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What is there to do around Grand Central Station?

New York is a Haven for sightseeing, and even the train stations re photo-opportunities! But what is there do do around Grand Central Station after you’ve seen the main terminal?

Sometimes the choices can feel a little overwhelming! Here’s a few things to get you started that are all within 10 minutes of Grand Central Station, and will definitely give you enough to do for a day in the city! 

So… what is there to do around Grand Central Station?

1. A tour of Grand Central Station

I’d definitely suggest starting with a tour, as it is one of the best ways to see all of the beautiful aspects of Grand Central Terminal, from the famous concourse with its beautifully painted ceiling to the whispering gallery. Tours range from an app, to an audio tour, to a full blown guided tour with someone who really knows what they’re talking about and can answer all your questions!

The Station is a classic example of Beaux-Arts architecture (a style which originated in france, but heavily influenced American architects in the late 19th and early 20th centuries) and is jam-packed with art by American greats and definitely well worth a look!

Grand central station nyc

2. The Whispering Gallery

If you’re not into tours then the one sight I would definitely recommend going to see if you’re at Grand Central is the Whispering Gallery!

Upon first arriving, you might be confused as to why people are standing in the corners of the room with their face pressed right against the walls. However, the whispering gallery is home to a neat architectural feat: it carries voices across the ceiling and into the opposite corner so that two people standing either side of the room might have a conversation without standing near to each other. Rumour has it that many a couple has gotten engaged here, whispering sweet nothings into the walls. Just make sure, that if you do go, not to whisper anything you wouldn’t want someone else to hear.

3. Chrysler Building

If Sights are your tip top must-see then less than a block away to the east is the iconic Chrysler building. Famed for its classic art-deco design, it’s been a symbol of groundbreaking architecture and the new york skyline since its completion in 1930.

Whilst you can view it from the outside, and head into the main lobby for a sneak peek at the art deco interior for free, you can’t actually go inside and take a peek as it’s leased to big businesses and not open to the public. Definitely worth a look, though!

4. The Empire State Building

Another Art Deco design staple, this is the pinnacle of New York design, and probably one of the most famous buildings in the world. It was the tallest building in the world from 1931 when it was built until 1977, and at just shy of 15 minutes walking distance it is 100% worth the walk (which is fascinating in itself too!).

Unlike the Chrysler you can actually go into the Empire State Building. Prices range from $36 for a main deck viewing experience to $500 for an all access ticket – so there really are no holds barred, and the views from the top are INCREDIBLE.

5. Bryant Park and New York Public Library

A short walk from Grand Central is the beautiful Bryant Park, which is definitely a must-see if you want some time out of the hustle and bustle of NYC life – even if it’s just for a few minutes. A small patch of green, surrounded on all sides by tall NY buildings this little space feels like an oasis in the metropolis – much more so than central park, which is so big you could almost forget you were in NYC at all!

Le Carrousel and the Bar and Grill are open everyday, and worth a stop – especially if you have kids! The park has loads of food kiosks and The Southwest Porch is a must-stop for a cup of coffee and a chance to watch the city go by for a while.

The park is at the back of the New York Public Library – a gorgeous building in its own right, and a must see for any bibliophile in the big apple. (Fans of Jake Gyllenhaal will also recognise it from The Day After Tomorrow).

things to do near Grand central station nyc

6. Museum of Modern Art

If you wanted to get in some culture I’d definitely recommend heading over to MoMA, as it’s less than a 15 minute walk away from the station and home to some of America, and the world’s, most iconic pieces of modern and contemporary art. Tickets are around $25 for adults, and although this can feel a bit pricey, the main collection really is to die for!

7. Underground Art – Subway Tours

If Art’s your thing, I’d definitely recommend going on one of these tours for a view of NYC’s amazing public art underground. The subway, in being one of the oldest underground transport systems, has long been a haven for art and artists – but few really get to see these beautoful pieces without living and working in the city.

A ‘pay-what-you-like’ walking tour leaves from Grand Central Station once a week, otherwise Darryl (who runs the tour) puts them on twice a day from $25 a head.

Artists include Roy Lichtenstein, Jacob Lawrence, Tom Otterness and Jane Dickson – so this tour is definitely well worth it.

8. Rockefeller Centre

Less than 10 minutes walk away is the Rockefeller Centre.  It was built in the 1930s to be a grand plaza for all of New York – and it’s still a vibrant hub of art and commerce today. Another example of classic Art-Deco architecture, and a place in which to could really lose yourself; with an ice skating rink, loads of public art, shops and places to eat and drink you’ll never run out of things to do.

things to do near Grand central station nyc

9. Grand Central Market & Lower Level Dining Concourse

You don’t need to even leave the station to grab a bite to eat as the main market has a European style market with all kinds of artisanal produce and food on the go – to more classic restaurants in the Dining concourse where there are 35 different food options to choose from from Michelin starred restaurants to cute little cafes. So, no matter whether you’re Gluten free/ Vegan/ only eating doughnuts for the rest of your life for like, you know, reasons… everything you want can be found here!

