The Upper West Side of NYC is one of the most vibrant and exciting places in the world. From the world-famous Central Park to the countless stores and restaurants, there are endless possibilities for fun on the Upper West Side. Whether you're looking for a day filled with exploration and adventure, or a romantic evening in the city, there's something for everyone. Here are 12 fun things to do on the Upper West Side of NYC that are sure to make your trip unforgettable!
|World-class dining experiences
|Try local restaurants such as Agata & Valentina, The Smith, and Jacob's Pickles. Check out food festivals and street fairs, like the annual Taste of the Upper West Side. Be sure to make reservations in advance, especially during peak dining hours.
|Visit the American Museum of Natural History, the New-York Historical Society, and the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Head over to Central Park for a day of outdoor activities and sightseeing.
|Peruse the stores at the Time Warner Center and Columbus Circle for a variety of international and local brands. Shop for vintage clothing, jewelry, and art at the West Side Market.
What You'll Learn
- Visit the American Museum of Natural History
- Enjoy a Performance at Lincoln Center
- Take a Stroll Through Central Park
- Explore the Columbia University Campus
- Catch a Show at the Beacon Theatre
- Shop at the Shops at Columbus Circle
- Visit the Children's Museum of Manhattan
- Take a Ride on the Central Park Carousel
- Have a Picnic in Riverside Park
- Dine at Sarabeth's UWS
- Go for a Bike Ride on the West Side Bike Path
- Take a Tour of the Strawberry Fields Memorial
Visit the American Museum of Natural History
The American Museum of Natural History on the Upper West Side of Manhattan is one of the most iconic destinations in the city. Founded in 1869, the museum is renowned for its vast collection of artifacts, exhibits, and educational programs. From the world-famous dinosaur fossils on display in the Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs, to the many interactive hands-on exhibits, the American Museum of Natural History is a must-see for anyone visiting New York City.
The museum offers a variety of activities and programs for visitors of all ages and interests. Guests can explore the hands-on exhibits, take part in interactive activities, or take guided tours of the museum's many collections. The museum's vast collection of artifacts, which includes a variety of dinosaur fossils, minerals and rocks, taxidermied animals, and artifacts from a variety of cultures, is sure to captivate visitors of all ages.
The museum also offers a variety of educational programs and workshops. From lectures on anthropology and paleontology to hands-on activities for children, there's something for everyone at the American Museum of Natural History. In addition, the museum hosts a variety of special events, including film screenings, book readings, and performances.
The American Museum of Natural History also has a variety of dining options, including a café and a full-service restaurant. Visitors can also take advantage of the museum's gift shop, which offers a variety of souvenirs, books, and other items related to the museum's collections.
For those looking to explore the Upper West Side, the American Museum of Natural History is the perfect starting point. With its vast collections and educational programs, the museum is sure to provide visitors with an unforgettable experience. Whether you're looking for a day of learning or a unique way to explore the city, the American Museum of Natural History is the perfect place to start.
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Enjoy a Performance at Lincoln Center
Visiting the Lincoln Center for a performance is one of the best things to do on the Upper West Side. The historic performing arts complex is home to a variety of organizations, including the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, and the American Ballet Theatre. Whether you’re a fan of classical music, ballet, opera, or theater, there’s something for everyone at Lincoln Center.
When you visit the Lincoln Center, you’ll have access to world-class performances and events. The venue plays host to a variety of concerts, operas, ballets, and theatrical performances. If you’re looking for something more intimate, the venue also offers chamber music performances in its smaller spaces.
In addition to performances, the Lincoln Center also offers a variety of educational programs. You can attend lectures, workshops, and classes to learn more about the performing arts. You can also visit the venue’s galleries, which feature art installations from around the world.
If you’re visiting the center for a performance, you’ll have access to a variety of dining options. From casual cafes to upscale restaurants, you can find something to suit your palate. Before the show, you can also explore the shops and boutiques that line the plaza.
The Lincoln Center is located in the heart of the Upper West Side. It’s easily accessible by subway, bus, and car. The venue is also surrounded by several parks, making it an ideal spot for a pre- or post-performance stroll.
When you visit the Lincoln Center, you’ll be surrounded by beauty and culture. The venue has been a major destination for art lovers since it opened in 1962. From the iconic fountain to the majestic buildings, the complex is a sight to behold.
For a truly unforgettable experience, don’t miss the chance to see a performance at the Lincoln Center. Whether you’re a fan of classical music, ballet, opera, or theater, you’ll find something to enjoy at this iconic venue.
