THE OFFICIAL 2022 NYC GUIDE: IS IT WORTH VISITING?

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Is New York City still worth visiting in 2022? In this guide, I share my official list of the absolute best things to do this year to determine if NYC is still an amazing place to visit. We cover food, drink, attractions, things to do, tips, and more. 

WHERE TO STAY

SONDER

Sonder is a great option that provides short and long-term rentals. Depending on the location you choose to stay, options include studios all the way up to 3 bedrooms. At select locations, Sonder also offers amazing amenities such as fully stocked kitchens, rooftops, pools, gyms, and game rooms. The rooms are decorated beautifully The cost is cheaper than a hotel and more reliable than an Airbnb and you also avoid hotel taxes and fees. 

Sonder NYC
116 John Unit 1307, Interior photographer, Sonder, Hospitality photographer, NYC and Chicago, Morgan Ione Photography, hotel photographer, travel photographer, modern design photographer

THINGS TO DO

THE ESCAPE GAME

295 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10017

Ongoing | Monday-Sunday, 8am-12am | $42.99+

The Escape Game is in the heart of midtown, located right near Grand Central. Talk about a super convenient location! It is such an incredible activity and is perfect for groups of friends, families, and coworkers! The Escape Game is an immersive and interactive experience where you and your team work together to find clues, solve puzzles, and ultimately complete a mission. And what is that mission? Of course, to “escape” the room in time! Impressively, The Escape Game has a five-star rating with over 2,400 Google reviews.

You get one hour to escape and it’s a really fun challenge! You start off by picking your theme and there are many options to choose from. Room themes include a 1950’s prison, a playground, a classic art heist, and more. The Escape Game is an elevated, unplugged adventure that you don’t want to miss!

The games are a unique, hands-on experience that is great all year round. Next time you’re looking for the perfect group activity, definitely keep The Escape Game in mind. Be sure to reserve in advance to get your spot because it is a very popular place and can get booked up real fast! 

FUNKY EXPERIENCES

Saturdays, Sundays, Custom day + time | Starting at $49+

I love New York City so much that I started a tourism company here. We offer a variety of tours around the city, from history, to sightseeing, to shopping, and one of my favorites – our food tour! 

Rated 5-stars on TripAdvisor and the winner of the “best of the best” award in NYC, you definitely do not want to miss out on any of these amazing tours! There are different tour options available to choose from to fit your interests AND your budget! For a truly unique experience, book a custom-designed private tour with our expert NYC guides!

Murder at the met tour
Murder at the met tour

For the best of both worlds, with food and sightseeing, consider joining the Best of New York Food Tour offered on Sunday mornings. The tour includes five dishes at delicious restaurants and a historic walking tour through Brooklyn!

Live NYC Food tour with Luis & Sarah
Live NYC Food tour with Luis & Sarah. Photo by Jason Gonzalez-Smith

Another option is to join the Secrets of New York Tour on Saturday mornings and visit hidden locations in lower Manhattan and learn secrets most New Yorkers don’t even know! Tours book up fast, so get your tickets today!

Planning a vacation to NYC? If you’re feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin, we are here to help! With Funky Tours Concierge, our team of experts can help you plan your dream NYC vacation! You can make your NYC trip and experience more special with custom-designed plans that fit your budget and your unique interests.

The vacation planning team!

QC SPA NY

Governors Island, 112 Andes Road, New York, NY 10004

Entry starts at $88

QC Spa opened its first location in North America on NYC’s Governor’s Island in March! We had the pleasure of experiencing it recently and after indulging in this experience for four hours it’s clear that this will become the spot that the city goes to spa.

As soon as the Governor’s Island ferry docked, we were greeted by one of the spa employees who guided us to the spa. The moment we stepped foot in the spa we were transported to an oasis of relaxation and wellness.

You can pamper yourself with a tailored massage or wander freely through over twenty wellness spa experiences. You’ll find multiple saunas, steam rooms, relaxation areas, outdoor gardens, and water therapies all designed to relax the body and soul. One special feature is the  heated pool that overlooks the New York City skyline. QC Spa is an amazing experience that you don’t want to miss! 

NYC BY WATER

There is no better way to see the city than by water. There are 3 wonderful and unique experiences that I highly recommend. 

SEA THE CITY HOT TUB BOAT TOUR

Liberty Landing Marina, 84 Audrey Zapp Dr., Jersey City, NJ 07305 | $449+

NYC Sea the City

Sea The City is absolutely amazing! They offer hot tub boat tours, yes, hot tubs ON a boat! Truly, this is a one-of-a-kind experience that you do not want to miss! It’s the perfect experience for a larger get together or a party, like a bachelor/bachelorette party or even an engagement! 

