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New York City

What are the best museums and historical sites all throughout NYC?

Locals and frequent visitors, what are your favorite museums and historical sites anywhere in the 5 boroughs that tell the human history of the City (not natural history)? I've done a little looking, but wanted some experienced input. Thanks.

6 Answers

answered by
pNicole from New York City

there are so many! some highlights --in addition to the main ones that im sure others will mention-- may be the lesser known ones --> New York Transit Museum, the Merchant's House Museum, Tenement Museum, Museum of the American Gangster, and a whole slew of walking tours.  

i'd also recommend downloading the "highline walking tour" episode of THE BOWERY BOYS (a nyc history podcast) and take yourself along the High Line Park while listening to the episode!

remember that there is SO much to see and do in NYC, even regarding just human history, so including some of your interests along with what you're looking to see or do can help tailor the experience to make your trip more memorable.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. New York Transit Museum (attraction)
  2. Merchant's House Museum (attraction)
  3. Tenement Museum (attraction)
  4. Museum of the American Gangster (attraction)
  5. High Line Park (attraction)
2 thanks

answered by
Jeff from Brooklyn, New York

I highly recommend The Noguchi Museum, if you have interest in his work and life.  It's the hidden gem in Queens, and not far from Manhattan.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. The Noguchi Museum (attraction)
2 thanks

answered by
Rie from New York City

Two that immediately come to mind are Museum of the City of New York & actually the New York Public Library - Mid-Manhattan Library main branch (the one with the lions out front) has amazing installations & endlessly fascinating information on NYC.


1 thanks

answered by
Sean from Hudson Valley

Something that is fun, and free unless you decide otherwise, is a stroll through Chinatown New York.  Also, what’s left of Little Italy is nearby.

I heartily recommend the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, 97 Orchard Street, in the lower east side. This 1860's building is set up to reflect the various immigrant groups the settled in that area throughout the years. Each apartment is setup to reflect immigrants of different origins, and costumed actors recreate the day to day lives of these people. The ground floor is set up as a business from the past. There are walking tours of the neighborhood, as well as various events throughout the year. Highly recommended!

Finally, if you're in that section of lower Manhattan, you'll be close to Katz's Delicatessen (on the corner of Houston and Ludlow). This is one of the last, true deli's in New York.  Also, it's where Meg Ryan's famous scene from, "When Harry Met Sally" was filmed; but the real star is the pastrami.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Chinatown New York (neighborhood)
  2. Lower East Side Tenement Museum (attraction)
  3. Katz's Delicatessen (restaurant)
1 thanks

answered first by
Lola from Ireland

Hi! I lived in NYC for some years so I will share my favorites. 

The Frick Collection was always a good visit. Lovely old mansion with a great collection and lovely grounds.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is another favorite. It can take a few visits to experience the whole building. Enjoy the views from their terrace with a refreshing drink :)

Museum of Modern Art cannot be missed!

The Cloisters is in a nice park area. You will appreciate the medieval art. The grounds are great for picture taking.

This is another one in my top list The Museum at FIT. If you love fashion then you will enjoy it. The stylish exhibitions are always enjoyable.

Brooklyn Museum is interesting too and worth the trip outside Manhattan.

If you feel open to it, The Museum of Sex can be interesting.

I adore MoMA PS1. Very cool museum inside an old school. In the summer it hosts outdoor parties and installations on their grounds.

The Noguchi Museum is nice and it has a lovely serene sculpture garden.

Historic sites to see: Empire State BldgEllis IslandGround ZeroTimes SquareTop of the RockRadio City Music Hall, Central ParkLittle ItalyChinatown New YorkNBC (NY) Employees FCUUnited Nations HeadquartersUnisphereCentral Park and Coney Island are a few :)

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. The Frick Collection (attraction)
  2. The Metropolitan Museum of Art (attraction)
  3. Museum of Modern Art (attraction)
  4. The Cloisters (attraction)
  5. The Museum at FIT (neighborhood)
  6. Brooklyn Museum (attraction)
  7. Museum of Sex (attraction)
  8. MoMA PS1 (attraction)
  9. The Noguchi Museum (attraction)
  10. Empire State Bldg (attraction)
  11. Ellis Island (attraction)
  12. Ground Zero (attraction)
  13. Times Square (metro area)
  14. Top of the Rock (attraction)
  15. Radio City Music Hall (attraction)
  16. Central Park (attraction)
  17. Little Italy (attraction)
  18. Chinatown New York (neighborhood)
  19. NBC (NY) Employees FCU (attraction)
  20. United Nations Headquarters (attraction)
  21. Unisphere (attraction)
  22. Central Park (attraction)
  23. Coney Island (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
Annette from New Jersey

Dyckman Farmhouse might be one. It is the last standing farm house on the island.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Dyckman Farmhouse (attraction)

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