Do you consider yourself a tourist or a traveler? A tourist is someone who goes to a place and enjoys seeing all the iconic sights they’ve known about for years. A traveler veers off the beaten path, choosing to discover lesser-known destinations rather than recreating the photos they’ve seen a million times.
If you are a traveler and you find yourself visiting New York City, this list is for you. Here are ten secret attractions for you to explore in New York City.
Snug Harbor Cultural Center
The Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden is an 83-acre gem on Staten Island. Once a haven for retired sailors, Snug Harbor originally opened in 1883 at the bequest of Robert Richard Randall, a soldier in the Revolutionary War and a shipmaster Captain. Perhaps the most notable feature of the Snug Harbor Cultural Center is the New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden. Based on the Ming Dynasty gardens, this gorgeous display will bring you out of New York and immerse you in Ancient China.
The Green-Wood Cemetery has a fair bit of notoriety but still seems to be forgotten when avid tourists are creating their itineraries. Boasting beautiful architecture, rolling paths, and interesting learning opportunities, the Green-Wood Cemetery is a must-see for tourists and travelers alike. Be sure to act respectfully. Despite the fact that Green-Wood is home to famous historical figures and presents itself as an attraction, it remains an active cemetery.
Socrates Sculpture Park
Once upon a time, the Socrates Sculpture Park was a landfill. In 1986 it was transformed into a local park and open exhibition space for artists. Using billboards, various mediums, and the world around them, the artists at Socrates Sculpture Park are known for their eye-catching, thought-provoking pieces.
Both weird and wonderful, Gulliver’s Gate is a sight to behold. Located in the hustle and bustle of Times Square, Gulliver’s Gate gives you the opportunity to see the world as a giant would. With elaborate sculptures of Asia, New York City, Europe, Russia, and more, Gulliver’s Gate is an attraction that blends culture and art in the most satisfying New York way.
City Hall Station
The City Hall Station is a gorgeous, art-deco style subway station in the depths of New York City. Opened in 1904, the station has been empty since 1945. If you’re lucky, you may be able to catch one of the sixteen or fewer walking tours each year. If not, you may have to stay aboard the six train after the last call to get a glimpse of the elaborate skylights, curving tile work, and eerie splendor of City Hall Station.
The Dream House
The Dream House is a hidden jewel of New York City, marked only by its white signage that simply announces its name. As you walk through this intriguing environment, you will be met with different combinations of light and sound, creating a mesmerizing, memorable, and offbeat experience.
Mmuseumm is a tiny, hidden museum, dedicated to cast-off everyday objects from around the world. Fitting only three patrons at a time, Mmuseumm can be found in a small alley near Broadway. Prepare to be amazed as you step out of the dank alley into a brightly lit, freight elevator featuring exhibits like The Cornflake Taxonomy, Not Bombs, and Nothing.
Roosevelt Island Smallpox Hospital Ruins
If you like your vacation to be served with a side of the macabre, stop by the Roosevelt Island Smallpox Hospital Ruins. Killing more than one in ten children per year, Smallpox was the plague of its time until its eradication. While the ruins are fenced off, they make for an eerie stop during your travels.
Pier 54 – The Titanic’s Destination
Pier 54 is home to a few dark moments in history, including being the arrival port for Titanic survivors aboard the Carpathia; it was the Titanic’s original destination. It’s also the departing port of the Lusitania, a British ocean liner that was sunk by a German U-boat during World War One, killing 1,193 people. Pier 54 had been purchased with the intent to develop in the past five years, but the project fell through.
The Grand Central Secret Archway
Grand Central Station is one of the better-known tourist attractions in New York City. That being said, it has a few secrets worth uncovering while you visit. One of which is the interesting auditory phenomenon at the secret archway. If you stand facing one end of the arch and have a friend stand at the other, you will be able to whisper to the wall and hear each other. This effect is similar to that found in the ancient ruins of Chichen Itza.
There’s nothing wrong with being a tourist. New York City’s iconic tourist destinations are certainly worth visiting. If you go that route, TopView Sightseeing offers bus tours that will satisfy your tourist needs. However, take some time to get off the trail and immerse yourself in the hidden delights of New York City. Maybe you’ll even find something to add to this list.