A Beginner's Guide To Visiting New York

A Beginner's Guide To Visiting New York

Whenever New York is the setting of a movie or television show, it’s always portrayed as thrilling and entertaining. Songs about New York boast that there is always something to do no matter the time and that there is no other place like it. Now, really, we all know how artists tend to exaggerate, so can all that be true? Yes, my friend, it’s all true. New York really is the most exciting place to visit.

New York is also very confusing and overwhelming, especially when you first visit. That’s because it’s so large and also because of all those things to see and do.

But, first, let’s figure out exactly what “New York” means.


Boroughs of New York

The term “New York” refers to 1) the state and 2) the five boroughs that make up what’s essentially known as New York City. The city is where most people visit. Each borough has its own community, unique attractions, and restaurants that serve foods from a range of cultures.

The five boroughs of New York are:

  • Manhattan
  • Brooklyn
  • Queens
  • The Bronx
  • Staten Island

When people picture the bright lights and skyscrapers of New York City, they are actually picturing Manhattan. Central Park, the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, Broadway, and Times Square are just a few of the prominent places in Manhattan. Manhattan is further broken down into areas (uptown, midtown, and downtown), which are further broken down into neighborhoods (e.g., Harlem, Herald Square, Garment District, Flower District, SoHo, Tribeca).

The other boroughs also offer attractive places, as well. Brooklyn is famous for Coney Island and its walk-across Bridge; Queens offers three Chinatowns and a sculpture park; the Bronx has a zoo and a botanical garden, and, Staten Island has maritime and lighthouse museums and vast parks.


New York City Pass

One good way to see all the tourist sites is to purchase a New York City Pass. The card then allows you access into over ninety New York tourist attractions, including the Statue of Liberty, 9/11 Memorial and Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Planet Hollywood, Circle Line Cruises, Madam Tussauds etc. The cost of the card is reasonable, considering all you can do.


Bus Tours

Don’t turn your nose down at the thought of a bus tour. For New York, bus tours have great advantages. The tours, like the hop on hop off bus tour, take you on sightseeing tours through the boroughs and directly to various tourist sites, with endless off and on service. Some even provide refreshments and admission to the tourist sites. And, prices are reasonable.


Hudson Valley

The Hudson Valley area is roughly a two-hour drive/train ride from New York City. Its quaint neighborhoods are great for leisurely strolling, window-shopping, antiquing, and sipping afternoon tea and coffee. There are hotels and motels at which to stay, as well as charming beds and breakfasts.


The Hamptons

The Hamptons is about a 2.5-hour drive from New York City. It’s really where the wealthy, influential, and well-known vacation. You’ll find gorgeous mansions, stunning beaches, and enchanting towns.

The Baker House 1650 is just one of the many beds and breakfasts located in the Hamptons. Like the other B&Bs, it’s near the beach, has a spa, and offers grounds for special events such as weddings and is open year round.


Once you get a taste of New York, you’ll probably find yourself wanting to come back again and again. That’s because New York really isn’t just a state or a city – it’s a living, breathing entity, full of life and character. And, you’ll simply want to get to know it better.


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