5 of the coolest stops in NYC
You can always find things to do in NYC. Usually everyone has a place or things to do that are unique. But I found some really off the beaten path things you can do while in the city for not a lot of money.
A personal favorite of mine. The Bodies Exhibit now has a permanent home in NYC Time Square. Known as Body World in New York, it really is cool. Not really off the beaten path physically but it sure is different and creepy. The whole thing shows human bodies broken down and posed. Some have just muscle tissue others are organs, kinda creepy but fascinating too.
Abandoned Subway Stations
New York's subway system is one of the oldest in the world and with that it has outgrown many of it's stations. Most are blocked from the public or just not accessible due to collapse or damage. City Hall used to have a station running underneath and it is still accessible and it's beautiful. There are plenty of other stations to visit but the City Hall is stunning and seemingly well preserved. Make sure you check before heading out and trying to visit. I found a pretty comprehensive list of stations you can visit here.
Visit a Speakeasy
There are 2 in NYC that are true speakeasies, that is to say they have been around and were created as a result of the Prohibition from 1920-1933. Of the two my favorite is The Back Room they are so authentic its crazy awesome. You start by entering through the same secret passage behind a bookcase used during Prohibition. You also get served in teacups just the same as in the 1920s when they tried to disguise what they were drinking.
Check out Red Hook
Red Hook is a small neighborhood on Brooklyn's coast. It faces both Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty so the views are great. This area has some of my favorite food stops and a really great art scene. There are tons of beautiful park and museums and beer, lots of BEER. Locals have tons of cute and creative niche shops too. Now technically a lot of these wonderful things are not in the small sub neighborhood of Red Hook but it's all so close that I think they count. At one time Red Hook was named the crack capital of the world. It has come a long way since that time 25 years ago. Bonus; Brooklyn has the nearby Superhero Supply store for all of your crime fighting needs.
Take the Aerial Tram to Roosevelt Island
This is just a cool view of the city and your Metro transit card works here. You get a beautiful view of the city and the island. The tram picks up at the park on E 60th and 2nd and takes you right to the southern side of the island. Once there you'll find a great island renovated with nice parks, an old lighthouse, decaying buildings, free summer movies and cool art exhibits.
If you need a few more ideas Nomad Biba has a great article on her Top 10 off the beaten path stops in NYC.