Places to go in NYC for free!
I am so excited to share with all of you my most recent NYC adventures! I recently celebrated my 36th birthday there and turned my dream of exploring NYC in the fall a reality! Today, I’m going to start by sharing my top 5 places to explore for free…(it’s nice knowing that “free” still exists at times, isn’t it?)
1. Central Park
When I was a young girl, I started having a deep desire to see NYC in the fall, more specifically Central Park, this desire began after I finished watching the movie, Autumn in New York. Another early sign I was catching a bad case of wanderlust before I even knew that was a thing. NYC pulled on my heart strings even before I had ever walked down her streets and I knew, one day I would experience NYC during the autumn months for myself. You guys, it was everything I had hoped it to be…the trees were perfectly adorned with brightly colored leaves, kissed by the autumn sun. As the sun shone brightly, there was a chilly, yet gentle breeze rustling through as we explored the ever so beautiful Central Park. Both New Yorkers and visitors alike, enjoyed a wonderful November day. Dogs were being walked, the ice skating season had just begun, and we passed the Central Park Zoo (we even saw people enjoying a lovely boat ride on the lake). The highlight for me, was getting the first glimpse of the elegant, mid 19th century Bow Bridge. Then, hearing a classical guitarist playing beautifully nearby as we walked across the bridge, taking in breathtaking views on either side. Just beautiful! This, my friends, is why Central Park is the most visited urban park in the United States. Visit the following link to plan your visit…Central Park NYC!
Travel Tip 1: Give yourself at least two hours to explore Central Park, there is so much to see…like taking the time to read quotes, love notes, and even proposals engraved on most park benches that have been adopted all over the park:-)
2. Grand Central Terminal (aka Grand Central Station)
Okay, now this one surprised me! I have read many articles mention this on the list of places to explore during a visit to NYC and for some reason I never had the desire, until now. The grand architecture of the 1903 train station that houses 44 platforms, more than any other station in the entire world, does not disappoint! I was in literal AWE of the beauty of this place! The attention to detail and the history of this landmark was intriguing. Do yourself a favor while exploring here, take your time and grab a seat at one of the side restaurants above and open to the main foyer to enjoy a drink, maybe even a meal. I would also suggest to read up on some historical facts and look around to see firsthand where it all took place. We learned about a section in the ceiling that had never been cleaned, sort of a reminder to not let history repeat itself with letting people smoke inside. When we looked for it, we found it literally under our heads as we were dining at a restaurant inside…#travelawesome! If you look closely, you’ll also find a hole in the ceiling that most say was made by mistake when the “too tall” Redstone rocket was displayed there in 1957 leaving the hole and accusing some people of miscalculating the measurements. However, we did some internet digging, and found it actually was made on purpose to anchor a stabilizing wire for the Redstone rocket and there are photos to prove it. If you want to learn more about the secrets of Grand Central Terminal click on the following link and make sure to read the bonus secrets…Top 10 Secrets of Grand Central Terminal!
Travel Tip #2~ Head downstairs and enjoy the magic of the “whispering gallery” that’s located in front of the Oyster Bar! Whether it was built to hear whispers across the room clear as day or just a whimsy and happy accident, it is sure to excite the inner child within:-)
3. Greenwich Village or simply “the Village”
This neighborhood is known to be referenced by the name “Greenwich” all the way back to 1696. It has been known as an artist’s haven for many years. If I could pick any place to live in NYC, it would definetly be in this particular neighborhood! I mean, if it’s good enough for Audrey Hepburn, it’s good enough for me;-) I just love wandering down the cobblestone streets, dreaming of what my life would be like to live in such a place. *sigh*
Travel Tip #3: Don’t have the funds to splurge on a Broadway show or take in a ballet? Just linger around Washington Square Park, near NYU, you’ll be sure to enjoy an artistic delight at some point. Every time I’ve been, I’ve had the pleasure of either hearing beautiful musicians or seeing talented dancers. This time we enjoyed both:-)
4. Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)
Located in Midtown Manhattan on 53rd Street, the MOMA houses some of the most influential modern art in the world. Visitors can enjoy exploring this museum free of charge every Friday from 4-8pm. I specifically wanted to see The Starry Night, by Vincent Van Gogh. I was also pleased to see other works of art by Vincent Van Gogh, Picasso, and was introduced and drawn to the works of an artist by the name of Gustav Klimt. I especially enjoyed Klimt’s piece, Adele Bloch-Bauer II. In 1938, this painting along with others, was confiscated by the Nazi government. After much legal negotiations, the works were returned to the Bloch-Bauer heirs and then later sold. This painting, shown above, is now on loan to the museum from its current owner. Visit their site to learn more, MOMA.org!
Travel Tip #4: Do your research before visiting! We didn’t realize that a seperate ticket had to be purchased in advance to see the current exhibition of Picasso’s sculptures…the tickets were even sold out during our visit:-(
5. The High Line
The High Line is a 1.45 mile long elevated urban park that was built on a disused portion of the New York Central Railroad. This park was created in 2009 and was inspired by a similar project in Paris. Enjoy a leisure stroll, like we did, or even a run down this once used railroad that shipped cargo like meat, milk, produce, etc., allowing goods to be transported directly to its destination without disturbing traffic on the streets. The beautiful plants and greenery planted in the park today were specifically chosen to pay homage to the wild plants that grew naturally along the once abandoned railway.
Travel Tip #5: Do take time to stop and smell the flowers, maybe take a seat on one of the benches for a few minutes to enjoy and reflect on life’s little pleasures. We live in a beautiful world, after all:-)
Check back next week. I’ll be sharing more about my recent NYC adventures…possibly, even sharing a funny and tad bit embarrassing story;-) Thank you for taking the time to read this post and please comment below with any NYC tips or suggestions that you might have. Happy Travels and remember…Travel’s a Dance Away!