Activities & Adventure 7 MINS READ

The 9 Most Amazing Hidden Gems in New York

The 9 Most Amazing Hidden Gems in New York

Activities & Adventure 7 MINS READ
Little Red Lighthouse, NYC.

From the Empire State Building to Central Park and the Statue of Liberty, New York is bursting at the seams with postcard-worthy attractions.

But New York is also filled with fascinating hidden gems that are hidden in plain sight from traditional tourist itineraries.

Itching to discover the best-kept secrets in the Big Apple? We’ve got you. From an abandoned smallpox hospital to remnants of the Berlin Wall, here’s a list of the top 9 New York hidden gems that’ll leave you in awe.

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The 10 Best Hidden Gems in New York

Fort Tryon Park

Fort Tryon Park, NYC.

Often overlooked in favor of the popular Central Park, Fort Tryon remains one of the most alluring open spaces in New York City.

This lesser-known park was built in 1917 when philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, Jr., bought up the “Tryon Hall Mansion ” of Chicago industrialist C. K. G. Billings, as well as other parcels. He developed a beautiful lush park, which was donated to NYC in 1931, and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

Located in the Hudson Heights and Inwood neighborhoods of Manhattan, Fort Tryon Park features well-manicured gardens dotted with over 500 varieties of plants, trees, and shrubs, as well as 8 miles of pathways with majestic views of the Hudson River and Palisades.

Fort Tryon Park is also home to The Met Cloisters, a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Located within a Gothic-style building designed by architect Charles Collens, the cloisters play host to nearly 5,000 medieval works of art and architecture, with a focus on the Romanesque and Gothic periods.

Address: Riverside, Dr. To Broadway, New York

Also Read: New York In 2 Days: Everything You Need To See

Whispering Gallery in Grand Central Station

Grand Central Terminal, in NYC.

The Grand Central Terminal is one of the most visited New York attractions. Located at 42nd Street and Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, the station is the largest commuter rail terminal in the Americas, welcoming 750,000 people every day!

Some of the most famous features of Grand Central Terminal include the station’s 125-foot ceiling vault painted with constellations and the iconic Booth Clock decorated with sculptures of an American eagle and Roman deities.

But only a few people that the Grand Central Terminal is home to an NYC hidden gem — the “whispering gallery”. Tucked away in the dining area of the Grand Central Terminal, this gallery has some interesting acoustic effects: people can stand on the opposite corners of the tiled wall and whisper their messages to each other.

Address: 89 E 42nd St, New York

Secret Garden of Rockefeller Center

Secret Garden of Rockefeller Center, NYC.

The Rockefeller Center is a large complex that houses several well-known NYC attractions like the NBC studios, the Top of the Rock Observation Deck, and the Radio City Music Hall.

There’s one place in Rockefeller Center, however, that most people don’t know about: the secret rooftop gardens.

Located at the 620 Loft and Gallery, which is part of the building at 650 5th Avenue, this quiet pocket of greenery flaunts spectacular views of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Midtown Manhattan and is available for rent for weddings and other events. It was also a film location for the original Spiderman movie.

620 Loft and Garden part of 620 5th Avenue, is part of an indoor/outdoor space with views of St. Patrick’s Cathedral that can be rented for weddings and events. It was also a film location for the original Spiderman movie.

Unfortunately, the space is not freely accessible to the public. So, if you want a glimpse of the garden, you’ll have to secure a meeting (or a job!) at the neighboring Tishman Speyer office that overlooks the gardens.

Address: 45 Rockefeller Plaza, New York

Also Read: The Ultimate Guide To Hudson Valley, New York

Little Red Lighthouse

Little Red Lighthouse, NYC.

The Little Red Lighthouse is one of the few surviving lighthouses in New York City. Tucked under the George Washington Bridge, in Fort Washington Park, along the Hudson River, this 40-foot lighthouse was built in 1880 and moved to its current location in 1921.

Visitors can climb a long, iron stair to the top of the tower to see the lantern room, and enjoy unparalleled views of the Hudson River.

