For most tourists – and even locals – it can be an exciting experience to be in the middle of the hustle and bustle of a major city. Especially when the city is always changing, a constantly revolving door that is New York City can still be a little overwhelming. After a weekend of having too much fun and seeing the sights, just know that there are plenty of relaxing spaces within to help you unwind.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

With the MoMA, there is an air of rejuvenation as you go along and visit each exhibit away from the noise of the city. In particular, there are a few ‘secret’ places to visit if you need something close to stillness. In the Japanese Reading Room at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, it is often empty and always balanced. While this attraction is not necessarily underrated, you can bring a book or simply relax.

Greenacre Park

This privately funded park is a place where locals love to relax during lunchtime on a Monday or any given weekend. Located in Manhattan, Greenacre Park has a stone wall with water trickling down that seems to have a relaxing effect on visitors. With plenty of interesting people and no overwhelming crowds, this Midtown park is a great escape from a day doing more touristy things – such as scoring discounted Liberty Cruise tickets.

The Noguchi Museum

Located in Long Island City, Queens, the Noguchi Museum is a paradise of serenity and instantly calms its visitors. The artist, Isamu Noguchi, built this museum to house a lifetime of his best pieces, including sculptures and even early-20th-century baby gear. There is a soothing balance of metal and wood, air, and light, and it all comes together to create a beautiful, relaxing experience.

The Cloisters

This incredibly unique museum is located in Hudson Heights and is just a quick walk from the famous Museum of Modern Art. Often overlooked, admission to the Cloisters, ruins in the middle of a busy city, is included in your MOMA ticket, although it doesn’t attract the crowds that the art museum does. It is truly something different – something you’d never expect to see in NYC.

Orchard Beach

If nature is what calms your overwhelmed heart, head over to Orchard Beach in the Bronx to watch seals from the pier. While most people go to the beach during summer, you’ll catch more wildlife (and fewer people) during the colder months of the year. Most popular is the seal-watching tours, which are organized by the Urban Park Rangers. Harbor seals are everywhere, and although it’s a bit chilly, it’ll be quite a sight as they constantly poke their heads above water.

New York City is a big place and many tourists become overwhelmed – there is truly too much to do than can fit into the average vacation. However, by combining a few of the more popular sights and a few of these quieter, more genuine spots, you and your family will truly experience the best New York City can offer.


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Last Update: Wednesday, 21st March 2018