This boat has two full size hot tubs on it and sails to the Statue of Liberty and back, offering stunning views of the Manhattan skyline. It is a little pricey, but the more people you get, the cheaper it is because you are renting the entire boat – you are not sharing it with strangers. I went with about 20 friends (10 per hot tub). The ride is BYOB and 90 minutes long and totally worth it! 

BATEAUX DINNER CRUISE

Pier 61, Chelsea Piers, West 23rd and 12th Avenue, New York, New York | $140+

Bateaux offers 3-hour dinner cruises along the Hudson and East River. It is the ultimate boat dinner cruise in NYC. 

Choosing a Bateaux dinner cruise includes a “delicious plated dinner with freshly prepared entrees, salads and desserts, unlimited coffee, hot tea, iced tea and water, panoramic, breathtaking views of the NYC skyline from our fully glass-enclosed deck, and live band performance with female vocalist, featuring songs that covers multiple styles and eras. Dine the night away with friends and family and soak in New York’s iconic skyline views.” – Bateaux 

CLASSIC HARBOR LINE

Chelsea Piers, Pier 62 (W. 22nd St.) New York, NY 10011 | $48+

Photo: Classic Harbor Line

Classic Harbor Line cruises offer a one-of-a-kind way to see NYC! I talk about them a lot, but it’s because they are so fabulous! They are 1920s inspired yachts with many different offerings. You can choose from brunch cruises, sunset cruises, jazz cruises, and more. You can’t go wrong with any selection. Perfect outing with friends, family, significant others, coworkers – anyone! Don’t miss out on this incredible experience!

DINING

For all the best restaurants in NYC, watch the guide here

OSTERIA 57

57 West 10th Street, New York, NY 10011

Osteria57 NYC
Photo: Osteria57 (www.osteria57.com)

Osteria 57 is a fish and vegetarian restaurant with delicious dishes and a romantic atmosphere. It’s the perfect spot for a date night! Some dishes I recommend are the fritto misto and crispy cauliflower. 

FREE ACTIVITIES

For the full guide on free NYC, watch here

BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK

334 Furman Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Brooklyn Bridge Park
Photo by Marco Lenti on Unsplash

Everyone thinks of Central Park when visiting New York, but Brooklyn Bridge Park is one of my favorites. It has the most amazing NYC skyline views. Plus, there are tons of activities always going on at Brooklyn Bridge Park such as movies in the summer, fishing, free kayaking, different sports, and so much more.

MUSEUMS + ATTRACTIONS

There are many museums and attractions in NYC that are either always free, are “pay what you wish” entry, or designated free entry times on a weekly or monthly basis. 

ALWAYS FREE

The always free list includes American Folk Art Museum, Brooklyn Academy of Music’s BAMcafe live events, Godwin-Ternbach Museum at Queens College, Green-Wood Cemetery, international Print Center, Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, National Museum of the American Indian – Smithsonian Institution, Queens Botanical Garden (Nov-Mar), Socrates Sculpture Park, Storefront for Art & Architecture, and the Waterfront Museum. 

PAY WHAT YOU WISH

This list includes the American Museum of Natural History, Bronx Museum, Brooklyn Museum, The Cloisters, El Museo del Barrio, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City Police Museum, P.S. 1 MoMA, Queens Museum of Art, SculptureCenter, Staten Island Museum, and Studio Museum in Harlem.

MONTHLY FREE HOURS

Monthly free hours include Bronx Museum (first Friday, 6-10pm), Brooklyn Children’s Museum (second weekend, before 11am), Brooklyn Museum (first Saturday, 5-11pm), El Museo del Barrio (third Saturday, 11am-8pm), Neue Gallerie (first Friday, 6-8pm), and Noguchi Museum (first Friday, pay what you wish).

WEEKLY FREE DAYS OR HOURS

MONDAY – The Museum at Eldridge Street and Yeshiva University Museum.

TUESDAY – 9/11 Memorial Museum (5-8pm), Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Staten Island Museum (12-2pm), and Wave Hill (9am-12pm). 

WEDNESDAY – Bronx Zoo, Museum of Jewish Heritage, New York Botanical Garden, Queens Botanical Garden (April-October, 3-6pm), Van Cortlandt House Museum, and Yeshiva University Museum (5-8pm). 

