New York City Guide

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Photo by: Jerry Ferguson (CC BY 2.0)

Visiting New York City

At first glance, the bright lights of Broadway with traffic signals at every block may not seem like an ideal place for biking and walking, but New York City is full of surprises. Trails have been carved out for cyclists and pedestrians across all five boroughs, in parks, lining the riverfront, in nature preserves, on former elevated rail lines and alongside the beaches (yes, New York City has beaches!). With an up to date New York City bike map and some tried-and-tested tips from New Yorkers, you’ll be ready to explore the Big Apple.

Trails in New York City are both easily accessible (like the loop of Central Park in Manhattan) and require a bit of planning to reach (the Jamaica Bay Greenway in Brooklyn and Queens). New York’s extensive public transportation network makes it easy to commute to the beginning of a trail or back from the end of one. Subways run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and bikes are welcome on board. NYC is hard at work providing separate biking and walking lanes at trails across the city, so take a minute to get your bearings and follow signs directing cyclists and pedestrians when joining a trail.

Accordion

Across the five boroughs, trails have the power to change your perspective. Climb the stairs to the High Line, a public park set along a former elevated train line, and you’ll catch a glimpse over the rooftops of the west side to the Hudson River. Follow the Hudson River Greenway north away from Manhattan’s more densely populated neighborhoods and you’ll find open lawns with large family barbecues and shady trees for napping alongside the river. Jump on-board the aerial tram to Roosevelt Island and catch the skyline views while soaring above the East River to reach the island’s trails. Seeking out New York’s trails often means leaving behind the path commonly traveled.

The network of trails in New York is improving every year, as waterfront greenways are joined with bridges and more room is created for cyclists. There are trails leading to the beach and boardwalk of Coney Island if you fancy a swim, trails through the Brooklyn Marine Park for visitors keen to explore a nature preserve and trails alongside the Bronx River for those that want to see a wilder side of the Big Apple.

Planning your visit

weather

Weather

The most pleasant time of year to get outdoors in New York is spring (average daily temperature 63 degrees) and fall (average of 58 degrees). Early risers will be rewarded with empty streets, open trails and refreshing morning air. In winter, weather is unpredictable and snowstorms can close trails for days or weeks at a time. In the summer, temperatures can climb to uncomfortable heights.

transport

Public Transportation

New York City has an extensive public transportation system, with bikes welcome on board the subway (but not buses; only folding bikes are allowed on buses). The MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority) requests that cyclists avoid bringing bikes on the subway during weekday rush hours, but they’re welcome at other times. However, be prepared to carry your bike up and down stairs—not all stations have elevators.

Biking Tips

While in a bike lane, be aware of parked cars that might open a door into your path. In New York, it’s illegal to wear earbuds in both ears while biking—use only one ear when listening to music. Also, don’t bike on the sidewalk (kids are an exception).

bicycle

Bike-Share Program

Citi Bike (citibikenyc.com) is New York City’s bike-share program offering 750 stations in 60 neighborhoods, making it a viable and convenient transportation option. Bicyclists can visit any Citi Bike station kiosk to purchase a Day Pass or 3-Day Pass for unlimited 30-minute rides during that period.

transport

Getting There

Travelers to New York City can choose from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), 15 miles from the city center, or LaGuardia Airport (LGA), 8 miles away. From JFK, you can board the AirTrain at the airport to reach the New York City Subway system, which can take you virtually anywhere in the city. From LGA, you can take the LaGuardia Link (Q70) bus to get into the city.

Travel Resources

Check out these helpful websites for planning your travel in New York.

Self-Guided Tours

Things to see and do in New York

The General Grant National Memorial

West 122nd Street and Rivers, NY, New York City,
www.nps.gov

The General Grant National Memorial offers the chance to learn more about the former president's life and to visit his tomb.

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The General Grant National Memorial

West 122nd Street and Rivers, NY, New York City,
www.nps.gov
The General Grant National Memorial offers the chance to learn more about the former president's life and to visit his tomb.

Strawberry Fields

West 72nd Street in Central , NY, New York City,
www.centralpark.com

Strawberry Fields contains a memorial to musician John Lennon who lived nearby.

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Strawberry Fields

West 72nd Street in Central , NY, New York City,
www.centralpark.com
Strawberry Fields contains a memorial to musician John Lennon who lived nearby.

Hudson River Greenway

N/A, NY, New York City,
www.citibikenyc.com

Stretching for 11 miles up the west side of Manhattan, this is one of New York's most popular long distance greenways.

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Hudson River Greenway

N/A, NY, New York City,
www.citibikenyc.com
Stretching for 11 miles up the west side of Manhattan, this is one of New York's most popular long distance greenways.