10.  Urban Space at Vanderbilt

Now, on the subject of places to eat and drink, if you’re looking for foodie heaven, and you want to take it out of the station concourse, this is definitely a spot to hit. Just around the corner from Grand Central, it’s a thriving hub of different kinds of artisanal food creators from amazing lobster to great burgers.  It’s completely chef driven, and with 20 different stalls to choose from you’re bound sure to find something to tickle those taste buds – and it’s quite a sight to behold!

The Best Day Trips Outside New York

If you’re stopping in NYC for a vacation or perhaps for a season, after a while the hustle and the bustle of the city might become a bit too much. It happens to the best of us! Even those who have lived in Manhattan for years, seek a little bit of open space and a change of scene every now and then!

Here are the best day trips outside New York…

Freshkills Park

Possibly one of the coolest things to happen to an island of trash…. EVER. Freshkills had been a landfill site for New York’s rubbish for years, until an alliance took the site over and started a long process of creating an environmental and ecological haven just outside the city. It’s over 2,000 acres of green space and has quickly become a hotspot for various types of flora and fauna. The space also supports a wide range of cultural/arts/environment events throughout the year so it’s definitely worth getting out there!

The park is on the other side of Staten Island from Manhattan, and whilst it’s opening up slowly from the outside in, and isn’t quite finished yet, they do run a reem of day events that are usually themed around a kind of artistic practise from writing to photography. They also run family friendly nature walks that are just great for kids!

best day trips from nyc freshkills-park

Breakneck Ridge

Calling all adventurers: did you think NYC might not have wild adventures abound? Granted, this one is about an hour from the centre of New York, but it is definitely well worth the trip.

A mountain on the hudson river, it is a steep hike, but one that (if you’re up to it) definitely isn’t to be missed! The views from the top are incredible, and at just over 2.5 miles it’s not so long that you could get stuck up there!

Due to its steepness I wouldn’t recommend taking very young children, and whilst dogs are often seen on the trail I’d make sure your pooch is cool with hiking if you do!

It really is incredible though – and if you’re feeling cooped up in the big city, the wide open skies and views over the hudson river are sure to rid you of that!

the best day trips outside New York

Storm King Art Centre

Also located in the Hudson Valley (like Breakneck Ridge) and about an hour away from the big apple is this amazing 500 acre art gallery set in the folds of the landscape. Expect to find large sculpture and site specific installations under a wide open sky that’s a sight to see all year round. It’s been running since 1960, and boasts an amazing collection of work from Linda Benglis’ amazing watery sculpture Crescendo to Barbara Hepworth’s Forms in Movement there really is something for everyone.

Even if you’re not heavily into sculpture the range of landscape from lawns, to farmed fields, lakes and forests are really something to see, especially as such efforts are taken to preserve native flora and fauna.

Fire Island

Finally, if you’re in the mood for some R&R, and want a Hamptons style beach moment without the price tag, fire island is your spot. As part of the outer barrier island, facing out to open atlantic, and sporting wide, long-stretching, white sandy beaches; this is the place to unwind.

The island is super environmentally conscious, with loads of bike rentals as cycling is one of the primary modes of transportation.

It’s the beaches and the sea food you’re really heading out here for, though – there’s loads of places to catch in a few strokes, or lie back on the san to top up that tan. If you’re here for the clams, though, go to Flynns – it’s by the ocean and has seafood TO. DIE. FOR.

Brooklyn Botanical Gardens

Whilst you’re not actually out of the city for this one, it is beautiful and transporting enough to really feel like you’ve escaped the hustle and bustle of New York City. The plants are beautiful, and the general vibe is something out of this world! Definitely worth a visit to the brooklyn botanical gardens if you’re in town for a few days!

Catch an NFL game

If you want to experience some real USA culture, experiencing an NFL game is truly an experience and definitely a fun day out of the city. The stadiums (go for the NY Giants) are about an hour of the city, and the trains are easy to navigate too (just follow everyone in their blue jerseys). If you’ve never been to a game before, it’s really something, and it’s such a fun way to spend the day.

best day trips from nyc

Washington, DC

If you fancy visiting a different city for the day, then Washington isn’t too far from NYC. You can grab a train down there (it takes about 3 hours). If you jump on an early morning train, you could be in the city by 10/11am and then have a whole day to explore. Washington has a pretty distinct style, and it feels really different from NYC – so it’s a chance to experience a different east-coast city.

best day trips from new york

 

 

 

Places to see in walking distance of Times Square

Once a seedy hubbub of illicit activity, and now the epicentre of New York’s thriving theatre district… Times Square is probably one of the most iconic places in the Big Apple. You can’t visit the city without checking it out, and with so many places to see in walking distance of Times Square, you can spend a whole day (or longer) in midtown soaking it all in. 

