There is really nothing like a trip from outside of New York City, into the city itself. From the sprawling bridges to the hustle and bustle, it’s so alive! You can’t help but get swept up in the lively area. You will feel the ‘I Love New York’ spirit when you are here! Manhattan is a lot of fun and is so close to many great destinations, so I suggest starting there!
From walking across bridges to driving over them, shopping on the streets of Lower East Manhattan to eating at all of the hidden gems along the way, there is just so much to do. While you might uncover your own favorites, there’s nothing like Iconic destinations around the area, to give you the best flavor or the city right?
If you have only a late morning till late afternoon, you can jam these 6 iconic destinations around Manhattan into your schedule and feel like you have seen and a lot. Just know there is much more, but this is a great start to uncovering Manhattan!
6 Iconic Destinations Around Manhattan
On my most recent trip, visiting Lower East Manhattan, DUMBO, shopping and eating were all part! Let me share the 6 Iconic Destinations Around Manhattan that you don’t want to miss! Get your true New York experience here!
Are you wondering what to expect when you arrive in Manhattan? Just wear walking shoes and take a backpack and a bottle of water! You will be spending the day walking street to street, possibly hailing a cab and really enjoying the ambiance.
It can be done in a 5-hour stretch and if you don’t want to walk, hire a driver to get you from place to place! Otherwise, stay the weekend or a few days and conquer more, because these are just 6 of about 200 things you could do while you are in the city! Get ready to walk and enjoy the sights, sounds, and tastes of the NYC area!
Six hours is not enough to see and do it all. So if you are traveling there and want to get the most out of your short stint of time, use these suggestions to at least grab the highlights. Then you can come back and dig in when you have more time!
There’s a river to see, food to eat, and shopping that you don’t want to miss! Are you ready to start this iconic adventure in and around Manhattan? Let’s go!
Destinations Around Manhattan – My Top 6 Picks
Chinatown in Manhattan (1)
Chinatown in Manhattan is in Lower Manhattan, and it is close to the Lower East Side and intersects with Little Italy. To find Chinatown you will be looking for East Broadway, Canal Street, Bowery and Delancey, and Grant streets.
Once you are here, you will know it! It’s crazy fun, and as interactive as you want it to be! I hope that you parked your SUV or JEEP close by so you can take all of the packages back to your vehicle!
I’ll call this area, King and Queen of the knockoffs. Who loves LV, Gucci, and all that designer fashion? Well, welcome to the area that brings you the best of the best in ‘replica!’ For those who can haggle, price down and negotiate with the vendors, you are going to love it here!
You may want to know that it hard to understand what the vendors are saying and sometimes they can not understand you. Instead, they know which Dollar Bills they want and that is how they will communicate, by showing you the amount (yes that happened!)
Then you tell them YOUR amount, show them what you want to offer, that’s how I did it, and you will score some fabulous stuff and come away with great tales of travel!
When that little lady approaches you and asks you if you want a pair of Chanel earrings or sunglasses, just know they are not real! What you will get are some great knock-offs, or replicas, that you can wear without worry of loss or theft!
What Can You Buy?
Perhaps you want a designer bag? Get it here. You will be presented with a sheet of paper, showing you all the styles, and then when you choose, the Chinatown street vendor will bring you the handbag in a big black garbage bag, like it is some covert operation.
Inside the bag will be a purse or a few for you to choose from. Be prepared because once this transaction is occurring you will be advanced by all the relatives offering other accessories such as wallets, belts, rings, bracelets, etc.
Also, don’t forget that you can ask to see other things, but it takes time. The vendors call each other on their phones, and it takes a few minutes for them to leave the area of the street they are working and get to you! Be patient it is a blast!
Manhattan Bridge (2)
What is more Manhattan than the Manhattan Bridge? Nothing! This bridge connects Lower Manhattan with Brooklyn! The architecture of the bridge is fascinating and something to see in person.
Whether you go by car (or passenger in a car), cab, Uber, LYFT, or private driver, you need to see this bridge!
Try to find times to travel across it when the traffic might not be too bad. We try to go across it around 1P and it seems to be a great time to do this activity!
The Brooklyn Bridge (3)
There is a bike lane for whoever wants to bike across this bridge, as well as welcoming foot traffic. However, do not use the bike lane for walking! Ride across in a car, or take a cab, just do it!
Make sure to look out for the Statue of Liberty and to take in a view of the bridge when you are further away it is stunning!
Honestly, if you are in Lower Manhattan, it is about 2 1/4 miles or so to the Brooklyn Bridge and a very worthwhile walk! You will end up in DUMBO Brooklyn. As I learned the acronym DUMBO stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass.
There’s great ice cream here, so get it then walk back across to Lower Manhattan and walk it off! (just in case you don’t want the calories!)
A Quick Bite In Little Italy (4)
New York pizza anyone? Not stopping for a slice of pizza pie would definitely not be a good decision, so stop and enjoy. The restauranteurs are very aggressive and stand on the sidewalks asking for your patronage.
Don’t be offended, take them up on it. On this trip, I chose an outdoor dining pizza place, while other times it is inside dining. Mix it up, and enjoy the taste of New York!
Ground Zero (5)
I suggest starting here and going inside. Then move outward to the memorials in the ground. You can do this in any order, I just think it is more practical this way.
A very sobering memorial to 9/11. Loaded with people, from early day to night and should not be missed on your destinations in and around Manhattan. If you are coming from Chinatown or Little Italy, you are a simple 25-minute walk maximum from the Ground Zero destination.
The plaza is dedicated to both the victims and survivors of the vicious, brutal and awful attacks of 9/11. You can spend a few hours here or just a few minutes, but it is not to be missed.
I still can not understand why people were taking selfies and smiling. It’s not the place for that, rather, remembrance and respect.
There is a feeling that just plugged up my throat when I arrived, and there is no describing it. Seeing this, remembering it from the day that it happened, and praying for all those both victims and survivors is all I felt compelled to do.
Statute of Liberty from Manhattan (6)
Head over to Pier A North River, and walk along the river. As you walk, you will be able to see the Statue of Liberty from afar.
The exact address is 22 Battery Pl, New York, NY 10004 at the Pier A Harbor House. Walk all along here is a great way to captures some of the best views of NY. This works well for those on a time budget while visiting New York.
You are able to see the Statue of Liberty from a great vantage point without actually going by Ferry. Walk the riverside and enjoy! You will see all you need to see there!
No matter where you are in Manhattan, you will find something that will make you look twice. Whether you are people watching, seeking out iconic New York destinations or history, you will find it!
Everywhere I looked, something caught my eye, from buildings to roadside stops, vendors, parks, it is beautiful and it is why I love New York and can’t wait to visit again!
Now it’s your turn to enjoy and start catching the ‘I Love New York‘ fever! It’s a good contagious! ~ DANA XO
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