This blog post was updated on September 12, 2014.

Off the Beaten Path New York City, Flickr: kendiala

The Cloisters

Have you seen everything that the city has to offer? If you’re a traveler that constantly has flights to New York City, it’s easy to have the feeling that you’ve seen it and done it all. You might be sick of typical tourist attractions or looking for something you may have missed out because you didn’t know about it. Off the beaten path sites in New York City still may be like a tourist attraction, but offers a different perspective unlike no other.

The Cloisters: The Metropolitan Museum of Art may be one of New York's finest attractions, but can be overcrowded with tourists who want a glimpse of fine art. Why not beat the crowds and head uptown for a unique museum experience? Many travelers are unaware their entrance to the museum includes a visit to The Cloisters. This is a museum and garden facility in the Inwood section of Manhattan, with medieval artifacts, architecture and treasures. You’re in an area that is filled with locals who enjoy this backyard oasis, so why not get some Zen yourself? While you’re uptown, try some delicious Dominican food since the area is known for it.

Roosevelt Island: This small island in between Manhattan and Queens was originally a cattle farm, home to an asylum but is now a calm home for New Yorkers looking to be close to the madness of Manhattan, but want the comfort of a quiet space. Tourists love taking the tram, famous from the Spider Man movies, over for a view of the skyline, but it is possible to enjoy the island itself. Try visiting Meditation Steps, providing an excellent view of the Manhattan Skyline. A family fun activity is to take a bus around the island, which you can find the Roosevelt Island Historical Visitors Center which tells you all about the islands interesting history.

Spanish Harlem: Harlem is world renown for the Harlem Renaissance and the famous Apollo Theatre, but what about its neighbor to the East? Spanish Harlem is actually called East Harlem, but known as Spanish Harlem for decades. After a rise of Puerto Rican immigration in the 1940s to 1950s, a wave of Spanish culture took over this once Italian neighborhood. It’s a unique place filled with culture, delicious Spanish treats and the sounds of salsa music all over town. Check out the Harlem Meer, at the beginning (or the end) of Central Park for photo opportunities and possibly much needed time to relax.

The Cube on Astor Place: With its proximity to the village on each side of the area, The Cube is a famous meeting place for locals and tourists who are ready to enjoy a night on the town. If you've ever passed the Cube, you might wonder why it is so famous. Perhaps it is because it rotates on an angle, if you give it a good shove. (Don't worry, it won't break!) Some native New Yorkers played a great joke and plastered colored boards on the Cube to make it look like the Rubrik's Cube, making it even more famous than it already was.

The New York City Transit Museum: Love it or hate it, New York City transit saves you with its 24/7 service for those party nights in the city, or getting you to any part of the city for one fare. This unique museum in Brooklyn is actually based in an old train station. Learn about the century old business that linked the great city of New York. You can even get on parked trains that date back to the 1920s, up to today’s modern subway cars that get us around.

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photo: kendiala

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