New York Bucket List
If you’re sick of the usual tourist spots like Coney Island, Time Square, the Statue of Liberty, and other typical New York attractions, it’s time to make your way through my New York Bucket List!
The Great Outdoors
Rockaway Beach – You can get to this beach by train which is kind of cool, because it belongs on our NY Bucket List, too… it’s an adventure in itself! Escape the hustle and bustle of the city, and enjoy some surfing, shopping, and delicious food and drinks.
Pro tip: Stalk Yelp for insider tips and tricks. One Yelper calls the Rockaways “by far the prettiest and most well constructed” boardwalk she’s seen.
Howe Caverns – Feeling adventurous? Descend nearly 160 feet beneath the Earth’s surface on a tour of Howe Caverns. Tours are available for everyone, including those who want to tame up with spelunkers and crawl through the tightest spaces in the cave!
1000 Islands – The 1,000 Islands is actually 1,864 islands, but who’s counting? You won’t regret taking the time to make this trip to enjoy one of the most beautiful outdoor rec areas New York has to offer. Whether you’re into camping, fishing, boating, diving, or bird-watching, 1,000 Islands has it all. Each island is different, which is possibly the coolest thing about the whole area! According to the 1,000 Islands website, the American Indians who used to live in the area called it the “Garden of the Great Spirit”. Check out 5 New Things to do at the Thousand Islands when you plan your trip.
Catskill Animal Sanctuary – The kids will love the Catskill Animal Sanctuary! This 110-acre property houses nearly 300 goats, pigs, sheep, and other gorgeous barnyard animals – all ready for petting and cuddling!
You can stay at the Homestead, a renovated pre-Civil War home restored using eco-friendly materials. Homestead guests enjoy a complimentary vegan breakfast, plus a VIP pass to spend time with their nearly 300 rescued animals, and a complimentary tour of the Sanctuary on the weekends April through October.
Top of the Rock Observation Deck – While we all know there’s more to New York than just NYC, the best views of the town can be seen at the Top of the Rock. This spot is great for sunset views, and is also super impressive to out of town guests.
Watkins Glen State Park – You won’t get views better than those atop the gorge at Watkins Glen State Park. It’s been voted one of the Top 3 state parks in the country, packed with 19 waterfalls and 200-foot cliffs. This park can get packed with tourist, so off-season visits are best if you want to avoid crowds.
Off the Beaten Path
Tenement Museum – “We tell the stories of 97 Orchard Street. Built on Manhattan’s Lower East Side in 1863, this tenement apartment building was home to nearly 7,000 working class immigrants.” Building tours at the Tenement Museum are like taking a step back in history.
During your tour, you’ll visit recreated homes of former residents who lived there, while interacting with costumed interpreters portraying those residents. Learn how this wonderful area has changed over the years, and how generations of immigrants have built it all from the ground up. Enjoy a combined building tour with a neighborhood tour for the full experience. These areas are important to teach our kids about as they helped new arrivals afford their entry to our lifestyle. Each new share of immigrant culture worked hard to move on and then the next round of immigrants had a place to start.
Fort Tyron Park – Experience Fort Tyron Park in all its glory, overlooking the Hudson, without dealing with the crazy hustle and bustle like you would at Central Park. I love the scenery at Fort Tyron, and they have hiking if you are feeling like taking a walk. It’s a bit hilly, but nothing too strenuous.
Described as “a patch of English countryside with a cloistered chapel”, Fort Tyron is wonderful for the whole family. The Cloisters Museum is a must see when visiting the park, too. Home to over 2,000 artifacts dating from the 12th to 15th century, the museum has exhibits including stained glass, sculptures, and more. Don’t forget your camera… there are so many photo opps here!