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Final New York Metropolis Bucket Record (101 Issues to Do in NYC)


[ Update: We’re spending the year of 2018 exploring NYC. We’d love to hear all your suggestions! ]

We love visiting NYC! When we visit, we spend most our time eating, since the options for food are endless. It wasn’t until recently that we realized that we haven’t seen much of the city other than the insides of restaurants. With the help of our friends Charlene, Ted, and Caty who’ve been living here for over 10 years, we were able to put together an NYC bucket list.

We could probably make an entire 101 list for each borough, but we’ll start with the city as a whole. This list will continue to change and evolve as we find new things to see, do or eat in NYC so keep checking back. We focused more on experiences than food on this post, but we know how important food can be too, so you can check out our full food bucket list.

Ultimate New York City Bucket List (101 Things to Do in NYC) - from the touristy spots everyone has to do at least once to the ones a little more off the beaten path. // https://localadventurer.com


Last Updated: April 14, 2018 Created: January 30, 2017


  1. ☐ Bronx Zoo, Bronx Park
  2. ☐ Brooklyn Bridge, BK
  3. ☐ Chinatown
  4. ☐ Chrysler Building, Midtown
  5. ☐ Columbia University, Morningside Heights
  6. ☐ Empire State Building, Midtown
  7. ☐ Flatiron Building, Flatiron
  8. ☐ Grand Central Station / Terminal, Midtown
  9. ☐ Greenwich Village / West Village
  10. ☐ Hell Gate Bridge, Astoria, Queens (QNS)
  11. ☐ Library Hotel (stay for a night or happy hour at their rooftop bar)
  12. ☐ The Lowline Lab, Lower East Side (LES) – Reopening March 1, 2018
  13. ☐ Mahayana Buddhist Temple, Chinatown
  14. ☐ New York Public Library, Midtown
  15. ☐ New York Wheel
  16. ☐ The Oculus (World Trade Center Transportation Hub), Financial District
  17. ☐ One World Observatory
  18. ☐ Rockefeller Center, Midtown (Top of the Rock has the best views!)
  19. ☐ St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Midtown
  20. ☐ Staten Island Ferry (and drink a Staten Island. Cheers!)
  21. ☐ Times Square, Midtown (If you want to stay in the area but have a place to escape to, the Casablanca Hotel is a great spot. Also to avoid the crowds, try going at 2am or during terrible weather.)
  22. ☐ Victorian Gardens Amusement Park

Memorials + Museums + Monuments

  1. ☐ African Burial Ground National Monument, Financial District (National Park Unit)
  2. ☐ American Museum of Natural History, UWS
  3. ☐ Brooklyn Museum, Prospect Heights, BK
  4. ☐ Castle Clinton National Monument, Battery Park (National Park Unit)
  5. ☐ The Cloisters, the Heights (part of the Met)
  6. ☐ Chelsea Galleries (David Zwirner Gallery to see Yayoi Kusama’s exhibit)
  7. ☐ Ellis Island
  8. ☐ Federal Hall National Monument, Financial District (National Park Unit)
  9. ☐ Frick Collection, UES
  10. ☐ General Grant National Memorial, Morningside Heights (National Park Unit)
  11. ☐ Governors Island National Monument (National Park Unit)
  12. ☐ The Guggenheim (Solomon R Guggenheim Museum), UES
  13. ☐ Hamilton Grange National Memorial (National Park Unit)
  14. ☐ Intrepid (Intrepid Sea and Air Museum) – for Stargazing or Movie Nights
  15. ☐ Lower East Side Tenement Museum, LES
  16. ☐ The Met (Metropolitan Museum of Art), Central Park / UES
  17. ☐ MoMa / Museum of Modern Art (Free Fri 4-8PM)
  18. ☐ MoMa PS1, LIC, QNS
  19. ☐ Morgan Library and Museum, Murray Hill
  20. ☐ Museum of Moving Image, Astoria, QNS
  21. ☐ National 9/11 Memorial and Museum
  22. ☐ New York Transit Museum, BK
  23. ☐ The Noguchi Museum, LIC, QNS
  24. ☐ Statue of Liberty National Monument (National Park Unit. Want to avoid the lines at Liberty Island? Take a cruise next to it instead.)
  25. ☐ Stonewall National Monument, West Village (National Park Unit)
  26. ☐ Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site, Flatiron (National Park Unit)
  27. ☐ Tibet House, Flatiron
  28. ☐ Whitney Museum of American Art, Meatpacking District

