There’s more to New York than Times Square and Broadway. Find out what you’ve been missing with this list of not-so-common attractions.

Think you know New York?
Think you know New York?
Photo by Ian Dooley on Unsplash

New York is one of the most well-known and widely-visited cities in the world but some of its most amazing sites and activities don’t show up in the travel guides. Nothing will ever replace NYC’s most iconic attractions so be sure to visit landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building, just don’t stop there. The suggestions below can help round out your itinerary so you can make the most of your stay in the city.

Attend a Talk Show (For Free)

The TV studio where The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon is recorded.
The TV studio where The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon is recorded.
Photo by Endosidney on Wikicommons

Have you ever wondered how to become part of a studio audience? It’s easier than you may think to attend a taping of your favorite talk show. The best part? Most are free!

This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and, trust me, it’s something you’ll remember forever. Many talk shows are filmed in New York, including The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Late Night with Seth Meyers, and Good Morning America. To get tickets, visit 1iota. My advice? Book as early as possible for the best chance of snagging a seat.

I can tell you from personal experience that it’s very hard to guarantee a spot at The Tonight Show. In fact, it’s the most booked show on 1iota. But it’s worth a shot and you can increase your odds if you book your tickets well in advance of your trip.

To schedule with 1iota, you’ll choose the show you wish to attend, your desired date, and the number of guests you’d like to bring along. You’ll then be asked to give your email address and wait for your spot to be confirmed. And yes, you can do all of this for free! I strongly recommend booking more than one show to increase your chances of being granted a spot.

Discover Central Park by Bicycle

You can explore all of Central Park's natural wonders by bicycle.
You can explore all of Central Park’s natural wonders by bicycle.
Photo by Guilherme Garcia on Unsplash

Central Park is the biggest park in New York City and you could devote an entire day to exploring it by foot. Honestly, the place is huge. It has a zoo, small lakes (and a big one, the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir), and baseball fields. Other popular landmarks include Strawberry Fields (John Lennon’s memorial), Bow Bridge, and Belvedere Castle. Central Park is so massive that most tourists never get to see the whole thing. They typically end up spending too much time at one or two landmarks, while missing out on most of what it has to offer.

If you opt to rent a bicycle, however, you’ll have the unique opportunity to discover all of Central Park’s natural wonders in much less time. You can find bicycle vendors at the park’s 5th or 6th Avenue gates. Prices start at $15 and you can rent a bike for three hours. Besides saving a lot of time, you’ll be able to hit all of Central Park’s landmarks. Plus, you can enjoy a nice ride at your own pace.

Grab a Doughnut at Dough and Have Dinner at Burger & Lobster

Have a doughnut (or more) during your stay in NYC.
Have a doughnut (or more) during your stay in NYC.
Photo by Marina Shana on Unsplash

Dough is for sure one of New York City’s lesser known bakeries but I feel it’s my mission to let you in on the secret. These delicious, handmade, artisanal doughnuts are simply glorious. You won’t find Dough in other city in the world. Prepare yourself for an explosion of flavors and make sure you ask for more than one doughnut. The treats are baked daily and the flavors vary quite often. You can stick with the more traditional varieties like chocolate glazed or broaden your horizons with the condensed milk or salted caramel flavors, both divine!

After walking off your afternoon snack, consider ending the day at Burger & Lobster for a delicious dinner. Choose between the Flatiron or Bryant Park locations. Each has a different menu but, as you might imagine, burgers and lobster are always available. My tips? If you’re not in the mood for the side salad, ask to swap it for a second serving of fries. You can thank me later!

New York is by far one of the most exciting cities in the world so make sure you maximize every single second of your stay. Follow my tips to experience this vibrant city the way the locals do. Have you been to NYC? Are there any tips you want to share with me? Tell me in the comments section!