THURSDAY – Brooklyn Children’s Museum (3-5pm), China Institute (6-8pm), International Center of Photography (6-9pm, pay what you wish), Museum of Arts and Design (6-9pm, pay what you wish), Museum of Chinese in America, New Museum (7-9pm), and Trinity Church: Concerts at One (1-2pm; Sept-May).

FRIDAY – Japan Society (6-9pm), Morgan Library & Museum (7-9pm), Museum of Modern Art (4-8pm), Neue Gallerie (6-8pm), New York Historical Society (6-8pm, pay what you wish), New York Aquarium (3pm-closing, pay what you wish), New York Hall of Science (2-5pm; Sept-June), Rubin Museum of Art (7-10pm), Staten Island Museum (12-2pm), Whitney Museum of American Art (7-9:30pm), and Yeshiva University Museum.

SATURDAY – Brooklyn Botanic Garden (10am-12pm), Jewish Museum, New York Botanical Garden (10am-12pm), Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (5:45-7:45pm, pay what you wish), and Wave Hill (9am-12pm). 

SUNDAY – Frick Collection (11am-1pm, pay what you wish), New York Hall of Science (10-11am; Sept-June), Queens Botanical Garden (4-6pm; Apr-Oct), and Studio Museum in Harlem. 

THE BRONX ZOO

2300 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY 10460

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday-Sunday | $41.95+ | FREE on Wednesdays!

The Bronx Zoo is one of the largest zoos in the US by area and is great for kids. They offer limited admission for free all day on Wednesdays. But, advance timed tickets are required. The Wednesday Ticket Store will open on Monday at 5:00pm for that Wednesday’s reservations. Please make sure to NOT go to the zoo without a reserved ticket.

THE BROOKLYN MUSEUM

200 Eastern Pkwy, Brooklyn, NY 11238

Wednesday-Sunday, 11am-6pm | $16+ | FREE on the 1st Saturday of every month from 5-11pm

The Brooklyn Museum is an art museum that houses a collection of over 500,000 objects and always has interesting exhibits on display. Admission is free on the first Saturday of every month, from 5pm until 11pm. 

THE AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY

200 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024

Wednesday – Sunday, 10am-5:30pm | $23+ | FREE if entering the last hour of the day (4:30-5:30pm)

American Museum of Natural History. Photo by Aditya Vyas on Unsplash

The American Museum of Natural History is a classic and must-visit when in NYC. Admission is pay what you wish for residents of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut (valid ID must be shown). You can get free entry to the American Museum of Natural History if you visit during the last hour of the day, from 4:30pm until 5:30pm.

ROOFTOP BARS

THE SKYLARK

200 West 39th St, New York, NY 10018

Photo by Leodgario Pescador on Unsplash

The Skylark is one of my favorite rooftop bars with epic views of the Empire State Building. My favorite drink is the Borracho Amigo made with mezcal, tanteo jalapeno, pineapple juice, lime, agave, and tajin salt rim. This drink pairs perfectly with the cheese and charcuterie board. 

OBSERVATION DECKS

TOP OF THE ROCK

30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112

Daily, 9am-11pm | $40+

Sarah Funk at Top of the Rock
Sarah Funk at Top of the Rock

With 5 observation decks to now choose from, visiting one while in NYC is an absolute must-do! However, you don’t need to visit all of them while here. They can get pretty crowded, so if you want to avoid crowds, I recommend visiting Top of The Rock during the day. It will be less crowded and the views are beautiful.

EDGE

30 Hudson Yards, New York, NY 10001

Daily, 10am-10pm | $38+

Located in Hudson Yards, Edge has highest outdoor observation deck in the Western Hemisphere. It is 1,100 feet high and you can see a 360 view of the entire city, stretching 80 miles out. The viewing deck has a section of glass floor so you can look down below. If you are a risk taker, add on City Climb. You can climb on the exterior of the building.

SUMMIT ONE VANDERBILT

45 East 42nd Street, New York, NY 10017

Wed + Thurs, 9am-9:30pm; Fri + Sat, 9am-11pm; Sun + Mon, 9am-8pm | $42+ 

Summit is the 4th tallest skyscraper in NYC and is observation deck meets art exhibit. The interior is covered with mirrors and there is an interactive art piece, along with stunning views of the city. There is also a glass box and a glass elevator that brings you 1,400 feet higher to the top.

In conclusion, these are the top things to do this year in 2022. I think NYC is still worth it, do you?

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