Loeb Boathouse

72nd Street in Central Park, NY, New York City, 10021
www.thecentralparkboathouse.com

Rowboats are for rent in the heart of Central Park at the Boathouse (also home to a formal restaurant and informal patio for snacks and drinks).

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Loeb Boathouse

72nd Street in Central Park, NY, New York City, 10021
www.thecentralparkboathouse.com

Rowboats are for rent in the heart of Central Park at the Boathouse (also home to a formal restaurant and informal patio for snacks and drinks).

Museum of Natural History

Central Park West and 79th St, NY, New York City, 10024
www.amnh.org

The immense Natural History Museum is best known for its dinosaur exhibit and suspended replica of a blue whale.

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Museum of Natural History

Central Park West and 79th St, NY, New York City, 10024
www.amnh.org

The immense Natural History Museum is best known for its dinosaur exhibit and suspended replica of a blue whale.

Central Park Carousel

1802 65th Street Transverse, NY, New York City,
www.centralpark.com

The vintage carousel in Central Park dates back to 1871 and is a popular family attraction.

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Central Park Carousel

1802 65th Street Transverse, NY, New York City,
www.centralpark.com
The vintage carousel in Central Park dates back to 1871 and is a popular family attraction.

Guggenheim Museum

1071 5th Avenue, NY, New York City,
www.guggenheim.org

An iconic building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright is the setting for this contemporary art museum.

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Guggenheim Museum

1071 5th Avenue, NY, New York City,
www.guggenheim.org
An iconic building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright is the setting for this contemporary art museum.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

1000 5th Avenue, NY, New York City,
www.metmuseum.org

From ancient Egypt to the impressionists, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has a wide-ranging collection.

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art

1000 5th Avenue, NY, New York City,
www.metmuseum.org
From ancient Egypt to the impressionists, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has a wide-ranging collection.

Central Park

N/A, NY, New York City,
www.nycgovparks.org

Set in the heart of Manhattan, this 843-acre park stretches from 59th Street in the south up to 110th Street in the north.

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Central Park

N/A, NY, New York City,
www.nycgovparks.org
Set in the heart of Manhattan, this 843-acre park stretches from 59th Street in the south up to 110th Street in the north.

Grimaldi's

1 Front Street, NY, New York City, 11201
www.grimaldis-pizza.com

Coal oven pizza is served by the pie at this Brooklyn pizza landmark.

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Grimaldi's

1 Front Street, NY, New York City, 11201
www.grimaldis-pizza.com

Coal oven pizza is served by the pie at this Brooklyn pizza landmark.

Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory

1 Water Street, NY, New York City,
www.brooklynicecreamfactory.com

Classic flavors like chocolate, butter pecan, and coffee are served at this ice cream shop with skyline views.

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Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory

1 Water Street, NY, New York City,
www.brooklynicecreamfactory.com
Classic flavors like chocolate, butter pecan, and coffee are served at this ice cream shop with skyline views.

Ear Inn

326 Spring Street, NY, New York City,
www.earinn.com

This narrow, historic pub with frequent live music sessions is a favorite watering hole for locals.

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Ear Inn

326 Spring Street, NY, New York City,
www.earinn.com
This narrow, historic pub with frequent live music sessions is a favorite watering hole for locals.

Grand Banks

Pier 25, Hudson River Park, NY, New York City,
www.grandbanks.org

A seasonal restaurant set on a boat, Grand Banks is a scenic place to meet friends for sunset oysters and cocktails.

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Grand Banks

Pier 25, Hudson River Park, NY, New York City,
www.grandbanks.org
A seasonal restaurant set on a boat, Grand Banks is a scenic place to meet friends for sunset oysters and cocktails.

The Spotted Pig

314 West 11th Street, NY, New York City,
www.thespottedpig.com

This popualr West Village gastropub is legendary among New Yorkers for its signature burger.

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The Spotted Pig

314 West 11th Street, NY, New York City,
www.thespottedpig.com
This popualr West Village gastropub is legendary among New Yorkers for its signature burger.

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

700 West 125th Street, NY, New York City,
www.dinosaurbarbque.com

One of New York's prime barbecue destinations, this restaurant slow smokes all of its meat.

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Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

700 West 125th Street, NY, New York City,
www.dinosaurbarbque.com
One of New York's prime barbecue destinations, this restaurant slow smokes all of its meat.

Absolute Bagels

2788 Broadway, NY, New York City,
no web

This no-frills neighborhood bagel shop is a cash-only, counter service spot for tasting New York City's famous bagels.

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Absolute Bagels

2788 Broadway, NY, New York City,
no web
This no-frills neighborhood bagel shop is a cash-only, counter service spot for tasting New York City's famous bagels.