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Take a Stroll Through Central Park
Central Park is a great place to take a stroll and explore the Upper West Side of Manhattan. With 843 acres of land, it is one of the largest parks in the world and is home to an abundance of activities, attractions, and events for visitors to enjoy. From boating on the lake to admiring the sculptures, there is something for everyone here. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely walk, a romantic picnic, or an adventure with friends, Central Park has it all.
For those who just want to take a leisurely stroll, there are plenty of paths to follow. The Promenade is a paved pathway that spans from The Metropolitan Museum of Art to Central Park West. This is the perfect spot for a romantic walk, and visitors can enjoy the breathtaking views of the city skyline.
If you’re looking for something a bit more active, there are plenty of activities to enjoy. Boating on the lake is a great way to get out and explore the park, and the rowboats are available to rent. You can also take a guided tour of the lake, which will give you a glimpse of the park’s abundant wildlife.
The Central Park Zoo is a popular destination for families and kids, and it features over 130 species of animals. From tigers and monkeys to penguins and seals, there’s something for everyone to enjoy here. The zoo also features Sea Lion feeding and a Petting Zoo, and both are sure to be a hit with the kids.
The park also features many sculptures and monuments that are worth checking out. Most notably, the iconic “Alice in Wonderland” statue has been a staple of the park for decades. And the “Angels of the Waters” fountain, which was built in 1873, is a breathtaking sight to behold.
Central Park is also home to many festivals and events throughout the year. From the Summerstage concerts to the annual Shakespeare in the Park Festival, there’s always something going on in the park. And the park’s seasonal events, such as the Christmas Lights Festival, are always a hit with visitors.
Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll, a romantic picnic, or an adventure with friends, Central Park has it all. With its abundance of activities, attractions, and events, it’s no wonder that people flock to this magnificent park every year. And with its breathtaking views, it’s the perfect place to take a stroll and explore the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
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Explore the Columbia University Campus
Columbia University's Upper West Side campus is home to some of the most exciting and interesting attractions in the city. Whether you're looking for a place to explore or a place to relax, the Upper West Side has something for everyone. From the vibrant nightlife to the peaceful parks, there's something for everyone who visits the Upper West Side.
Start your exploration at the Columbia University campus, where you'll find some of the most iconic buildings in the city. Take a tour of the university's grounds and buildings and don't forget to stop by the Pulitzer Fountain, which is a popular spot for students and visitors alike to take a break. Make sure to check out the iconic Low Memorial Library, which was built in 1895 and houses the university's collection of books and manuscripts.
After a day of exploration, take some time to relax and enjoy the beauty of the Upper West Side. Take a stroll through Central Park, which is one of the most popular attractions in the city. Along the way, you’ll find a variety of activities, such as biking, boating, and ice skating. There are also many outdoor art installations and sculptures to admire.
The Upper West Side is also a great destination for food lovers. From classic American food to international cuisine, the neighborhood has something to offer for everyone. For a taste of the local flavor, check out the famous Zabar’s deli, which has been a staple of the Upper West Side since 1934.
For a unique cultural experience, visit the American Museum of Natural History. This museum is home to thousands of specimens and artifacts and offers a chance to explore the history and culture of our planet. The museum also hosts a variety of events throughout the year, such as lectures and film screenings.
The Upper West Side also offers a variety of nightlife and entertainment options. Catch a show at the Beacon Theater, which has been a staple venue for concerts and plays since 1929. Or, head over to the Lincoln Center, which is home to the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, and the Juilliard School of Music.
No matter what you're looking for, Columbia University's Upper West Side campus has something to offer for everyone. Whether you're looking for a place to explore or a place to relax, the Upper West Side has something for everyone who visits. With its vibrant nightlife, beautiful parks, and a variety of cultural attractions, the Upper West Side is a great destination for any traveler.
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Catch a Show at the Beacon Theatre
The Upper West Side of Manhattan is a great place to explore and catch a show. The Beacon Theatre is a historic venue that has been around since 1929 and is a great spot to visit for music, comedy, and other performance arts. The theatre is located at 2124 Broadway and has a great mix of classic and modern acts.
The Beacon Theatre is a great place to experience the best of New York City's performing arts. The venue has hosted a variety of acts, from Broadway shows to rock concerts. In addition, the theatre hosts a variety of lectures, educational programs, and special events. The theatre is also home to the annual Tony Awards ceremony.
