9 Underrated Places to Visit in NYC (Live Like A New Yorker)

Underrated Places to Visit in NYC

Going on adventures throughout the city has become my favorite thing to do during the little downtime that I have. It is full of memorable, little known places waiting to be taken advantage of.

New York City has a variety of popular destinations that people are aware of and tend to gravitate towards when they are visiting (the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, etc). Although I do believe everyone should get a taste of these attractions, I find that there are many places that visitors tend to overlook, most likely because they are unaware of them.

Throughout my four years in New York City, I have adventured to more places than I can count throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and The Bronx (sorry Staten Island). Some have been a bust, and some have turned into my favorite places to visit.

I’ve listed my favorite “low key” places to visit below and although these aren’t complete secrets to both locals and visitors, they are definitely underrated in my opinion. If you’re visiting New York City, I highly recommend you check them out!

And the best part about these places is that they are extremely affordable and sometimes free! You can walk around from one famous landmark to another. Try this Midtown Manhattan walking tour itinerary. And if you’re worried about your bags or don’t like walking around with your suitcase, you have the option to have your bags stored at a New york luggage storage so you can walk around worry free!

The Met Cloisters

I’m sure you have heard of The MET, but have you heard of The Cloisters? They’re an extension of The MET and they offer a rich history filled experience surrounding incredible medieval art. Not only is the art itself a sight to see, but the architecture is equally as breathtaking. 

Although The MET is hands down my favorite museum in the city, I find The Cloisters to be much more relaxing and peaceful to visit. The reason why is because it’s not in the dead center of Manhattan and there are not a bunch of tourists there 24/7. It is a little ways away, but it is well worth it if you have a couple of hours to kill. 

Not only are The Cloisters a wonderful way to learn about the Middle Ages, but it’s located right next to Fort Tryon Park which is a beautiful area to walk through directly on the Hudson River. 

Cost: $25 for Adults, $17 for Seniors, $12 for students (Pay What You Wish for all tri state area residents)

More info here

St Patrick’s Old Cathedral

If you’re a history junkie like me, then you will love Old St Patrick’s Catacombs. I took a tour of the Catacombs here and it was an incredibly memorable experience.

If you’re familiar with Manhattan, you may know that there is an iconic church named St Patrick’s Cathedral located on 5th ave. And no, this is not the church I’m talking about! St Patrick’s Old Cathedral is located in the heart of Nolita. Walking by it, it looks like any other old church but inside there are historical stories waiting to be discovered. 

I took a tour of St Patrick’s Old Cathedral and was fascinated by not only the church itself, but by the Catacombs. Yes, you read that right. You are able to tour the Catacombs of St Patrick’s Old Cathedral. And let me tell you, it is AWESOME!

You can learn about the famous “tenants” that reside in the Catacombs along with seeing some pretty cool architecture and features. 

To be clear, this is not a ghost tour. But it will definitely tickle your fancy if you like spooky things. 

Cost: Touring the Catacombs starts at $35

Find more info here (Catacombs tour) and here (St Patrick’s Old Cathedral)

Conservatory Garden

I didn’t discover the Conservatory Garden until recently and WOW! Talk about a hidden gem. The Conservatory is located a little higher in Central Park than most tourists tend to explore, which is why I think it’s so underrated. 

Walking into the Conservatory Garden feels like you are entering a different world. It’s the only formal garden in Central Park and features breathtaking gardens and fountains. It is split into three different sections that provide a sense of peace and serenity to anyone who visits. 

Although there aren’t any specific activities to do here, it’s an amazing place to go take a walk, breath some (moderately) fresh air, and take a break from the sometimes overwhelming city. 

Cost: Free!

Find more info here.

Trinity Church Yard

I love the Trinity Church because it sticks out like a (beautiful) sore thumb in the middle of FiDi. I actually worked right next to it for a while and was able to take in its beauty every day of the week! The Trinity Church is Yard perfect for those who are looking to kill some time downtown, especially if you’re waiting to tour the Statue of Liberty or Ellis Island. 

