7 Attractions in New York City for Your Second (or Third!) Visit

7 Attractions in New York City for Your Second (or Third!) Visit

After hitting all of New York City's key attractions, it's time to check out the lesser-known sights and hidden gems.

Having visited New York City four times, I can confidently say that the array of attractions in the city is virtually inexhaustible. Every time, I’ve been surprised by new neighbourhoods, by hidden places, by beautiful parks, by less-visited destinations – and I have a gut feeling that New York City will continue to throw pleasant surprises my way during future visits as well.

Of course, during my very first visit to New York City, I hit all the major, world-famous landmarks. I strolled across Central Park; saw the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building and One World Trade Center; visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art; gazed in awe at the neon lights of Times Square; walked across the Brooklyn Bridge; and laid eyes on the Statue of Liberty.

I suggest that, if you’ve never been to the Big Apple, you do exactly the same. Those iconic landmarks should by no means be passed up on.

However, there is so, so much more to this vast city than many people realise. For one, all of the attractions listed above — those to do, see and visit during your first time in the city – are located in Manhattan, which is only one of the five boroughs that make up this enormous metropolis.

Also read: New York City’s Less Visited Attractions

In this article, I want to present to you a list that you can use to build an itinerary for your second visit to New York City. Make no mistake; New York City is a place that will continue to blow you away. As awesome as your first visit probably was, your second one might even be better — and definitely more surprising.

1. Staten Island Ferry

Image credit: Nicki Mannix

Popular, yet still not that well-known to the average tourist, the Staten Island Ferry is arguably one of the most underrated attractions — if you can call it that in the first place — in the entire city. This free ferry commutes between Lower Manhattan and Staten Island and is meant to transport locals to and from work all day every day. Its main purpose put aside, tourists can use it as well. The ferry ride goes right past the Statue of Liberty and offers truly spectacular views of Manhattan, Brooklyn and the harbour. And as I said, it’s completely free.

2. Coney Island

Image credit: Derek A Young

Coney Island is a peninsula in the far south of Brooklyn. While the name might ring a bell, Coney Island is not a popular tourist attraction whatsoever. But consider this: Coney Island features a sandy beach on the Atlantic Ocean, a beautiful oceanfront boardwalk, numerous beach bars and eateries, and a truly iconic amusement park with rollercoasters and everything. On a hot summer’s day, there is no better place in New York City to spend some time.

3. The High Line

Image credit: David Berkowitz

A refurbished old railroad, The High Line is an elevated linear park on the West Side of Manhattan. The park has many entrances — through stairways — and runs for almost 1.5 miles above the streets of western Manhattan. Lined with trees and various other plants, and home to a bar and food stalls, this is an incredibly fun place to go for a stroll.

4. New York Public Library

new york city attractions

Image credit: Alex Proimos

Boasting more than 50 million items and artefacts, the New York Public Library is the second most extensive library in the USA and the fourth largest in the world. Housed in various locations across the city, its main branch is in Bryant Park in the heart of Manhattan. You are absolutely encouraged to walk in and take a look around. Grab a cup of coffee in cosy Bryant Park afterwards and do some people-watching, one of the greatest (and easiest) free activities to do in New York City.

5. Roosevelt Island Tramway

Image credit: Silveira Neto

Just like the Staten Island Ferry, the Roosevelt Island Tramway is a wonderful transportation highlight in the city. This aerial tramway connects Manhattan’s Upper East Side with Roosevelt Island and, possibly surprisingly, is part of the subway system. You can use your subway ticket to access this unique and off-the-beaten-path attraction in Manhattan. Again, the views of the city are quite phenomenal.

6. American Museum of Natural History

new york city attractions

Image credit: Daniel Mennerich

If you want to visit another museum during your second visit to New York City, definitely consider going to the magnificent American Museum of Natural History. This truly vast museum lies just to the west of Central Park and comprises no fewer than 27 buildings and houses 45 permanent exhibitions. The museum holds a mind-boggling 32 million artefacts, including minerals, bones and other fossils, meteorites, and specimens of plants, animals and humans, only a fraction of which is displayed – can possibly be displayed. If you’re into science, this is a place you won’t want to miss.

Also read: 5 Things You Can Do for Free in New York City

7. Brooklyn Flea Markets

new york city attractions

Image credit: dumbonyc

If you want to get a feel for Brooklyn, you simply must visit one of the flea markets that are organised every weekend of the year. Unlike Manhattan with its skyscrapers and hustle and bustle, Brooklyn is a quiet, much more residential borough with a charming, welcoming atmosphere. The weekly flea markets are the perfect example of this, great places to buy a real, authentic New York City souvenir.

The above-listed attractions in New York City are probably enough to keep you occupied for about three days. Plus, if you want to save some money on attraction entry costs, you should consider buying a New York Pass; this will let you visit most of the large attractions — at a reduced cost!

About Author

Bram Reusen

Bram is a freelance writer, translator and travel photographer. He was born and grew up in a small town in Belgium and currently lives in a small town in Vermont, USA. He likes to try different travel styles and he has backpacked across Australia, cycled from Belgium to the North Cape and back, spent three months immersing himself in the Irish culture, hiked across England, climbed numerous mountains in New England, and visited many a handful of European cities. Besides writing and traveling, Bram spends his days reading, working out and trying to live a healthy life.


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