The theatre is also a great place for music lovers. With a capacity of over 2,500 people, the venue is known for its incredible acoustics and great sound. The theatre has hosted legendary musicians such as Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and David Bowie, among many others.
The theatre is also a great place to catch a comedy show. The venue has hosted some of the biggest names in stand-up comedy, including Chris Rock, Louis C.K., and Amy Schumer. The theatre also hosts a variety of other comedic performances, such as improv and sketch comedy.
The Beacon Theatre is a great place to explore the Upper West Side. With its historic architecture and amazing acoustics, the theatre is sure to provide a memorable experience. The theatre is easily accessible by public transportation and is open seven days a week. Tickets for shows at the Beacon Theatre can be purchased online or at the box office.
Visitors to the Upper West Side should make sure to check out the Beacon Theatre. The theatre is a great place to experience the best of New York City's performing arts. From rock concerts to stand-up comedy, the Beacon Theatre is sure to provide an unforgettable experience.
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Shop at the Shops at Columbus Circle
The Shops at Columbus Circle is a premier destination for shopping, dining, and entertainment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Located in the heart of Time Warner Center, this iconic shopping center has something for everyone. From classic New York department stores like Saks Fifth Avenue, to art galleries, high-end boutiques, and trendy restaurants, the Shops at Columbus Circle is the perfect place to explore the Upper West Side.
For a truly unique shopping experience, head to the Shops at Columbus Circle for their annual holiday market. During the holiday season, the market is filled with over 50 vendors selling everything from handmade jewelry to artisanal cheeses. Plus, the market is often filled with live music and other special events. Whether you’re looking for unique gifts or just want to soak up the festive atmosphere, the holiday market is a must-see.
When you’re done shopping, make sure to explore the other attractions at the Shops at Columbus Circle. Take a stroll through the Time Warner Center and check out the gallery showcases and interactive exhibits. Or, head to the Mandarin Oriental, New York hotel to take in the stunning views of Central Park and the city skyline.
If you’re looking for a bite to eat, there are plenty of restaurants to choose from at the Shops at Columbus Circle. From casual eateries to fine dining establishments, the selection is sure to satisfy any appetite. After dinner, grab a cocktail at one of the trendy bars or take in a show at Jazz at Lincoln Center.
The Shops at Columbus Circle are open seven days a week, making it the perfect place to explore the Upper West Side. Whether you’re looking for a unique shopping experience or a night out on the town, the Shops at Columbus Circle have something for everyone. As the late New York Times columnist David Carr once said, “If you want to understand the spirit of the city, go to the Shops at Columbus Circle.”
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Visit the Children's Museum of Manhattan
The Children's Museum of Manhattan is a great place for families to visit for a day of fun and exploration on the Upper West Side. Located in a historic building on the corner of West 83rd Street and Central Park West, the museum is dedicated to inspiring children to learn about themselves, the world and the environment through interactive exhibits and programs.
When visiting the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, families can explore five floors of interactive exhibits and activities. Some of the highlights include the “Dinosaur Safari” exhibition, which features life-sized animatronic dinosaurs, and the “Make a Masterpiece” exhibit, which allows children to learn about famous artists and create their own artwork. The museum also features a variety of hands-on activities such as an art studio, an outdoor play space, and a science lab.
The Children’s Museum of Manhattan also offers a wide range of educational programs for families and children. From story time to art classes, visitors can participate in a variety of activities designed to help children learn about the world around them. The museum also hosts special events throughout the year, such as family theater performances, science lectures, and musical performances.
In addition to educational programs and exhibits, the Children’s Museum of Manhattan also features an on-site cafe and gift shop. The cafe offers a variety of snacks and beverages, while the gift shop offers a selection of books, toys, and clothing.
The Children’s Museum of Manhattan is one of the best places to take children on the Upper West Side. It is a great place to spend a day learning, exploring, and having fun. With its variety of interactive exhibits, educational programs, and special events, families can make the most of their visit to the museum. Whether you’re looking for a day of fun and exploration or just a place to relax and enjoy the company of each other, the Children’s Museum of Manhattan is the perfect destination.
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Take a Ride on the Central Park Carousel
This carousel is located in the heart of Central Park and is easy to find. The entrance is on the south side of the park, near 81st Street and Fifth Avenue. It is open daily from 10am to 6pm, weather permitting, and tickets can be purchased directly from the carousel operator.
