50 Things to See and Do in New York City

50 Things to See and Do in New York City50 Things to See and Do in New York City.

Here are the best things to do, see, eat, and buy when you’re in the Big Apple.

From the best shops and restaurants to experiences you won’t find anywhere else, here’s how to get the most out of New York City.

Tiffany & Co. has been a fixture on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street in Manhattan since it opened its doors on October 21, 1940, but now there’s a new reason to visit: an all-day, Tiffany Blue café. The Blue Box Café serves American classic food, with breakfast ($32), lunch ($42), and tea ($52) prix-fixe menus available.

“Seeing a Broadway show is great, but if you’re in New York in the summertime, nothing beats Shakespeare in the Park. It’s a free series put on by the Public Theater in an open-air venue in Central Park, and combines astonishing performances from incredible talent with a night under the stars for an unbeatable theatrical experience.” —Adam Rathe, Senior Editor (Arts and Culture)

“Every time I go, I encounter a room I’ve never been to before. But I never leave without visiting the medieval armor on the first floor.”— Jamie Rosen, Contributing Editor.

Once only open to members and staff, the Met Dining Room on the fourth floor is now open to all visitors to the museum. With seats overlooking Central Park and Michelin-starred Chef John Fraser overseeing a seasonal menu focused on one ingredient (this past summer it was tomatoes), the restaurant is worth a visit all on its own.

843 acres are open to visitors in America’s most-visited urban park, which was designed by 1858 in by landscape architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux after they beat out 32 competitors for the project. Now a National Historic Landmark, the park is full of places to explore, starting with its zoo, Bethesda Fountain, the mall ( shown here ), and Woolman Rink. Even the Metropolitan Museum of Art technically falls within its confines.

The expansive 55,000-square-foot drill hall plays hosts to year-round events, including the Winter Antiques Show, TEFAF New York, and its own cultural programming. But what you might not know is that visitors can tour other areas like the first-floor period rooms and restored Board of Officers Room and Veterans Room with a guide.

Even if your college days are in the past, you can still still explore the city’s only Ivy League institution. Head out on a self-guided tour or choose one of the options with a guide, including one that covers the history, architecture, and sculpture of the Morningside Heights campus. For more architectural splendor in the neighborhood, don’t miss the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine.

There might not be a more traditional Upper East Side experience than drinks at Bemelmens Bar and a show at Café Carlyle. The cabaret theater has hosted luminaries like Alan Cumming and Judy Collins since its debut in 1955. Tickets for the jacket-required supper club are available here.

Located on four acres overlooking the Hudson River in Upper Manhattan’s Fort Tryon Park, this annex of the Metropolitan Museum of Art includes four cloisters and a group of reconstructed chapels and halls from medieval French monasteries and abbeys.

The 250-acre National Historic Landmark in the Bronx hosts more than a million visitors annually. One of its top draws? The Holiday Train Show, which runs from November through January.

America’s only museum dedicated solely to design has been a branch of the Smithsonian since the 1960s. It now has a collection of more than 210,000 design objects that span 240 years, all housed in industrialist Andrew Carnegie’s former mansion on the Upper East Side.

The Gilded Age mansion of industrialist Henry Clay Frick is one of the most visually interesting places to visit in the city today (here’s what it looked like when it was a private home, by the way).

“The king of the old-school appetizing shops, Zabar’s is not a deli, as you can’t order lunch. It’s not a supermarket, as there’s no produce (well, not much), and you can’t get paper towels or dish soap. But it has the best selection of cheeses on earth (not an exaggeration), many of them very inexpensive. And prepared foods. And outstanding, reasonably priced coffee. And loose tea of several dozen kinds. And who else has a lox counter—just lox, nothing else. And I haven’t even mentioned the kitchenwares department upstairs, which is one of New York’s best-kept secrets.” —James Lochart, Copy Chief.

The Metropolitan Opera, New York Philharmonic, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and New York City Ballet all perform here. The Met Opera House, in particular, is worth visiting even without a show ticket. Its opulence is a feast for the eyes.

Located at the northern end of Fifth Avenue’s Museum Mile, MCNY offers exhibitions on the city’s art and history, including “New York at Its Core,” which charts the city’s rise from a striving Dutch village to today’s ‘Capital of the World.’

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