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15 Unusual Things To Do In New York

Although the Big Apple might be known for its iconic landmarks, famous museums, and world-class dining options, tourists are more and more interested in discovering unusual things to do in New York City.

Author:Paolo Reyna
Reviewer:James Pierce
Jan 10, 2024
570 Shares
114K Views
Although the Big Apple might be known for its iconic landmarks, famous museums, and world-class dining options, tourists are more and more interested in discovering unusual things to do in New York City. Beyond the usual tourist hotspots, there are countless hidden gems to be found throughout the city. Whether you're a first-time visitor or a seasoned local looking to try something new, this guide will showcase 15 unusual things to do in NYC that are sure to provide a one-of-a-kind adventure.

Visit the Abandoned City Hall Subway Station and Take a Tour

The abandoned City Hall Subway station in NYC, closed in 1945, is a marvel of early subway construction. Featuring stunning tilework, intricate mosaics, and a beautiful skylight, it is a must-see for history buffs and urban explorers. Guided tours and special events are occasionally available.

Walk the High Line, an Elevated Park That Used to Be a Railway Line

The High Line in NYC is a unique park that stretches 1.45 miles along a former elevated railway. The park offers beautiful views of the city, as well as art installations, gardens, and events. It is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.

Take a Ferry to the Abandoned Island of North Brother and Visit the Ruins of a Former Hospital

North Brother Island in NYC was once home to a hospital for people with contagious diseases, including Typhoid Mary. The hospital closed in 1963, and the island has since been abandoned. Its eerie ruins are visible from the East River and are a popular destination for urban explorers.

Go on a Street Art Tour in Bushwick and See Some of the City's Best Graffiti

Bushwick, Brooklyn is a hub for graffiti culture in NYC. The neighborhood is home to numerous murals and street art pieces created by local and international artists. Visitors can explore the vibrant street art scene on guided tours or by simply wandering through the streets.

Enjoy a Unique View From Manhattan’s Skyline

A helicopter tour of New York offers breathtaking views of the city's iconic landmarks, such as the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and the Brooklyn Bridge. Visitors can choose from various tour options and enjoy a unique perspective on the city from above. A company like AEROAFFAIRESoffers to organize your helicopter tour of New York City.

Go on a Food Crawl of the City's Best Dumplings

Dumplings are a popular food in NYC, with numerous restaurants and food stalls serving up the tasty treats. From traditional Chinese-style dumplings to creative fusions, there's something for everyone. Popular spots include the Dumpling Galaxy in Flushing and Vanessa's Dumpling House in Manhattan.

Watch an Indie Film at the Rooftop Films Summer Series, Held in Various Outdoor Locations

The Rooftop Films summer series in NYC is a unique outdoor film festival that showcases independent and innovative films on rooftops and other outdoor venues throughout the city. The festival features a wide range of genres and formats and often includes Q&A sessions with filmmakers and actors.

Take a Tour of the Grand Central Terminal and Learn About Its History

Grand Central Terminal in NYC is a historic transportation hub and architectural masterpiece. The terminal features beautiful Beaux-Arts architecture, a stunning main concourse with a celestial ceiling, and numerous shops and restaurants. Visitors can also take guided tours to learn about the history and design of the terminal.

Attend a Drag Queen Bingo Night at the Infamous Stonewall Inn

Stonewall Inn in NYC is famous for being the birthplace of the LGBTQ rights movement, and now hosts regular drag queen bingo nights. These lively events feature drag performances, bingo games, and prizes, and are a fun and entertaining way to experience the vibrant LGBTQ culture of the city.

Visit the Tenement Museum and Learn About the History of New York's Immigrant Population

The Tenement Museum in NYC offers a unique look into the history and daily lives of immigrants in the Lower East Side. Visitors can take guided tours of the museum's restored tenement buildings and learn about the struggles and triumphs of immigrants in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Check Out the Green-Wood Cemetery, Which Has Beautiful Historic Tombstones and Architecture

The Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, NYC is a historic and picturesque final resting place for many notable figures, including artists, politicians, and musicians. Visitors can take guided tours of the cemetery, explore its beautiful gardens and landscapes, and learn about the rich history of the city.

Take a Tour of the United Nations Headquarters and Learn About International Diplomacy

The United Nations headquarters in NYC is an iconic international landmark and serves as the main hub for global diplomacy and peacekeeping efforts. Visitors can take guided tours of the complex, learn about the organization's work, and see the impressive artwork and architecture on display.
Jump to

Visit the Abandoned City Hall Subway Station and Take a Tour

Walk the High Line, an Elevated Park That Used to Be a Railway Line

Take a Ferry to the Abandoned Island of North Brother and Visit the Ruins of a Former Hospital

Go on a Street Art Tour in Bushwick and See Some of the City's Best Graffiti

Enjoy a Unique View From Manhattan’s Skyline

Go on a Food Crawl of the City's Best Dumplings

Watch an Indie Film at the Rooftop Films Summer Series, Held in Various Outdoor Locations

Take a Tour of the Grand Central Terminal and Learn About Its History

Attend a Drag Queen Bingo Night at the Infamous Stonewall Inn

Visit the Tenement Museum and Learn About the History of New York's Immigrant Population

Check Out the Green-Wood Cemetery, Which Has Beautiful Historic Tombstones and Architecture

Take a Tour of the United Nations Headquarters and Learn About International Diplomacy

Paolo Reyna

Paolo Reyna

Author
Paolo Reyna is a writer and storyteller with a wide range of interests. He graduated from New York University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Media Studies. Paolo enjoys writing about celebrity culture, gaming, visual arts, and events. He has a keen eye for trends in popular culture and an enthusiasm for exploring new ideas. Paolo's writing aims to inform and entertain while providing fresh perspectives on the topics that interest him most. In his free time, he loves to travel, watch films, read books, and socialize with friends.
James Pierce

James Pierce

Reviewer
James Pierce, a Finance and Crypto expert, brings over 15 years of experience to his writing. With a Master's degree in Finance from Harvard University, James's insightful articles and research papers have earned him recognition in the industry. His expertise spans financial markets and digital currencies, making him a trusted source for analysis and commentary. James seamlessly integrates his passion for travel into his work, providing readers with a unique perspective on global finance and the digital economy. Outside of writing, James enjoys photography, hiking, and exploring local cuisines during his travels.
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