The Trinity Church Yard is open from dawn to dusk so you can go there basically any time throughout your visit in the city. I suggest walking around the yard and finding all the well-known people buried there, including Hamilton. 

Cost: Free

Find more info here.  

Industry City

Located in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park, Industry City has something for everyone! You probably won’t find another place like this in the city. Industry City was created out of a love for people, places, and experiences, which is what makes it so unique.  

It’s difficult to describe Industry City because it has too many cool aspects. Not only is it a shopping center full of awesome artisanal goods, but it also has a ton of food options (including a food hall) and even an art gallery!

You could spend hours there and never get bored. I highly recommend heading there with some friends or even a significant other. Grab a drink and explore, you’ll love it!

Cost: Free to enter, obviously you have to pay for food, shopping or any tickets to specific events.

Find more info here.

Roosevelt Island Tram

Although the Roosevelt Island Tram isn’t necessarily a destination, it’s a must-do activity when visiting the city. I’ve noticed that a lot of visitors don’t even know about Roosevelt Island! Not only is there a lot to do and explore on the island, but the tram itself is an adventure.

The tram is a quick, yet fun ride and it takes you directly over the river from Manhattan to Roosevelt Island. It is VERY high in my opinion, so if heights aren’t your thing then I suggest you skip this one. The views are the best thing about the tram because you get to see the city in a way you typically wouldn’t! 

Cost: $2.25 each way 

Find more info here.

Wave Hill

Wave Hill is the original destination that sparked my love for adventuring around the city. I remember wanting to find a peaceful garden outside of Manhattan and Wave Hill gives me exactly that. But Wave Hill isn’t just a garden, its a beautiful oasis of 28 stunning acres of wildlife, greenery and it’s extremely Instagram worthy. 

Wave Hill is definitely a little bit of a hike as it is in the Bronx. But if you have the time, I highly recommend you check it out during your time in the city. 

Cost: Adults $10, Seniors & Students $6, Children $4

Find more info here

Museum of the Moving Image

Next to the MET, the Museum of the Moving Image is my favorite museum to bring all of my “out of town” friends and family. I feel like it’s not a huge tourist attraction because it’s not located in Manhattan but that’s what makes it so special.

The Museum of the Moving Image is located in Astoria, which is just a short train ride outside of Manhattan. It’s primarily a children’s museum but it’s a great place for people of all ages.

The museum contains a ton of artifacts from iconic movies and tv shows. It’s seriously the coolest place ever. They even have a Jim Henson exhibit! It seriously doesn’t get any better than that.

I promise you that everything you see in this museum will blow your mind and allow you to reminisce about your favorite movies and tv shows. 

Cost: Adults $15, Seniors & Students $1, Children $9

Find more info here.

New York Botanical Garden

The New York Botanical Garden is the dreamiest garden I’ve ever seen. It’s a huge garden coming in at a whopping 250 acres. Seriously, it’s ginormous.

You can spend all day here walking throughout at the beautiful gardens, greenhouses, and more! It’s even a great place to have a picnic or to take a nice relaxing walk. It’s just another great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city! It is also a little bit of a hike (located in the Bronx) but it’s well worth it.

The flowers you will see here are like no other. The care that the New York Botanical Garden staff puts into the area is incredible. They also have a bunch of different events throughout the year, including their infamous Orchid show. So depending on what time of the year you will be visiting, I guarantee you will be able to find an event at the New York Botanical Garden!

Cost: Pricing varies depending on what you want to do. Here’s more info. 

Find more info here. 

Final Thoughts

No matter what you decide to do in New York City, you are bound to have a great time and discover new things. All of the places mentioned above are my favorite places to visit when I feel like I need a change of scenery, especially after living in the city for so many years. I hope you enjoy these places during your next trip to NYC!

About the author

Hello everyone! My name is Hailey and I run the NYC Lifestyle and Fashion Blog, Feeling Good As Hail. A little about me, I’m 24 years old, have been living in New York City for nearly 4 years and I love a good margarita. 

Check more of Hailey’s blogs on feelinggoodashail.com

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