From a small little restaurant to one of the most popular destinations, here are 5 magical spots in New York City.
Trust me, I have about a million posts I’ve started writing about my various trips into the city, and I think I’ve only published two so far… Oops! I think I just got a little ambitious and wanted to make these nice, long posts and then lost steam halfway through.
Which is silly!
Anyhow, I decided to just take a breath and not worry if a post feels too small or short. Instead, I want to just share little things with you guys before too much time passes and I forget all the details.
So to start, here are some magical spots in New York City that I loved seeing on my different trips this past year!
Of course, there are a lot of places in the city. I’m sure a local or native New Yorker will look at this list and have about 100 to add on top of it.
I’m not even sure magical is the right word to explain myself, but “whimsical” didn’t seem quite right for some, and “breathtaking” seemed a little dramatic. Basically, I just find these places lovely for one reason or another.
They almost feel like they don’t belong in the same city that’s famous for Times Square and Broadway, but, on the other hand, you can’t quite picture them belonging anywhere else in the world.
5 Magical Spots in New York City
Tiny’s Upstairs Bar and Door
I first saw this photo on instagram and I knew I had to stop by. Since I already was planning on going to an Italian place for lunch in Tribeca, I made sure to map my route so I could walk by. I still wouldn’t be surprised if it found its way into a Wes Anderson film someday!
Gallery 131 in the Metropolitan Museum
The best part about traveling with Elissa is that she thinks of doing things I wouldn’t have on my radar otherwise (*cough* like the Mt. Batur hike in Bali *cough*). She loves Egypt, so when we went to NYC during her visit, we made sure to stop in the MET to see the Temple of Dendur.
The temple itself is pretty incredible to see, and the room it’s in only amplifies that. Instead of resting on the stairs outside of the MET ala “Gossip Girl,” go inside and enjoy the Egyptian room.
The rest of the MET is full of different exhibits, and it’s a great place to wander even if you’re solo traveling in NYC.
**The MET entrance is via donation in person or $25 online. If you want a smaller tour guide, check out this 2-hour here or this 3-hour tour. It might come in handy if you go during a busy time and can skip the lines!
Bethesda Terrace Arcade
There are a lot of pretty areas in Central Park. However, I think my favorite is still the Bethesda Terrace Arcade, which is right near the lake. The terrace was first created in the 1860s, and what makes it unique is its ceiling. Instead of adding the color to the tile surface after it’s been made, the color is added to the clay beforehand. Normally they’re used for the floor but here they’re on the ceiling. If you catch it with the right light, it feels almost ethereal.
**If you want to know more about Central Park, you may like this private walking tour.
Probably one of the most otherworldly structures in New York City is the fairly new Oculus. On a basic level, it functions as the World Trade Center station for the Newark-WTC and Hoboken-WTC lines. Magical may not even really be quite the word for it. Built as a 9/11 memorial, walking in is an incredible experience.
The building itself, which is easily recognizable as you walk towards it, was designed by Santiago Calatrava. It’s meant to resemble a winged dove being released from a child’s hand. While its insane cost and constant delays in construction were a source of controversy, it’s hard to argue against its moving effect today.
Grand Central Terminal
So, while Winter’s Tale is a little, overly sentimental, one thing I’ll always remember is how prominent of a role Grand Central Terminal played the story’s setting. I’ve gone back twice now, and I just love it every time. I need a third time now that I have a camera that can shoot better in low light!
The terminal has been around since 1913, and it’s one of NYC’s most visited areas. Don’t let the almost guarantee of crowds, both commuters and tourists, scare you away. In fact, the crowds, in a way, add to its charm. After all, it’s supposed to be a terminal, not an obscure landmark. What makes it so special is the juxtaposition of its celestial ceiling to the bustle below.
Have you been to any of these magical spots in New York City?
For More USA travel…
- Elissa’s Local Guide to Los Angeles
- Going to San Francisco for the First Time?
- Elissa’s Local Guide to Washington, D.C.