Places to see in walking distance of Times Square

Teeming with people, and ticket sellers beckoning the crowds under the flickering lights of the billboards you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d walked into Bladerunner. And it’s true – NYC does feel like you’re living in a movie-set at times. There so much to see in and around Times Square, from big sights, to little known bars… so buckle up for a rundown! 

Places to see in walking distance from Times Square…

Soak in Times Square

Times Square is a mad place – definitely get your touristy fill of it, by taking a selfie in front of the light-up American Flag, sitting on the steps with a hot dog from one of the street carts, or lounging on the new pink loungers with your pals for a few minutes to just take it all in and the weight off your feet! Don’t scrimp on your time – just let the city wash over you. On a sunny day, the red steps in Times Square will be open and they’re a great place to sit and watch the world go by. 

Places to see in walking distance of Times Square

Bryant Park

It’s not as big as Central Park, but it’s only a few minutes walk from Times Square, and it’s a gorgeous place to sit and enjoy a coffee. In the summer, there are loads of free activities (like an outdoor cinema and yoga classes) and in the winter they set up a ‘winter village’ which is free to visit, and full of seasonal and festive shops to browse.

Public Art

New York is jam-packed with public art, and you can’t move for accidentally stumbling across something amazing by someone famous. In Times Square itself is a little known sonic installation by Max Nehaus (a giant in the world of sound art and music). It might be hard at first to pick this one out, especially in hubbub of people and traffic in Times Square. It’s a rich harmonious sonic texture, reminiscent of bells ringing and to find it you’ll need to head over to the north side of the pedestrian island near 45th and 46th Street.

Just along the way is another iconic piece that might be a little more instagram friendly; Robin Indiana’s iconic LOVE sculpture. The typeset print became hugely famous when MoMA commissioned it for a Christmas card in 1965, and has remained so ever since. Whilst there’s a really famous one in Philadelphia this one is just around the corner from MoMA itself so easy to combine with some more in-depth art viewing – or to just see on its own!

Magnolia Bakery

This famous bakery is only a 5 minute walk from Times Square, and it’s home to some of the best cakes in the city. If you find yourself a little hungry after exploring the city… this is where you need to go to re-energise! Our favourite thing from Magnolia Bakery has to be the Banana pudding, especially if you can get it freshly made.

Places to see in walking distance of Times Square

The Ride Tour

This is an amazing, interactive, and really unforgettable tour of the midtown that you really won’t be able to get anywhere else. It’s a bus tour, with comedian hosts, and a view out onto the streets of New York, which suddenly come alive with performers. You won’t be able to tell where the show ends and the city starts, which is pretty cool! You’ll see all the quintessential mid town sights, from Broadway to the Empire State Building, so this is definitely one to get in on. Tickets range from $69-79, but there are often discounts really last minute (but don’t tell anyone I told you so!).

Grand Central Station

Not just about trains, Grand Central Terminal is a smorgasbord of art, architecture, culture, history, shopping and food. It’s a place to soak up the rush of locals and tourists, which bridges a gap across time and space, and definitely somewhere to check out if you’re in the area. Tours run around the building, ranging from an App or an audio tour, to a full blown guided experience and we’d definitely recommend it as it’s such an interesting experience! (I’ve also got a list of 10 things to do near Grand Central Station, which we’d definitely recommend checking out for more detail). 

times square places to walk to

Gulliver’s Gate

Now I know a world of miniatures might not sound too cool, especially if you’re from England and you’ve been presented with those musty fusty miniature villages in your local town hall on a rainy day (if you’ve been spared this tell me your secrets!)

But, Gulliver’s Gate is honestly A-MA-ZING. You can lose hours gazing into the tiny windows, and looking at all the tiny scenes. It features more than 25 major world cities, and what’s more is that you can bring each place to life with use of a tiny key given to you on arrival. Definitely a little weird, but you could technically say you’ve been all over the world, whilst not straying too far from NYC – so it’s a win win.

Midtown Comics

If you’re a comic book fan, or you just fancy checking out an authentic American comic book store, Midtown Comics won’t disappoint. It’s tiny, but packed full of character and history. If you’re even remotely interested in fantasy genres or superheros… this place will amaze you.

