It’s Up to You (in) New York

After an incredibly challenging year, New York is finally reopening, just in time for summer. Whether you’re a local who wants to staycation like a tourist, or a traveler looking to live like a local, our curated NYC destination guide will introduce you to old favorites and exciting new experiences.

Embrace the Summer Sun

Little Island @Pier55

Summer is arguably the best time of year to be outside in New York City. Take advantage and start your day at a waterfront park, where urban gardens, art programs, and local vendors transform public spaces into community hubs. 

At the Seaport District, join a free fitness class led by instructors from NYC’s top studios, or power walk the High Line with an artisanal gelato in hand (gelato is kind of like a protein smoothie, right?) The newly opened Little Island is another great spot to catch live music, wander botanical gardens, and chill out under the sun.

Swap Your Sweatpants for Actual Pants (if you wanna)

Intersection of 5th Avenue and 23rd Street

Remember in-person shopping? The thrill of scoring that perfect vintage jacket. Trying on a gasp-worthy pair of Manolo Blahniks a la Carrie Bradshaw, just for the fun of it. Isn’t it time you reacquaint yourself with such simple luxuries? 

For unique vintage finds, raid the racks at Awoke Vintage, New York Vintage, Tokio 7, and Metropolis Vintage. If your style is more Burberry than band tees, check out the always-cool and curated selections of The Webster, or sashay your way through iconic Fifth Avenue stores like Bergdorf Goodman.

Pick Up a Summer Read

Brooklyn Bridge Park

New York City’s indie bookstores offer a quieter, but equally rousing shopping experience. Design lovers will adore Rizzoli, a gorgeous bookstore that specializes in illustrated books on architecture, interior design, fashion and more. At Argosy, NYC’s oldest (and family-owned) independent bookseller, you’ll find a treasure trove of first edition novels, antique maps and rare books. Not sure what summer read you’re looking for? Visit The Strand, which houses over 2.5 million books to peruse.

Take a Culture Trip

The Guggenheim Museum

You’ll have to wait ‘til fall to catch that Broadway show, but don’t worry. There’s plenty of world-class art and culture to keep you enthralled in the Big Apple.

Art world giants like the Met, the Guggenheim, and MoMa are humming with crowds again. We love lesser known gems with equally curious collections, like The Poster House and Frick Madison, where patrons can get up-close to Old Master paintings by Rembrandt, Bellini and Velázquez in an intimate, industrial setting. Gallery hopping through Chelsea is always a good time, too! And, if you’re lucky, you might just catch a live concert or dance performance by NY PopsUp, a statewide festival of surprise performances in public spaces.

Light Bites & Libations

Dear Irving on Hudson at Aliz Hotel Times Square

With so many amazing restaurants in reach, it’s only right to sandwich your daytime activities with some delicious food and drink. 

Our favorites? Sant Ambroeus at Brookfield Place is a delightful Italian café and pasticceria perfect for a quick espresso or power lunch. The oysters and views can’t be beat at Grand Banks, an award-winning oyster bar aboard a historic schooner overlooking the Hudson. If you’re in the mood for comfort food, check out Peaches HotHouse for juicy, Nashville-style chicken and Louisiana gumbo. Order a whiskey at Fraunces Tavern, one of the oldest bars in America that famously welcomed George Washington and other revolutionaries. Or enjoy the quintessential NYC rooftop experience at Dear Irving on Hudson, a hidden gem located inside of Independent Collection’s Aliz Hotel.

Dinner & Disco

New York City’s dinner scene is a foodie’s dream and definitely worth the splurge. 

A longtime local favorite, Pastis is a classic French bistro that never disappoints. A few blocks away is Cosme, one of the world’s 50 best restaurants serving up innovative Mexican cuisine in a sultry dining room. For a unique night on the town, make your way to Frevo, a secret restaurant accessed through a painting in an incredible art gallery.

After dinner, embrace the city that never sleeps with dancing and disco. Groove to live DJ sets at Le Bain and the Brooklyn Mirage, and enjoy a nightcap at Employees Only, an intimate speakeasy with a world-class cocktail program. If you’re really in the mood to party, throw on some glitter and head to House of Yes, a performance-filled nightclub where costumes are encouraged and dancing is mandatory. Or, if you dare, make a reservation at The Box, where the freakishly fabulous come out to play. It’s outrageous, it’s bizarre, and oh, so New York City.

Where to next? Like the famous NYC anthem says, “It’s up to you, New York, New York!.”

Book your stay in New York City at one of Independent Collection’s one-of-a-kind hotels in New York City including NU Hotel Brooklyn, Aliz Hotel Times Square and Hotel 48LEX. Click here to explore all of Independent Collection’s Hotels and Resorts.