13 Hidden Gems In NYC & Secret Places You Must See

Hidden Gems In NYC

New York City is surely home to plenty of iconic attractions that attract huge crowds. However, you can also find some hidden gems in NYC that have fewer crowds at certain times of the year.


1) Hidden Treasures On Museum Mile

As one of the most popular cultural attractions in Manhattan, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has an extensive collection of artwork. From Renaissance paintings to ancient Greek artifacts, the museum boasts some of the greatest art treasures in NYC.

Located just a few miles away from the main branch of the Met, the affiliated Cloisters are one of the top hidden gems in Manhattan.

You can also find some other fascinating collections of art and relics at the following venues on Manhattan’s Museum Mile:

  • Jewish Museum – Focus on Jewish culture in America and worldwide.

  • El Museuo del Barrio – Celebrating Hispanic culture in NYC.

  • Museum of the City of New York – Exhibits on NYC’s history.

  • Neue Galerie – Featuring German Artwork from the 19th century and beyond.

  • Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum – Featuring modern decorative arts from all over the world.

Metropolitan Museum Of Art - Hidden Gems In New York


2) Historic Skyscrapers And More At The Rockefeller Center

Occupying several blocks in Midtown Manhattan, the Rockefeller Center is a major hub for media, entertainment, and retail. Constructed in the early 1930s, 30 Rockefeller Plaza is a notable architectural landmark in this district.

This Art Deco landmark is home to the Top of the Rock observation deck, which offers sweeping views of New York City. Created by renowned Mexican artist Diego Rivera, the Man at the Crossroads is a true masterpiece inside the building’s main lobby.

Rockefeller Center, NYC


3) Exploring The Shores Of NYC From The Hudson River

Flowing past the western side of Manhattan, the Hudson River offers panoramic views of skyscrapers, docks, parks, and other features. You can take a cruise on this river for some truly unique views of the NYC skyline and the neighboring skyline of New Jersey.

Here are some landmarks that might be visible during your cruise on this waterway.

  • Riverside Park

  • George Washington Bridge

  • Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum on Pier 86

  • Javits Center

  • Chelsea Piers

Explore New York From The Hudson River


4) An Urban Getaway To Roosevelt Island

Spanning about 2 miles in length, Roosevelt Island is one of the most unique places in NYC. This historic island sits in the middle of the East River.

You can admire the East River and its surroundings from the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms State Park at the tip of the island. Additionally, the island is connected to Manhattan via an aerial tramway with a signature red color.

Roosevelt Island - One Of The Best Hidden Gem In New York


5) Explore History And Architecture In Downtown Manhattan

New York City essentially evolved from a small Dutch settlement in Downtown Manhattan. Today, you’ll find some of the most iconic and historic skyscrapers in this bustling district.

One World Trade Center is without a doubt the main architectural gem in this lower part of the borough. You can also explore the city’s early history at Battery Park on the southern tip of the district.

Explore History And Architecture In Manhattan


6) Fifth Avenue Offers More Than Just Shopping

Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue is best known for high-end shops and luxury residences. However, this famous avenue is also home to several attractions that are nested between skyscrapers:

  • Bryant Park- Urban park behind the New York Public Library.

  • The Morgan Library & Museum – Private collections from a financial tycoon.

  • National Museum of Mathematics – Fun and educational exhibits on math for all ages.

Manhattan's Fifth Avenue - Hidden Gems In New York


7) Ethnic Culture In The Lower East Side

During the 19th and 20th centuries, Manhattan’s Lower East Side was a major hub for Jewish and Italian immigrants. The Tenement Museum features exhibits and guided tours relating to the history of these ethnic groups. You can also enjoy authentic cuisine at historic Little Italy in this charming neighborhood.

Lower East Side - Hidden Gems In New York


8) Coney Island: Waterfront Treasure In Brooklyn

Covering dozens of blocks along the Atlantic Ocean, Coney Island is a must-visit attraction for tourists in any season. Here are some highlights of this waterfront district at the southern tip of Brooklyn.

  • New York Aquarium

  • Historic Riegelmann Boardwalk

  • Steeplechase Park

  • Maimonides Ballpark

Coney Island - One Of The Best Hidden Gem In New York


9) Secret Garden In Manhattan

Situated in Manhattan’s Turtle Bay neighborhood, Greenacre Park is an urban oasis with a charming atmosphere. Although privately owned, this vest pocket park is fully open to the public throughout the year. The park includes beautiful landscaping with some designs from the renowned architect Hideo Sasaki.

Hidden Parks In NYC


10) Sail The New York Harbor

Standing in the middle of the New York harbor, Governors Island is often overshadowed by the neighboring Statue of Liberty. You can explore the Governors Island National Monument and other parks on the historic island that are accessible by ferry.

View From Governors Island


11) Commerce And History In The Financial District

Manhattan’s Financial District has been a hub for commerce for centuries. In fact, the iconic Wall Street is one of the oldest streets in New York City. The famous New York Stock Exchange is the main attraction on Wall Street.

However, you’ll also find charming dining options and other historic venues on the relatively quiet Stone Street. Additionally, the historic City Hall Station is another major landmark in this district.

Wall Street In New York


12) Grand Central Terminal: Major Transportation Hub

You can easily take a subway ride to the historic Grand Central Terminal in Midtown Manhattan. In addition to being one of the busiest rail hubs in New York City, Grand Central Terminal is renowned for its architectural significance. This train station is one of the finest examples of Beaux-Arts design in America.

Grand Central Terminal, New York


13) Get Lost In The Woods Of Central Park

As one of the largest parks in New York City, Central Park is naturally home to lots of hidden gems. As you walk through the North Woods, you will encounter small waterfalls, ponds, unique manmade structures, and historic markers. Featuring a small segment of dense forest, the Ravine offers a great retreat from the hustle and bustle of NYC.

Central Park, New York


Book A Cruise On The Hudson River

You can discover iconic attractions and hidden treasures of New York City with a cruise. Catering to the LGBTQ+ community, we offer private boat trips around Manhattan and other NYC boroughs. Reserve a fun cruise on the river with Monty’s Ark Adventures today!

Group Size
Up to 6

Manhattan Skyline Tour

Enjoy a view of the Manhattan Skyline that can only be experienced from the water. Tours will embark from and return to Pier 25 in Manhattan, the Town Dock in Port Washington, NY, Worlds Fair Marina in Queens, or Jersey City, NJ and are three to four hours in duration depending on embarkation point. Embarkation point is one per tour and on a first come basis. Cruisers can enjoy the sights on both sides of each river, the Hudson, East, and Harlem Rivers. Pricing is per charter with a maximum capacity of 6 passengers.