5 years, 7 months ago
When people travel to New York, they often stick to the main sights found in downtown Manhattan. While Times Square, Top of the Rock and The Empire State Building are amazing to see, there is more to New York City than the usual spots that people think of.
There are four other boroughs in New York City and we had the chance to explore two of them during our most recent trip to the Big Apple with HouseTrip.
When looking for a place to stay, choosing an apartment in Brooklyn or Queens is a great option. You’ll find more affordable prices and have a much larger living space. It’s a great choice for families who want to cook at home, have a separate room from the kids and enjoy the adventure of exploring the way real New Yorkers do.
Just because you are staying in Brooklyn, doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to the sights in Brooklyn. Manhattan is only a short subway ride away. We were a mere four stops to downtown and for $30 we bought a Metro Card, giving us seven days of unlimited travel all over New York City.
With that said, don’t count out exploring Brooklyn and Queens. There’s a ton of stuff to see and do and you’ll find that some of the sights are more interesting than what you’ll find downtown.
We started our tour of Brooklyn with a movie and pizza with a Slice of Brooklyn. It’s very cool to see all the locations for iconic movies that were set in Brooklyn, from Saturday Night Fever, to Goodfellas and Once Upon a Time in America, to my personal favourite from the 80’s, Warriors. Remember the line? “Warriors come out and play!”
We ate at some of the best pizza joints in the city like Grimaldi’s and L&B Spumoni Gardens. Grimaldi’s attracts crowds forming lines down the street. It’s a New York institution and one of the few remaining pizzerias in the city that still cooks with a coal-burning oven.
There’s the beautiful carousal and park under the Brooklyn Bridge, offering some of the best views of the Manhattan skyline in the swank yet loud neighbourhood known as DUMBO (Down under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass). Jim Carrey just bought a 16-million dollar apartment in this neighbourhood.
When visiting New York City, one must walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. It’s an event you’ll remember and the views are fantastic. Once you cross the bridge, follow the street to the end and the subway is just around the corner. You’re already half way home!
Brooklyn is home to Coney Island and boy has it changed. It’s now a family friendly destination where people take their kids to ride the roller coaster, people watch on the boardwalk and enjoy a hot dog at Nathan’s Famous Frankfurters.
It’s an easy subway ride to everywhere with New York’s extensive transit system and another option is to stay in Queens. Home to the US Open, Queens is a quiet oasis in the city. The wildlife refuge on Jamaica Bay is one of the most significant bird sanctuaries in the North Eastern United States. The owner of this Queens apartment on the water even offer boat trips on the bay to his guests.
After you’ve finished with all the hustle and bustle of New York City, Queens is a great place to wind down. We were surprised with the size and scope of the beaches out there. The Ramones sang about Rockaway Beach because it was one of their favourite places to hang out on and we can understand why. It’s a beautiful sandy beach and the largest city beach in all of the United States.
There’s nothing better than strolling along the waterfront, people watching on the boardwalk, hiking through the wildlife reserve or relaxing on the deck of an apartment rental overlooking the water at the Manhattan skyline. One would never think that New York could be so peaceful.
Here you can truly live local. Order a pizza from the local shop, get your groceries and have a home cooked meal and then enjoy a drink on the deck, watching the birds fly by as you embrace the silence. It’s a perfect way to end your NYC vacation.
There is so much to do outside Manhattan that it’s worth adding a few days on to your New York City vacation to check out the surrounding areas. HouseTrip offers plenty of options in all the boroughs. Staying outside of downtown offers more space at affordable prices and a very authentic experience to see New York as a local.
For more information on the apartments highlighted in this video check out:
http://www.housetrip.com/en/rentals/174215 – Brooklyn Brownstones number 1
http://www.housetrip.com/en/rentals/208464 – Brooklyn Brownstones number 2
http://www.housetrip.com/en/rentals/6267 – Queens on the Water