifth Avenue. One of the most famous streets in the city, Fifth Avenue crosses the entirety of Manhattan and includes some of the best (and most luxurious) shopping in the world. Even if you’d prefer to do some window shopping, it’s worth seeing Fifth Avenue in person, particularly the area near Central Park. Be sure you also hit up Rockefeller Center, which includes perks like the famous ice-skating rink and Top of the Rock observation deck.
Mulberry Street in Little Italy
Mulberry Street, which was once the heart of Little Italy, is now a prime stop for those in search of culinary delights. Today, the street connects Little Italy, Nolita and Chinatown, all of which offer their own unique foodie destinations. Can’t decide which to go with? Check out a tasting tour, which can guide your palate to the best cuisines from restaurants representing cultures across the world.
The Farmers Market at Union Square
Looking for some of the freshest food in New York City? Check out the Union Square Farmer’s Market (a.k.a. the Greenmarket), which first began back in 1976. The market sometimes draws as many as 140 different vendors, including local farmers, anglers and even bakers from the surrounding regions. The market even regularly hosts events ranging from cooking demonstrations to book signings.
Throughout its history, Greenwich Village has earned its well-deserved reputation as a center for cultural revolution. Throughout the 20th century, it served as a bohemian mecca, the cradle of the Beat generation and an important center for the LGBTQ+ rights movement — it’s home to the iconic Stonewall Inn. So perhaps it’s unsurprising that the neighborhood is brimming with cool artistic history. A walk down Waverly Place alone (a misspelled attempt to honor Sir Walter Scott’s novel Waverley) presents connections to countless writers, actors, poets and musicians.
The Meatpacking District and St. Marks
Don’t worry. These days, the slaughterhouses that gave the Meatpacking District its name have given way to swanky hot spots, art and high-end fashion. Take advantage of a free tour of the High Line, an abandoned rail line-turned-elevated park where locals often stage art exhibits. Then, of course, there’s the Whitney Museum, which has been exclusively showcasing American art since its opening in the 1930s.
Be sure to also check out St. Mark’s Place, arguably the most popular (and coolest) street in the East Village. There, you’ll find plenty of great restaurants, bars, shops and street vendors. Explore the city’s seedier history with a visit to The Museum of the American Gangster, which is appropriately located in what used to be a speakeasy. If you feel the need for a little redemption afterward, you can always head over to the nearby St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery. Established in 1799, not only is the church St. Mark’s namesake, but it’s also the oldest continuous site of worship in NYC.