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6 Must-try Outdoor Things to do in New York City

Step outside for unforgettable experiences in the Big Apple

The Vacationeer

From New York City mainstay attractions like the Metropolitan Museum of Art to the Empire State Building and the shops along Fifth Avenue, New York City brims with indoor sites worth seeing. Consider taking your adventures outdoors for a New York vacation like none other and experience the Big Apple out in the open with these exciting outdoor activities. 

Here are six things to do outdoors in NYC you won’t want to miss.

Check Out a Park

You probably already know about Central Park, the massive urban oasis in the middle of Manhattan. Some of the top sites worth seeing within its sprawling 843 acres include the Central Park Zoo, Bethesda Fountain, Central Park Carousel, Belvedere Castle and the Strawberry Fields memorial to John Lennon. Depending on the time of year, you might consider ice skating, booking a horse and carriage ride or checking out a sporting activity. 

A more low-key park worth seeing is Riverside Park. Stretching four scenic miles along the Hudson River, Riverside Park is where locals go to recharge. Notable sites include Grant's Tomb and the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument. 

Stroll Along the High Line

A walk along the High Line is an experience you won't forget. Repurposed from a defunct railroad line, this elevated linear park is full of public art, gardens and preserved railroad artifacts. Adding to the overall scenery is the Hudson River to the west and New York's iconic skyline to the north.

Start the one and a half mile walk at the Gansevoort Street entrance in the trendy Meatpacking District. Two spots for Instagram-worthy photos include the 10th Avenue Square & Overlook at 17th Street and the Philip A. and Lisa Maria Falcone Flyover between 25th and 27th Streets. 

Explore Neighborhoods on Foot

New York is a city of neighborhoods, and the best to explore them is on foot.

In the north is Harlem, a neighborhood where so many celebrated African-American writers, musicians and artists called home. A great way to learn about Harlem's fascinating and rich history is to take a Harlem Heritage Tour. Each one is led by people born and raised in the community. 

Further south is hustling and bustling Midtown. This is where you'll find Times Square and landmarks like Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall, Theater District playhouses and the main branch of the New York Public Library. If you need a break, kick back on a bench at Bryant Park. 

Another great walking neighborhood is Greenwich Village, a place known for its bohemian origins and celebrity residents. 

A big outdoor draw in "the Village," as people refer to Greenwich Village, is Washington Square Park. It's a lively place to people watch, hear music or even play a game of chess. 

If you're looking for a neighborhood with an edgier vibe, head over to the East Village. The birthplace of punk rock is full of affordable to-go eateries offering up cuisine from all over the world. Two places to enjoy your meal are Tompkins Square Park or the John V. Lindsay East River Park. 

A final neighborhood to include in your tour is the Financial District. Stroll along Wall Street to see the New York Stock Exchange headquarters and historic Trinity Church. From there, it's an easy walk to the famous Charging Bull statue and the opposing Fearless Girl statue, One World Trade Center and Fraunces Tavern, the oldest building in Manhattan. 

And when you're ready for a rest, head over to Battery Park for great views of the Statue of Liberty. 

Shop Along Canal Street

Find unique items and great deals along Chinatown's Canal Street. This busy street is full of shops selling everything from jewelry to clothing to electronics. Many of the vendors sell from open-air storefronts or right on the street. Bargains abound but know that counterfeits often make their way into the mix, so use caution — and don't be afraid to haggle for lower prices.

Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge was at one time the world's longest suspension bridge at just over one miles. It's still a marvel and worth crossing using the elevated pedestrian pathway, where you'll enjoy stunning views of the New York harbor as traffic whizzes by below. 

Once you touch down in Brooklyn, you can extend your walk along the picturesque Brooklyn Heights Promenade

Rather relax? Consider grabbing an ice cream cone at the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory or a slice at Grimaldi's, one of New York's most famous pizzerias. 

Discover Brooklyn

New York's most populous borough gets plenty of buzz these days. And it's easy to see why when you visit any of its most happening neighborhoods. 

Carroll Gardens is a mashup of hip newcomers and Italian-Americans who've called it home for decades. This is the place to go when hunger strikes because there are no shortage of great delis and bakeries. 

Nearby Park Slope is a family-friendly neighborhood known for its brownstones, boutiques and restaurants. It's also close to popular Prospect Park

Further north is Williamsburg, a hipster haven of vintage stores, craft cocktail bars and on-trend restaurants. Bedford Avenue is where you'll find all the action. 

Nearby Greenpoint is an eclectic mix of Polish immigrants and young families. From perogies and ethnic grocery stores to coffee joints and indie bookstores, you'll find a little of everything in this evolving neighborhood.

Discover the Benefits of Hilton Grand Vacations Timeshare in New York City

Your visit to NYC starts with finding a great place to stay. And as with all things in the city, the New York City resorts from which to choose are plentiful. Explore our four (soon to be five) Big Apple properties to find one that suits your travel style.

Vacation ownership through Hilton Grand Vacations gives you access to top-notch accommodations worldwide. Learn more about the many benefits of vacation ownership you get with Hilton Grand Vacations. 

Then keeping reading for more New York City vacation ideas.


The Vacationeer

The Vacationeer is a collective of Hilton Grand Vacations storytellers whose goal is to inspire travelers to go further. We're always on the lookout for new destinations to explore, useful travel tips, and unique ideas to help you plan the most memorable vacations possible.

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