The Central Park Carousel is a great way to experience the beauty of the Upper West Side. The carousel is lit up in a bright array of colors, and the merry-go-round music sets a festive atmosphere. The ride itself is a classic, with horses, rabbits, and other animals all taking a spin.
As you enjoy the ride, you can also take in the sights and sounds of the Upper West Side. The carousel is nestled in a quiet corner of the park, and the nearby trees, shrubs, and flowers make the area especially picturesque. The sounds of children playing, people chatting, and the occasional street musician can also be heard.
For those who want to visit the carousel during the evening, there is also a light show. Every night, the carousel is illuminated with bright and colorful lights that add a unique touch to the ride.
For those who want to make the most of their visit to the Upper West Side, the Central Park Carousel is the perfect way to spend a few hours. Whether you’re looking for a romantic evening out or just want to take a fun ride with the family, this classic carousel is sure to provide a memorable experience.
For a truly unique experience, you can even rent out the entire carousel for a private event. This is an ideal way to celebrate a special occasion, such as a birthday or anniversary. The carousel has been used for weddings, birthday parties, and other events over the years, and the memories made here will last a lifetime.
Whether you’re looking for a fun family outing or a romantic date night, the Central Park Carousel is sure to provide a memorable experience. With its bright colors, festive music, and beautiful setting, this classic carousel is a must-visit attraction in the Upper West Side.
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Have a Picnic in Riverside Park
Riverside Park is a wonderful destination for a picnic located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. During the summer months, the park is filled with lush green grass, bright flowers, and tall trees that create a perfect setting for a picnic. With its stunning views of the Hudson River, Riverside Park is the perfect place to relax, take in the sights and sounds of the city, and enjoy a picnic.
The best time to have a picnic in Riverside Park is in the late spring or early summer when the weather is warm and the days are long. During this time of year, the park is filled with people enjoying the sunshine and the stunning natural beauty. The park is also home to a number of special events such as outdoor movies, concerts, and art festivals, which can be great for a picnic.
When planning a picnic, it’s important to bring the right supplies. Bring a picnic blanket or beach towel, some food and drinks, plates, napkins, and utensils. If you’re planning to stay in the park for a while, it’s also a good idea to bring a portable radio or speaker to play music, and a few games to keep everyone entertained.
When it comes to food, bring something simple and delicious. Salads and sandwiches make great picnic food, as do freshly baked goods, fruits and veggies, and other snacks. Be sure to bring plenty of water to keep everyone hydrated, and don’t forget to bring some sunscreen and insect repellent.
When you’re ready to explore the park, there are plenty of activities to keep everyone entertained. Take a walk along the scenic paths, or rent a boat and explore the Hudson River and the nearby inlets. If you’re looking for some adventure, try your hand at kayaking or paddle boarding. There are also plenty of places to explore, including the historic Soldiers and Sailors Monument and the Riverside Park Waterfront.
Riverside Park is a great place to enjoy a picnic with friends and family. With its stunning views, plenty of activities, and delicious food, a picnic in Riverside Park is sure to be an unforgettable experience. So grab your picnic blanket, pack a delicious meal, and head to Riverside Park for a fun-filled day of outdoor activities and relaxation.
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Dine at Sarabeth's UWS
Sarabeth’s UWS is a popular restaurant located in the heart of the Upper West Side of Manhattan. It has been a favorite among locals and tourists alike since it opened its doors in 2004. The restaurant is known for its farm-to-table menu and seasonal ingredients, as well as its cozy and inviting atmosphere. Whether you’re looking for a romantic dinner spot or a place to take the family, Sarabeth’s UWS is the perfect place to experience the best of the Upper West Side.
The menu is packed with delicious dishes made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. From classic American fare such as burgers and fries to more adventurous dishes like pork belly with roasted tomatoes and arugula, there’s something for everyone. The restaurant also offers vegan and vegetarian options, as well as a variety of desserts.
The atmosphere at Sarabeth’s UWS is warm and welcoming. The restaurant is housed in a historic building and features a cozy dining room with exposed brick walls and rustic wooden tables. The staff is friendly and attentive, and the decor is inviting with a homey feel.
Sarabeth’s UWS is the perfect place to spend an evening in the Upper West Side. Whether you’re in the mood for a romantic dinner for two or a family dinner, the restaurant offers a relaxed and cozy atmosphere. The menu is filled with delicious dishes made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients, and the staff is friendly and attentive.
