34 Reasons To Visit NYC Beyond Manhattan

Don’t we all just love New York City? The Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, Top of the Rock, the energy and unique atmosphere of Midtown streets… When picturing the Big Apple, we all have in mind the same typical images of Manhattan. Yet for a city that spreads across 5 boroughs and encompasses over 300 neighborhoods, there are practically endless opportunities for new and exciting things to do and see in New York City. And many of them are not in Manhattan…Want to know what we’re talking about? Check our awesome list of the 34 Reasons To Visit NYC Beyond Manhattan!

1Manhattan only represents about 8% of New York City’s total area.

2– And since it’s always filled with tourists, exploring the other boroughs is a great way to discover new exciting things to do in NYC while escaping the hustle-and-bustle of Manhattan for a while.

3– Want to witness the real New York’s melting pot? Brooklyn and Queens neighborhoods are actually the places to go, with more ethnic communities and cultural diversity than you will see in the rest of the City.

4– Long overshadowed by Manhattan, The Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens have all been developing full swing in the recent past years, with new hotels, restaurants, attractions, museums, shops, and more… Thus becoming even more attractive and exciting!

All Hail Queens

5– In 2015, Queens was named America’s Top Destination by Lonely Planet.

6– This borough alone is five times bigger than all of Manhattan.

7- Queens is home to the famous and monumental Unisphere: the world’s largest global structure built for the 1964 World’s Fair. A fantastic background for a photo!

8– Craving Asian food? Forget about Chinatown in Manhattan, and head to Queens’ Chinatown for the best Asian restaurants in town!

9– New York City is booming with local breweries. And if you’re looking for the newest developments on the beer scene, Queens is the place to go with plenty of recently opened craft brewers and beer pubs!

10- Queens is also a first class destination for art lovers with a 24-block new arts district in Astoria, which boasts the amazing waterfront Socrates Sculpture Park, the famous MoMA PS1, the recently revamped Queens Museum and the Museum of Moving Images.

Queens, NY(Photo by Beglen-Flickr)

11– If you’re into movies and TV-shows, head to Silvercup Studios in Queens: the largest film and television production center in NYC. Some notable shows that were filmed here include: Sex and the City, The Sopranos, HBO’s hit show Girls, and many more.



Brooklyn: The Place To Be

12– With their charming tree-lined streets and classic brownstones, Park Slope and Brooklyn Heights are the perfect scenery for a peaceful promenade before heading to the borough’s more vibrant neighborhoods.

13– Brooklyn’s Williamsburg, DUMBO and Greenpoint are the mecca for everything trendy and artisanal with a plethora of boutiques, hip cafes, restaurants, and hipsters. 

14– You can even find treasures at the Brooklyn Flea, which has been ranked as one of the best flea markets in the world!

15– And, many of NYC’s tastiest pizza slices are served in Brooklyn, namely at Roberta’s or at Grimaldi’s Pizza.

16– Speaking of food… looking for the best BBQ joints in the Big Apple? Head to Brooklyn!

17Brooklyn’s outdoor food market Smorgasburg is also one of the best places to go if you want to sample some of NYC’s yummiest plates.

18– Everyone knows about Central Park. But have you ever experienced the serenity and beauty of Brooklyn’s Prospect Park?

Prospect park, Brooklyn(Photo by Eli M. – Flickr)

19- NYC is famous for the Knicks. But don’t forget about the Brooklyn Nets! Watching a game at the amazing Barclays Center is an experience you won’t regret.

20– Looking for a thrilling experience? Go to Coney Island and take a ride in the unique and old-fashioned amusement park. Even more exciting since the new Thunderbolt opened last year. And while you’re there, don’t forget to treat yourself with typical and delicious New York style hotdogs!

21– And while you’re there, how about resting at the beach and dipping your toes in the Ocean? Or head to Far Rockaway beach (Queens) and Orchard Beach (in the Bronx), all great options for a day at the beach in NYC!

22– Looking for some more family fun? Head to the Brooklyn Bridge Park, home to Jane’s Carousel; a beautiful and historic family attraction with elegant horses in a glass pavilion designed by famous architect Jean Nouvel. From there, you’ll also enjoy one of the most beautiful view of the skyline and NYC bridges.

23– If you’re into celebrity sightings, nowadays you are more likely to spot them in Brooklyn, where some of them live and hang out, than in Manhattan.

Park Slope, Brooklyn(Photo by Pablo Z. -Flickr)

It’s All About The Bronx

24Grand Concourse, the largest and most famous avenue in the Bronx, has some of New York’s most beautiful Art Deco gems, and was actually modeled after the world-renowned Champs Elysées in Paris.

25– The Bronx is the well-known birthplace of the Hip Hop culture. The borough branded as the “Boogie Down Bronx!” in the 80’s still proudly celebrates this culture.

26- Arthur Avenue Market in the Bronx is considered to be the best place to find authentic Italian food in New York. And has often been called the real Little Italy of NYC.

27– For all things seafood, head to City Island! This charming historic seaside community in the Bronx is New Yorkers’ best kept secret and has more than 30 seafood restaurants !

28– The legendary NY Yankees baseball team play in the Bronx at the monumental Yankee Stadium. The building alone is already worth the visit!

29 The Bronx Zoo is America’s largest urban zoo with over 6,000 animals and 650 species from all over the globe. A perfect destination for a fun outing with the whole family!

30– In need for a break from the hustle-and-bustle of Manhattan? Wave Hill in the Bronx, is a huge and peaceful garden with impressive views of the Hudson River.

31– Looking for floras and greenery? New York Botanical Garden (in the Bronx) is an oasis for all seasons, but it’s particularly spectacular in springtime. And the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, features over 10,000 types of plants spanning on a 52-acre lawn.



Don’t Forget About Staten Island…

32– The Staten Island Ferry offers stunning views of the Statue of Liberty as well as Ellis Island. Just off the Ferry is St George, a charming neighborhood where you’ll find plenty of nice restaurants, beautiful Victorian architecture and wonderful sights of the skyline.

Staten Island(Photo by Mobilus – Flickr)

33– And if you want to travel back in time, Historic Richmond Town in Staten Island is your destination: a 100-acre living history village and a museum complex with 28 landmarked buildings and a plenty of old-fashioned fun.

34– Last but not least: exploring Staten Island, the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn is just so safe, easy, and fun! Our new guided visits of the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens make things even more exciting and easier for you! They are an ideal option to discover the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens, especially if you are short on time. They will also allow you to collect precious tips from your guide if you want to return on your own. So why limit yourself to Manhattan? 


The point is … Yes, Manhattan is picturesque and does portray the vibe of a New York City with what seem like endless possibilities. But the Big Apple has so much more to offer and its outer boroughs also have countless incredible attractions and activities that make them equally, and sometimes even more exciting. So be sure not them forget about them when planning your visit! If you are interested in finding more to do in New York City, search through our complete range of tours, attractions and activities. We can also tailor-make programs specifically to match your desires and budgets. Harlem Spirituals is the ideal one-stop-shop to simplify your planning! Find more information on www.harlemspirituals.com.

Did you enjoy reading this list? Don’t hesitate to like and share it! It hasn’t been easy narrowing it down to only 34; there are so many reasons why you should not limit your NYC visit to Manhattan. If we missed any major point, please let us know in the comments!




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