Unique things to do in New York
Book unforgettable activities hosted by locals on Airbnb.
Travel like a local
It’s easy to get overwhelmed in New York City, but ask anyone who lives here, and that’s the beauty of this unique city that hums all hours of the day: there’s never a shortage of things to do. Skip the traditional sightseeing tours with Airbnb Experiences, where local experts lead you to century-old Jewish delis and global cuisine, drag shows in Hell’s Kitchen, secret bars and speakeasies on the Lower East Side, and anything in between.
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Your guide to New York
Where do locals hang out in New York City?
In a city with 8 million people, this isn’t a place where tourists and locals divide their time. Manhattan (or the City) is home to some of the world’s biggest attractions — Times Square, the MOMA, the Met, Wall Street, you name it — but it is also where many New Yorkers live, work, and go out. To feel more in the know, tour Chinatown through its food and markets before heading to Upper Manhattan for jazz and African-American history in Harlem, or a fortune telling over Turkish coffee in the East Village. And when it comes to classic New York City things to do, you can't go wrong with a rooftop bar, or sunset cruises via ferry or water taxi, to see the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building from unique vantage points. These NYC icons never get old, even for locals.
However, for a real NYC experience, embrace the diverse art, food, and history of the boroughs outside of the city: Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. Whether you spend your day at a park, in a museum in Midtown, or out shopping for designer threads at thrift stores in Williamsburg, don’t feel like you have to get caught up in a New York minute. Stop to enjoy your surroundings, and make time for people watching.
Where do locals eat in New York City?
It’s the communities and neighborhoods within the five boroughs that define the culture and energy of this iconic metropolis, and that story is best told through food. Preferably at brunch.
In the Bronx, find some of the best pizzas and pastas outside of Rome in what many New Yorkers consider the city’s true Little Italy. Meanwhile, in nearby Queens, you can travel the world in an afternoon by sampling Southeast Asian bites, Latin American dishes, and plenty of other cuisines in areas such as the Jackson Heights neighborhood.
With so many things to try, a food walking tour with a local guide can be a great way to be sure you don’t miss any of the best bites.
What are the best ways to escape New York City for a day?
When you need a break from the city action, a day trip out of New York City can lead you to other parts of the Empire State and beyond. One of the most popular NYC day trips is a drive to the Hudson Valley and the Catskills for plenty of outdoor activities such as hiking, but it’s also a must-do for food lovers and antique hunters. For those looking for a coastal calm, make the trip to Greenport, Long Island, where delicious oysters, great wine, and beach time are the only requirements for your visit.