In addition to its delicious food, Sarabeth’s UWS also hosts special events such as live music and storytelling nights. The restaurant also offers a selection of local wines and craft beers, making it the perfect spot to enjoy a night out with friends.
If you’re looking for a unique dining experience in the Upper West Side, look no further than Sarabeth’s UWS. With its farm-to-table menu, cozy atmosphere and special events, the restaurant is sure to make your visit to the Upper West Side a memorable one.
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Go for a Bike Ride on the West Side Bike Path
The Upper West Side of New York City is one of the most popular and vibrant areas of the city. With its bustling streets, lively restaurants and bars, and stunning views of the surrounding skyline, it's no wonder why so many people come to visit and explore. One of the best ways to experience the area is to go for a bike ride on the West Side Bike Path.
The West Side Bike Path runs along the Hudson River from the Upper West Side to Battery Park City and is one of the most scenic bike paths in the city. The path is well-maintained and there are plenty of places to stop and take in the views. With its wide array of sights, it's easy to find something new to explore along the way. From the sprawling greenery of Riverside Park to the awe-inspiring architecture of the Freedom Tower, the West Side Bike Path is sure to captivate.
When planning your bike ride, it is important to remember that the path is open 24 hours a day, however some parts are restricted to certain hours. In addition, cyclists must obey all traffic laws, which includes stopping at red lights and yielding to pedestrians. The path is also shared with joggers and pedestrians, so it is essential to be aware of your surroundings.
In terms of what to do along the West Side Bike Path, the possibilities are endless. Stop by the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum to learn more about the history of the US Navy and its involvement in World War II. Take a break and enjoy the views of the Hudson River at the various waterfront parks and promenades. Explore the galleries and shops of Chelsea, where you can find everything from artwork to vintage clothing.
If you're looking for something a bit more adventurous, consider taking a guided bike tour of Central Park. These tours take riders through some of the park's most iconic spots, such as the Central Park Zoo, the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, and the Belvedere Castle. Not only will you experience the park from a unique perspective, but you will also get to learn about the history of the park and its famous landmarks.
No matter what you choose to do, a bike ride along the West Side Bike Path is sure to be an unforgettable experience. With its stunning views and endless opportunities for exploration, it's no wonder why so many people come to experience this picturesque part of New York City. So grab your bike and head out for an adventure of a lifetime!
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Take a Tour of the Strawberry Fields Memorial
Strawberry Fields is a living memorial to the life and work of John Lennon, located in Central Park in the Upper West Side of New York City. It’s an area of the park that has come to represent so much more than just the life of one man. It’s become a destination for travelers around the world looking to pay their respects to one of the most influential musicians of all time.
Visitors can take a guided tour of the memorial, or explore it on their own. The memorial is comprised of a 2.5 acre area, featuring a black and white mosaic with the words “Imagine” in the center, surrounded by flowers and trees. The mosaic was a gift from the city of Naples, Italy, and is a tribute to Lennon’s song of the same name.
The memorial is open 24 hours a day and is a great place to take a stroll, take in the beauty of the park, and reflect on the life and work of John Lennon. Visitors can also take part in a number of activities, such as listening to live music and taking part in special events.
One of the best ways to experience the memorial is to take a guided tour. Tours are offered every day, usually beginning at noon. The tour can take up to an hour, and will take visitors through the memorial and explain the story behind it. Tour guides are knowledgeable and passionate about the memorial, and they will tell stories of Lennon, his life and his music.
If you’re looking for something a bit more interactive, there are a number of activities available at the memorial. You can join a drum circle and make music together, visit the Peace Garden and add a stone in honor of a loved one, or take part in a special event like the annual Strawberry Jam.
No matter how you choose to experience the memorial, it’s sure to be a memorable experience. The memorial is a place of peace and reflection, and it offers a glimpse into the life of an incredible musician. Strawberry Fields is a must-see destination for any visitor to the Upper West Side of New York City.
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Frequently asked questions
Some of the best restaurants in the Upper West Side include Jacob's Pickles, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Sarabeth's, Zabar's, and Levain Bakery.
The top attractions in the Upper West Side include the American Museum of Natural History, Central Park, Lincoln Center, The Beacon Theatre, and Riverside Park.
Some of the best shopping spots in the Upper West Side include Westside Market NYC, Columbus Circle Holiday Market, The Shops at Columbus Circle, and the Apple Store.