Spectate: Shows + Events

  1. ☐ Apollo Theater, Harlem
  2. ☐ Barclay’s Center – Brooklyn Nets
  3. ☐ Broadway Show or Off-Broadway Show (some of our current favorites: Book of Mormon, Chicago, Come from Away, School of Rock)
  4. ☐ Brooklyn Bowl, Williamsburg, BK
  5. ☐ Carnegie Hall, Midtown
  6. ☐ Comedy Cellar, Greenwich Village
  7. ☐ Film Forum, South Village
  8. ☐ Las Chicas Locas for Salsa Dancing
  9. ☐ Late night show taping / SNL (how to score free tickets)
  10. ☐ Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Lincoln Square
  11. ☐ Madison Square Garden, Midtown West (See the Knicks)
  12. ☐ Metropolitan Opera House, UWS
  13. ☐ MetLife Stadium, NJ – New York Giants
  14. ☐ National Tennis Center, Flushing, QNS – for the US Open
  15. ☐ New York Philharmonic, UWS
  16. ☐ Nitehawk Cinema, Williamsburg, BK
  17. ☐ The Public Theater, NoHo – an iconic theater and is famous for their logo design. We went and saw the play, Office Hour, which our friend happened to be in.
  18. ☐ Radio City Music Hall, Midtown (take the Stage Door Tour to see behind the scenes)
  19. ☐ Shakespeare in the Park (Summer only, how to score free tickets)
  20. ☐ Yankee Stadium, Bronx

Outdoors + Urban Parks

  1. ☐ The Battery Conservancy, Financial District
  2. ☐ Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Prospect Park, Brooklyn (BK)
  3. ☐ Brooklyn Boulders (we go to the one in LIC)
  4. ☐ Brooklyn Bridge Park
  5. ☐ Coney Island Boardwalk + Brighton Beach, BK
  6. ☐ Bryant Park, Midtown
  7. ☐ Central Park
  8. ☐ Conservatory Garden, East Harlem
  9. ☐ DUMBO view of Manhattan Bridge
  10. ☐ Fort Washington Park’s Little Red Lighthouse, the Heights
  11. ☐ The High Line, Chelsea
  12. ☐ New York Botanical Garden, Bronx Park
  13. ☐ The New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden, Staten Island
  14. ☐ Prospect Park, BK
  15. ☐ Rockaway Beach, QNS
  16. ☐ Socrates Sculpture Park, LIC, QNS
  17. ☐ Washington Square Park, Greenwich Village
  18. ☐ West 4th Street Courts

Shopping + Food Experiences

  1. ☐ Afternoon tea at the Plaza, Midtown West (plus, here are some other great spots)
  2. ☐ Arthur Ave, Bronx – the real Little Italy if you want real Italian
  3. ☐ B&H – A photographer’s heaven. It’s gigantic. You can pick up your free gift using this voucher or code: LOCALADVEN
  4. ☐ Brooklyn Flea Market, DUMBO
  5. ☐ Chelsea Market
  6. ☐ Coffee at Birch Coffee, A Little Taste, or Piccolo Cafe
  7. ☐ Eataly Market, Flatiron
  8. ☐ Fifth Avenue, Midtown – one of the most expensive shopping streets in the world
  9. ☐ New York bagel at one of these spots
  10. ☐ New York-style pizza at any of these iconic spots
  11. ☐ Smorgasburg at East River State Park, Williamsburg, BKBrooklyn – largest open-air food market in the US.
  12. ☐ Strand Bookstore, Union Square
  13. ☐ Union Square Farmer’s Market

Essential Tips for First Time Visitors

  • When you’re planning your trip, book a rental car at JFK or LGA.
  • LGA is the easier airport to get in and out of. Unfortunately, there aren’t as many direct flights, but we always try to fly here if it’s available and the prices are comparable.
  • Take the train. NYC hands down has the best public transportation we’ve seen in the US. If you’re planning on taking more than 12 rides then get the unlimited 7-day pass.
  • If you’re a first time visitor, don’t forget to read 21 Things You Should Know Before Visiting NYC, and if you’re about to move here, check out our Local Tips for Moving to NYC.
  • If you’re visiting in the winter, check out our NYC winter packing and survival guide and Best Things to Do Indoors in NYC if you’re afraid of the cold.

We try to make it back once a year because we think NYC has some of the best food in the world, but we can’t wait to see more of the city too! Do you have a city that you keep going back to?

Check out our 101 Things to Do in NYC Bucket List - from the touristy spots everyone has to do at least once to the spots a little more off the beaten path. // localadventurer.com
Ultimate New York City Bucket List (101 Things to Do in NYC) - from the touristy spots everyone has to do at least once to the ones a little more off the beaten path. // https://localadventurer.com
The Ultimate NYC Bucket List - from the touristy spots everyone has to do at least once to the ones a little more off the beaten path. // https://localadventurer.com


Have you set foot in all five boroughs? Anything on this list you weren’t impressed with? Anything you think we missed?



Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, which is one of the top 50 travel blogs in the world. They believe that adventure can be found both near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They move to a new city every year and currently live in Portland, Oregon.

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Read Next // localadventurer.com

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