No matter where you look in NewYork City, there's an exciting activity to participate in, a great meal to eat, a show everybody's talking about, or a view so breathtaking that you can hardly believe anyone who sees it can get his or her work done. With so many expensive and ultimately uninspiring tourist traps to avoid, the real question isn't "Where should I go?" it's "Where do real New Yorkers go?"
So, we've rounded up the five real must-see sights in NYC:
The High Line: Manhattan's Meatpacking District can feel like a world away from the crowds and craziness you'll find in the center of the city. Cobblestone streets, luxury boutiques, and water views all make for an urban oasis in the middle of the concrete jungle. The highlight of this neck of the woods, however, is undeniably the High Line, an elevated park that spans nearly a mile and a half from Gansevoort Street to 34th Street. Enjoy performances, art exhibitions, walking tours, or just use it as peaceful (and traffic free) way to get where you're going.
Belvedere Castle: New York is home to Hollywood and political royalty, but somehow, the city's only true castle is uninhabited (and no, that's not a challenge, Taylor Swift). Architecture enthusiasts passing through Central Park should make time to check out Belvedere Castle, a stunning monument designed by Calvert Vaux in 1865. While the castle has never served as anyone's address, it is in use by the National Weather Service, as well as serving as a visitor's center for the park and housing the Henry Luce Nature Observatory for the past 20 years.
The Hayden Planetarium: The American Museum of Natural History on the Upper West Side isn't just another impressive New York City landmark, it's an American institution. One of the world's most expansive museums, with more than 2,000,000 square feet of exhibition and research space, the museum is a must-see for anyone visiting the city. Among the most amazing parts of this popular museum is its planetarium, where you can attend lectures, see amazing shows, or even catch sight of a different type of star if you happen to run into the planetarium's director, Neil DeGrasse Tyson.
Flushing Meadows: Flushing, Queens may not feel like the center of the city, but at one point in time, it was the center of the world. Flushing Meadows-Corona Park was home to the New York World's Fair in both 1939 and 1964, and the structures constructed for the latter still stand as symbols of the city's welcoming nature and greatness today. Pack up a picnic and check out the Unisphere, take a paddleboat out onto Meadow Lake, or just spend the afternoon exploring the nearly 900-acre site.
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden: Central Park has its merits, but if you want to find true tranquility in the heart of the city, plan a trip to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. This sprawling garden, home to more than 12,000 plant species, occupies a 52-acre parcel of land in the heart of Prospect Park. In the spring, make sure to catch a glimpse of the blossoming cherry trees, and in the fall, enjoy the crunch of leaves underfoot in the Native Flora Garden.
Skip the lines and get a taste of the real New York by hitting up these always stunning, never crowded landmarks.
This is a guest post by Candice Schaffer from Knightsbridge Park, a leading digital marketing firm for luxury real estate brands such as 181fremont.com and The Harrison."