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Discover Things to Do Outdoors in NYC

Just steps from The Gotham Hotel, there are seemingly endless activities for when the sky is blue and the sun is shining. With spring around the corner, we came up with our top five things to do outdoors in NYC so you can start making the most of the warm weather.

Top of the Rock

Go up in an observatory.

Manhattan is a narrow island. In part, its famous skyscrapers exist because the only direction left to go was up. To make up for the lack of public parks and squares at street level, the 21st century ushered in a transformation of the city’s formerly utilitarian rooftops into bars, restaurants, and even art exhibitions. The most famous observation decks are the Empire State Building, Top of the Rock, and One World Observatory. While the Empire State Building is perhaps the most iconic, the other two provide vantage points that include the famous skyscraper itself.

 

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Staten Island Ferry

Take a ferry ride.

As recently as the early aughts, it wasn’t likely that a trip to New York included a visit to the outer boroughs. Even in 2019, it can be tricky to get a visitor to take the subway out of Manhattan. For a breezy, scenic experience, take a ferry ride on the revitalized New York waterfront. The Staten Island Ferry is a classic — the free roundtrip journey lets you snap pictures of the New York skyline, State of Liberty, and Ellis Island. The newly-launched NYC Ferry is the quickest way to jet across the East River to the hip Brooklyn neighborhoods of DUMBO, Williamsburg, and Greenpoint.

 

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The Mall, Central Park

Explore Central Park.

There’s more to Central Park than the famous landmarks. The Bethesda Terrace, Central Park Zoo, and the reservoir are some of the most visited places in Manhattan. Head further north to Conservatory Garden. Located between 104th and 106th Street on Fifth Avenue, it’s the only formal garden in Central Park.

 

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The High Line

See public art on the High Line.

When the city wanted to tear down an abandoned elevated railroad spur, locals had a better idea. It was transformed into an elevated park and greenway, complete with eye-catching art installations and murals. For an indoor respite, the Whitney Museum of American Art is located at the southern terminus of the park, while a walk north will bring you to the art galleries in Chelsea.

 

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Coney Island

Stroll the boardwalk in Coney Island.

An hour from Midtown, Coney Island was one of the country’s first seaside destinations. More than a century since it’s heyday, the area is coming back to life with vintage amusement rides, long-time Italian restaurants, and the famous Nathan’s hot dog stand on the scenic Coney Island Boardwalk. Skip the summer crowds and visit on a sunny spring or fall day.

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