West 79th Street Boat Basin Café

W 79th Street, NY, New York City, 10024
boatbasincafe.com

Set alongside the Hudson River, this caf¿ is a lively spot for a snack, drinks, or a full meal.

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West 79th Street Boat Basin Café

W 79th Street, NY, New York City, 10024
boatbasincafe.com

Set alongside the Hudson River, this caf¿ is a lively spot for a snack, drinks, or a full meal.

Danny's Cycles

231 West 96th Street, NY, New York City,
www.dannyscycles.com

Conveniently situated between Central Park and the Hudson River Greenway, this neighborhood shop offers sales, repairs, and rentals.

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Danny's Cycles

231 West 96th Street, NY, New York City,
www.dannyscycles.com
Conveniently situated between Central Park and the Hudson River Greenway, this neighborhood shop offers sales, repairs, and rentals.

Tread Bike Shop

250 Dyckman Street, NY, New York City,
treadbikeshop.com

Bike rentals and full-service repair facilities attract cyclists to this local shop.

Read More

Tread Bike Shop

250 Dyckman Street, NY, New York City,
treadbikeshop.com
Bike rentals and full-service repair facilities attract cyclists to this local shop.

Larry's Freewheeling

301 Cathedral Parkway, NY, New York City, 10026
www.larrysfreewheeling.com

This neighborhood bike shop rents bikes and has experts on-site for repairs and gear recommendations.

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Larry's Freewheeling

301 Cathedral Parkway, NY, New York City, 10026
www.larrysfreewheeling.com

This neighborhood bike shop rents bikes and has experts on-site for repairs and gear recommendations.

The Jane Hotel

113 Jane Street, NY, New York City,
www.thejanenyc.com

Style and affordability combine at this West Village hotel with a lively nightlife scene. Some rooms resemble ship cabins and have shared bathrooms while others are traditional hotel rooms with...

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The Jane Hotel

113 Jane Street, NY, New York City,
www.thejanenyc.com
Style and affordability combine at this West Village hotel with a lively nightlife scene. Some rooms resemble ship cabins and have shared bathrooms while others are traditional hotel rooms with en-suite bathrooms.

The Standard High Line

848 Washington Street, NY, New York City,
www.standardhotels.com

Floor-to-ceiling windows provide exceptional city skyline and Hudson River views in this trendy hotel.

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The Standard High Line

848 Washington Street, NY, New York City,
www.standardhotels.com
Floor-to-ceiling windows provide exceptional city skyline and Hudson River views in this trendy hotel.

Hotel Wales

1295 Madison Avenue, NY, New York City,
www.hotelwalesnyc.com

This historic boutique hotel is an especially good pick during the warmer months when guests can take advantage of the rooftop terrace.

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Hotel Wales

1295 Madison Avenue, NY, New York City,
www.hotelwalesnyc.com
This historic boutique hotel is an especially good pick during the warmer months when guests can take advantage of the rooftop terrace.

High Line Hotel

180 10th Avenue, NY, New York City,
thehighlinehotel.com

An exclusive boutique hotel in a historic setting, this downtown property stands out for its Parisian inspired garden and charming rooms with decorative fireplaces.

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High Line Hotel

180 10th Avenue, NY, New York City,
thehighlinehotel.com
An exclusive boutique hotel in a historic setting, this downtown property stands out for its Parisian inspired garden and charming rooms with decorative fireplaces.

Hotel Beacon

2130 Broadway, NY, New York City,
www.beaconhotel.com

Classic in style, this reliable hotel offers rooms with generous square footage (by New York City standards) and is known for quality service.

Read More

Hotel Beacon

2130 Broadway, NY, New York City,
www.beaconhotel.com
Classic in style, this reliable hotel offers rooms with generous square footage (by New York City standards) and is known for quality service.

Nylo

2178 Broadway, NY, New York City,
www.nylohotels.com

This sleek and modern property is set in a quiet, leafy neighborhood and offers appealing extras like rooms with balconies and a cozy lobby library.

Read More

Nylo

2178 Broadway, NY, New York City,
www.nylohotels.com
This sleek and modern property is set in a quiet, leafy neighborhood and offers appealing extras like rooms with balconies and a cozy lobby library.
Accordion

East River Greenway

New York - 9.4 miles

New York City's East River Greenway offers views of the East River, Queens, Brooklyn, and the iconic bridges that connect these boroughs to Manhattan....

Hudson River Greenway

New York - 12.9 miles

The Hudson River Greenway (HRG) is one of the most popular places to ride, walk, and jog in New York City. It makes up part of the Manhattan...

Bronx River Greenway

New York - 23.3 miles

The Bronx River travels from the mouth of the East River north to the Kensico Dam, providing views of the natural history of the area. Because the...

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