Be the NYC Host with the Most

You’ve finally settled into your fast-paced life in New York City. Now, your friends are interested in visiting you, and of course, you want to be the best host possible! Below, we’ve compiled a few sample itineraries of things to do in NYC that your friends will surely enjoy.

First Time to NYC Friend

If it is your friend’s first trip to the City that Never Sleeps, here are the classically NY sights they will want to check off their list.

·       American Museum of Natural History

·       Grand Central Terminal

·       Central Park Zoo

·       New York Public Library


Sports Fans

Do you have a friend who never misses a game and can rattle off their favorite team’s stats from 1964? When they visit, show them why NYC is an athlete’s paradise when you explore:

·       Madison Square Garden, a multi-use venue that hosts basketball, ice hockey, boxing, wrestling, and more.

·       Love them or hate them, the New York Yankees are world-class record holders. Catch a game!  

·       Drop by the NBA store on 5th Avenue to find the jersey of your favorite league athlete.

·       You can pass by Jackie Robinson’s brownstone home in Brooklyn, which was recently for sale.

·       Want a creative way to stretch your legs? Look no further than Brooklyn Boulders, an indoor rock climbing venue offering creative classes for all levels.

·       See what other events are going on when your friend is in town here:


Fine Arts Fanatic

We’re sure seeing a show on Broadway or at the Radio City Music Hall is on your list, but don’t forget about these museums:

·       Metropolitan Museum of Art

·       Museum of Modern Art

·       Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

·       The Cloisters

·       Frick Collection


History Buff

Does your friend love to learn from the past? Here are just a few significant historical locations in the city that have had a major impact on the growth and way of life for New Yorkers.

·       Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Tip: Be aware of illegal ticket vendors. If possible, purchase your tickets before you visit. In the summer, tours fill up quickly so reserve your date ASAP.

·       One World Trade Center and the WTC Museum and Memorial

·       Revolutionary War era walking tour

·       Tenement Museum on the Lower East Side

·       New York Historical Society Museum and Library


Workout Pal

Does your friend live and breathe all things fitness? Make sure they can stay on track during their visit by opting for a few activities that will get your heart rate up!

·       Central Park is the quintessential park for a walk or run in the center of the city.

·       The Brooklyn Bridge has various walking tours available. Or, you can bike across the bridge.

·       Brooklyn Botanic Garden will be a welcome stroll amidst the chaos of the city for those who love the outdoors.

·       Strap on a helmet and cycle away with Bike the Big Apple. This “off the beaten path” tour will expose you to much more than you could possibly see on foot.

·       Novice or SUP pro? Either way, exploring with Manhattan Kayak will reveal a unique perspective of the city.


Architecture-Adoring Friend

Does your special visitor swoon at the sight of an Art Deco skyscraper and marvel at modern architecture? The construction of NYC, from the brownstone row houses to the gothic revival towers, is a testament to the melting pot of cultures and passage of time that gives the city its character.

·       The Neo-Gothic style construction of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, a Roman Catholic Church, will surely impress any visitor.

·       You’ll find the famous Flatiron building on 5th Avenue, close to Madison Square Park.  

·       The Chrysler building is one of the top 10 most famous skyscrapers in New York City. Observe the Art Deco architecture with a free walking tour.

·       Considered by some as the heart of NYC, the Empire State building is a beloved landmark. The view from the observation deck is not to be missed.

·       Here is a map of a few more iconic examples of architecture in NYC:


Foodie Friend

If you plan to eat your way through the city when your pal arrives, here are a few places to start:

·       Ellen’s Stardust Diner is truly dinner and a show…as in, you’ll enjoy your meal while being entertained by Broadway-caliber performers.

·       If you can’t get a table at Ivan Ramen, try the sister restaurant, Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop. Or, opt for delivery if you want to stay in (GrubHub, Caviarm, and Ubereats are all delivery partners).

·       A visit to NYC isn’t complete with a bagel! Blackseed Bagels is sure to satisfy all carb cravings with high-quality varieties and toppings to suit any taste.

·       Lombardi’s first pizza shop in the USA

·       Try the “cronut” (croissant-doughnut) signature pastry from Dominique Ansel Bakery.

·       Glaser’s Bake Shop is an old-school bakery where the Black and White cookie became famous. Try a fresh eclair too!

·       Junior’s Cheesecake has multiple locations, which means there’s no excuse not to grab a rich, towering slice.

·       Love sweets? Milk Bar will delight any visitor. There are also gluten free and dairy free desserts available.


Little Ones

Are your visitors more interested in piggy banks than hedge funds? Keep kids entertained with a dream-like itinerary:

·       Toy store FAO Schwartz features a life-size piano that kids can play with their feet.

·       Battle afternoon drowsiness with a sugar rush from Dylan’s Candy Bar.

·       Rowboats in Central Park from April through October.

·       Wave to the cameras on the Today Show.

·       Click here for a list of 100 other things to do with young visitors.


Shop ‘Till They Drop

If “trip to the Big Apple” is synonymous with “shopping spree” for your visitor, take them on a tour of the city via department stores and boutiques alike.

·       It may come as a surprise that Times Square is home to both major international stores and small businesses. Browse the store directory to see which stores you want to visit.

·       For many years, Chelsea Market has been an iconic center of commerce. Plan to stop for lunch here too!

·       Keep your eyes open for young celebrities and socialites as you stroll through SoHo, a high-end neighborhood with luxury boutiques.

·       Wander the aisles of a flea market to uncover some one-of-a-kind treasures. Markets are both indoor and outdoor, so you can adjust your plan depending on the weather.

·       The world’s oldest department store, Macy’s on 34th Street, still moves shoppers among floors with the original wooden escalators on the upper floors. The vintage charm isn’t to be missed.

·       No matter where you’re staying or visiting with your guest, there will be some creative stores around. Keep this map handy as you venture about town.


Social Media Maven

NYC is packed with glamorous photo opportunities. Give your friend lots of content at some of these eye-catching locations. Click here for even more Instagrammable places or here for 65 foods that will rack up the likes.

·       The Oculus

·       Goldbar

·       Top of the Rock

·       Greene Street

·       Front Street: DUMBO for an iconic view of the Brooklyn Bridge


Hidden Gems Tour

If this is not your visitor’s first time to the city, they may be looking to explore a few lesser known spots. Browse this list, or click here for 281 other attractions to keep you entertained.

·       Highline This elevated park follows the track of a public transit system that fell into disuse. Today, locals and tourists alike enjoy the unique views and greenspace that the park provides

·       DUMBO No, not the cartoon elephant. This acronym stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass and is a neighborhood in Brooklyn.

·       There is always something new going on in Bryant Park. Go for a specific activity or just relax and people watch.  

·       The Bronx Zoo is quite a hike from the city center, but worth it once you arrive.

·       The MMuseumm is best described by…visiting it in person. It is a curious collection of curated artifacts.

·       Exclusive guided tours of the Old City Hall Subway Stop provide an experience that little people have the opportunity to seize. This is not an option for spontaneous spirits; tickets sell out months in advance.

So, what are you waiting for? Prepare your guest space and send out the invites to your friends!

Owen M. McCafferty II