When one visits a popular city in the US, it’s expected that they visit the most popular ones. Now, a decision like that is simply too boring and lacks excitement. The best way to make the most of your New York trip is to venture into places that no one or only a few have ever witnessed. Only a handful of people are aware that NYC is home to some of the most underrated tourist spots. So if you’re interested in discovering more than just the Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty, here are ten underrated places to visit in NYC.
8 Underrated Places to Visit in NYC
1. Bethesda Terrace, Central Park
Nothing beats the great outdoors, and that’s exactly what the Bethesda Terrace has to offer. The two-story, large plaza in the park, along with its arcade and fountain, are its most prominent features.
You can enjoy a number of activities at the park, including taking self-guided tours and taking part in events, aside from taking in the view of the Ramble and the Lake and striking up conversations with the people you run into there.
For the self-guided tours, you can go on a Bethesda Tree Walk or walk through the heart of Central Park. The park also offers tourists its own tours, so you may join the Central Park Conservancy’s guided tours.
2. The MET Cloisters
This isn’t the MET that you’re all familiar with. The Cloisters is the hidden gem of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It’s both a shame and a relief that this isn’t as well-known as the MET because this is the perfect spot for tourists who want to enjoy tranquility as they gaze at medieval architecture and artwork.
Another feature that the MET Cloisters has to offer is the Trie Cafe, where you can sip some coffee and munch on a sandwich or two to relieve yourself of hunger.
3. New York Botanical Garden
A venue where more than a million species of plants bloom on a 250-acre land sounds like something out of a fairytale. It’s unimaginable that this many plants can be witnessed in a single botanical garden in New York.
The botanical garden has several interesting highlights for tourists to enjoy, such as Forest Bathing and going on a tour of their plant research and conservation.
The venue caters to a limited capacity, and that makes the trip to the garden all the more worthwhile because you won’t have to deal with noise and crowdedness.
4. Green Wood Cemetery
It may seem absurd to recommend a lifeless place for tourists to visit, but to truly understand the purpose and beauty behind visiting cemeteries as tourist attractions, one must look past the blacks and whites.
If you look at it from a certain angle, you’ll realize that a cemetery is a place where you’ll witness the bridge that separates life from death and the present from the past. This is exactly why the Green Wood Cemetery is a must-visit destination.
You’d be surprised at what Green Word Cemetery has in store for its tourists. The cemetery provides group tours, education about death, and installations of visual and performing arts in addition to customary funeral services.
5. Wo Hop, Chinatown
Popular food chains in NYC like Chik-fil-A, Shake-Shack, and Ray’s Pizza are far too common and familiar to try out. If you’re looking for some unusual places to visit in NYC, try some underrated restaurants in Chinatown instead to give your palate a bit of zing.
Wo Hop is about the only place you’re ever going to taste old-fashioned, chop suey-styled food. There’s no reason to doubt Wo Hop’s menu since it’s pretty much the reason why the restaurant won a James Beard Award in 2022.
So if you’re looking for an authentic American-Chinese restaurant that serves nothing but delectable food, then Wo Hop is the place to be.
6. Economy Candy, Lower East Side
If you’ve managed to find yourself on Rivington Street, you’re in for a treat, literally. This place is perfect for those who want to live out their Willy Wonka fantasy because this place is just filled with all kinds of candy.
Be it sugary sweet, sour, rock hard, soft, twirly, or straight, the variety of candy is endless in this shop. The store also carries different candy brands with the likes of Kit Kat, PEZ, Haribo, Sour Patch, Pop Rocks, Nerds, and so much more.
What makes this candy shop shine is that you can literally find candy grails here!
7. Elevated Acre, Financial District
Believe it or not, the city that never sleeps hides several oases in which people are quite a rare sight. It’s fascinating that a place like the Elevated Acre exists to cater to people who enjoy solitude on any given day.
When touring the city, it tends to drain the life out of you, so it’s nice to know that you can take respite in a quiet, one-acre meadow, surrounded by lush greenery. There are tables and chairs scattered around, so you can grab a quick snack and eat in a peaceful setting or perhaps spend quality time with loved ones.
8. Forest Hills, Queens
Jump back in time and venture into an old-fashioned neighborhood in Queens, New York, called Forest Hills. Don’t let the laidback vibe fool you; this neighborhood is anything but dull.
Forest Hills has gastropubs, bakeries, cinemas, shops, and street fairs—all that good stuff! We highly recommend you dine at Queens Bully if you’re craving American BBQ and good ol’ foamy beer.
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