Address: Fort Washington Park, Hudson River Greenway, New York

City Hall Station

City Hall Station, NYC.

Old City Hall Subway Station is one of New York’s best-kept secrets. The station opened in 1904, making it the very first subway station in NYC, and closed in 1945, but still to the present day manages to dazzle visitors thanks to its immense beauty.

Designed by renowned architects Heins & LaFarge, the station was embellished with stained glass windows, beautiful arches, artful vaulted tile ceilings by master artisan Rafael Guastavino, and lavish chandeliers.

You can tour the old City Hall subway station on your own or, even better, on a guided tour through the New York Transit Museum. The ton tours begin above ground with a historical walk in the area, followed by a visit to the station itself.

Address: 31 Centre St, New York

Also Read: 10 Amazing Free Things To Do In NYC

Renwick Smallpox Hospital

Renwick Smallpox Hospital, NYC.

Renwick Smallpox Hospital is a sinister and fascinating place in NYC. Built between 1854-56, and designed by James Renwick, Jr., the hospital was the first in the country to receive patients with smallpox. Its remote location on Roosevelt Island allowed residents afflicted with the disease to quarantine.

The Renwick Smallpox Hospital was closed after a successful vaccine was implemented in the late 1800s.

Only ruins of the hospital remain, but visitors can still visit the site and marvel at the building’s eerie and beautiful Gothic Revival structure.

Address: E Rd, New York, NY

The 4 Sections Of The Berlin Wall

Section Of The Berlin Wall, NYC.

You don’t have to travel to Europe to see the legendary Berlin Wall. After the fall of the wall, pieces were divided up and sold, and four of them actually reside in New York City.

Here are the locations of the Berlin Wall pieces in NYC: one of them is inside Ripley’s Believe it or Not, in Times Square, another at the United Nations, a third at a public plaza in Battery Park City, and the last inside a public office building lobby in Midtown.

Also Read: The Best Hotels In Manhattan, NYC

The Van Cortlandt Museum

The Van Cortlandt Museum, NYC.

The Van Cortlandt House Museum is located in a 1,000-acre urban park that was once the plantation of the wealthy Van Cortlandt family. A true hidden gem in New York, the mansion is the oldest surviving building in the Bronx and is closely linked to the history of the United States.

At various times during the American Revolution, General George Washington used the Van Cortlandt House as a headquarters.

It was in this mansion, too, that George Washington and General Rochambeau formulated a strategy for ending the war.

At the end of the 19th century, the house was sold to the City of New York. The property became a museum in 1897, and it was then restored and furnished to depict how it may have looked during the period from 1749 to 1823.

Inside, you’ll find period furnishings, and an array of 18th and 19th-century Dutch, English, and American decorative objects. The interiors are also artfully decorated with fine wood paneling, fireplaces, and Dutch tiles.

While the museum’s collections are authentic to the time period, only a small portion of them was in fact owned by the Van Cortlandt family.

Address: 6036 Broadway, Van Cortlandt Park, The Bronx, NY

Stone Street

Stone Street, in NYC.

Nestled in the Financial District, in the heart of Downtown Manhattan, Stone Street was the first street in NY to be lined with cobblestones.

Originally paved in 1658, when Wall Street was still a wooden wall, the street was beautifully restored and repaved in the 1990s and became a Historic District in 1996.

Known for its old-world charm, this narrow cobblestone street is a great place for a leisurely stroll in New York City. Here, you’ll find a lively array of pubs, bars, restaurants, and cafes.

Address: Stone, Pearl and S. William Sts. and Mill Ln., New York City

Also Read: Top Places To Have The Best Pizza In New York City


What are the most unusual things to do in New York?

The top hidden gems in New York are:

  • Fort Tryon Park;
  • Whispering Gallery in Grand Central Station;
  • Secret Garden of Rockefeller Center;
  • Villa Charlotte Bronte;
  • Little Red Lighthouse;
  • City Hall Station;
  • Renwick Smallpox Hospital;
  • The 4 Sections Of The Berlin Wall;
  • The Van Cortlandt Museum;
  • Stone Street.

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