NYC is a place full of surprises. With nearly 8.8 million residents, New York City is the most populous metro area in the United States. As one of the countries officially recognized by the United Nations, it’s also an incredibly diverse city. And while this may seem obvious given the variety of cultures you can find here, certain things only exist in NYC.
Moreover, New York City is home to many firsts and bests some of the most iconic foods, attractions, and more.
New York City is also one of the world’s most visited cities, receiving about 50 million visitors annually (that’s almost twice as much as Walt Disney World and seven times as much as all of Las Vegas).
For those who plan on making their first visit to NYC this year, here are 10 things that are unique to our five boroughs…
This doughy treat was brought over to America by Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe who settled in NYC. While nowadays you’ll find variations all over the country, classic New York-style bagels remain a specialty at local cafes. Plus, if you’ve ever tried a bagel from a New York bakery, you know nothing tops their authentic taste.
The New York Times
Whether you’re a fan or not, the Gray Lady is not to be missed in NYC. Established as a daily paperback on September 18th,, 1851, the “Old Grey Lady” revolutionized the way news was reported and received throughout America. Be sure to grab some coffee and read at least one section of it while visiting our great city.
The subway system
Beloved by some and hated by others, this near-century-old transportation system was recently named “the eighth wonder of the modern world” by American Heritage magazine. It can be confusing to navigate at first, but once you know your way around, using this mode of transport will forever change how you experience NYC.
Visit the Explorer’s Club
An institution of explorers near Columbus Circle, this bizarre yet fascinating museum is not to be missed. The collection contains the leg cast of the first monkey in space (along with some other oddities) and many pieces of memorabilia related to famous exploration endeavors. You can even see the chair that President John F. Kennedy used for his first United Nations address.
See The Original Winnie the Pooh
This first edition stuffed animal can be found at the New York Public Library’s Children’s Center. It was named after Christopher Robin Milne, son of A.A. Milne, who wrote Winnie the Pooh. The work is based on a real bear that Christopher and his father often saw as they roamed their hometown, East Sussex, England.
Visiting the Historic White Horse Tavern
The oldest tavern in America can be found right here in NYC. It was built back in 1673. You’ll find it upstate, about an hour outside of NYC near the village of Salisbury. The pub takes its name from a nearby white horse carved into the hillside… make sure you order a pint for this notable landmark!
Eating at one of many Shake Shacks around town
Owned by Danny Meyer, this venerable burger joint makes some of the best burgers around—and they’re not just standard fast-food fare. These are gourmet burgers worth waiting for… sometimes over an hour! And if you’re looking to have a meal with a view, drop on your travels to see which location is closest to you.
Running through the Brooklyn Botanical Garden
Located in the leafy borough of Brooklyn, this garden is filled with flowers, ponds, and more. You’ll be able to see many amazing plants from around the world… but no matter what time of year you visit, it’s always a peaceful oasis in the middle of busy NYC.
Seeing the world at The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
This former aircraft carrier is now home to an assortment of fascinating military vessels. See planes, ships, submarines … even a Concorde! If you’re feeling adventurous stop by on Tuesdays when there are free-flight demonstrations… or come on Friday for some extra-special fireworks! And if that isn’t enough, check out the Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N . museum next door!
Treat yourself to Loeb’s Black and White Cookies
This famed New York bakery has been around since 1898 and is well known for its sumptuous cookies — just ask Jon Stewart or Donald Trump! If you’re lucky, you might even get a free black and white treat from one of the friendly staff members when they pass through the restaurant!
Now that you know this special NYC treats, where will you go to first?
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