Catch a broadway show

Pretty much all the Broadway musical theatres are within walking distance from Times Square. You can buy your tickets online before you even arrive in the city (there are some good deals to be had!) or you can buy them in Times Square itself from the Tickets stand. If you’ve really got your heart set on seeing a particular musical – we always recommend booking ahead of your trip – as you’ll probably end up with better seats. Which are our favourites? Chicago, Frozen, Hamilton & Wicked are all solid choices!

Places to see in walking distance of Times Square

M&Ms World

A totally touristy thing to do, but if you’ve never been in before, M&M world is definitely worth a visit as you’ll have never seen so much candy and chocolate in your life! It’s like visiting a real-life Willy Wonka factory.

The NBC Studios

If you’re lucky and you head there before 11am, you might catch a glimpse of the guest-stars or music acts through the studio windows. They do offer a paid tour, but you can see inside from street level and catch glimpses of the studio and the celebrities for free. So it just depends on how much you love NBC!

Top of the Rock Observatory One of the only places to get a great view of New York with the Empire State Building actually in it. With panoramic views, gorgeous art-deco design, and a lobby to die for, this is a definite must-see for tourists and locals alike!

LOVE Sculpture

You’ve probably seen this sculpture on people’s instagram pages, it’s one of the most ‘instagrammable’ sculpture in the city, and it’s only a 10 minute walk (maybe less if you time the lights right!) from Times Square. It’s worth making the walk up there to snap a photo yourself! This is the most photo-worthy places to see in walking distance of Times Square for sure! 

Places to see in walking distance of Times Square

Top of the Rock Observatory

One of the only places to get a great view of New York with the Empire State Building actually in it. With panoramic views, gorgeous art-deco design, and a lobby to die for, this is a definite must-see for tourists and locals alike!

We hope this has helped answer your question ‘places to see in walking distance of Times Square‘. Let us know if we can help with anything more questions about NYC! 

What food can I get on the High Line?

The High Line is the best place to spend a few hours once spring and summer hits NYC. The raised park is above street level, offers incredible views of the city, and feels like a peaceful haven away from the hustle and bustle of NYC’s busy city vibe. Yes, there are lots of tourists, but that doesn’t take away from how gorgeous the High Line park is, and how much it has to offer.

Here’s a quick map of where the High Line can be found, just in case you didn’t know when reading this!

what food can i get on the high line new york

But if you’re planning to spend the afternoon or morning up on the High Line, what food can you get up there?

What food can I get on the High Line?

The quick answer, is not a whole lot.

what food can i get on the high line new york

There are a few mobile food carts up on the high line itself, but there isn’t a huge selection available (and you might find yourself queuing up for a while when times are busy). In the winter, these mobiles food carts aren’t even open – so you won’t find much up there in the way of food and drink. SO the chances are you might indeed find yourself wondering “What food can I get on the High Line?” during your walk along NYC’s famous park.

Your best bet if you want to have a little food and drink whilst enjoying the High Line, is to…

Option 1: Pack a picnic

If you’re going down the picnic route, there are a few ‘buffet’ style lunch spots near the top entrance, where you can load up a tupperware box with food and they charge you by the weight. These kinds of places have SO much choice, and always have plastic or wooden cutlery to take away to – if you’re grabbing for on the go. Wholefoods also do a similar thing (but you’ll pay extra!).

Option 2: Get off the high line at different points, and enjoy food at nearby restaurants or cafes.

If you don’t fancy packing your own picnic to eat on the high line, then the easiest choice for you is to leave the high line (there are various points you can exit down onto the street) and eat somewhere close by, before joining it again. If you’re looking for something to eat near the high line, then here are our favourite restaurant recommendations:

High Street on Hudson 

637 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

Bakery, bread, carbs… do we need to say more. If you’ve done loads of walking and you need to carb load for energy – this is where you should head to.

Cookshop, Chelsea 

156 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011

This place is located a few steps from the high line and is a great place if you want a cup of coffee and a snack.

Corner Bistro 

331 W. 4th St, New York, NY 10014

A classic, no-frills NYC bistro, this place ticks all the boxes. Good food, friendly staff, beer. Need we say more?

Santina

820 Washington St, New York, NY 10014

Great if you fancy something a bit posh and sophisticated. These guys do delicious Italian food.

The Meatball Shop, Chelsea 

200 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

A short walk from the high line, this little foodie hotspot is a must-visit in this part of town. When you see the menu it’s not hard to figure out why this is one of our favourite places to eat near the high line.

We hope this has given you some ideas, and answered your question “What food can I get on the High Line?”. If you’d like any more advice about NYC, let us know – we’re always happy to help answer your questions!