NYC: Off the Beaten Path

Everyone knows about the Empire State Building, Times Square, and the Statue of Liberty but New York City is the largest in the United States and it has a lot more to see than the few things they stick in guide books. Turn the corner and head off the beaten path for these awesome and unusual NYC attractions that you might not have heard of.

Fort Tryon Park

Located in the Hudson Heights region of Manhattan, Fort Tryon Park is 67 acres of gorgeous land, historic constructions, and amazingly relaxing scenery. Though you're not far from the hustle of the Big Apple, Fort Tryon Park secludes you in the lush forests, surrounds you with views of the New Jersey Palisades and the Harlem and Hudson Rivers. Even leading back into history, Fort Tryon Park was the site of the Battle of Fort Washington in the Revolutionary War and the park itself founded by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Today the park is both a historic landmark and a scenic landmark, holding a truly fond place in many a New Yorker's hearts.

Alice Austen House

Out on Staten Island, you'll find the lovely little Alice Austen house, a museum and art gallery showcasing the works of this amazing woman. Though you may not recognize her name right away, Alice Austen was one of the first professional female photographers and her work photographing a comparison between upper-middle-class society and the lower classes struck a chord with viewers. Built on the shores of the New York harbor, this beautiful little house has wonderful views but you'll want to see what's inside. Within is the work of Alice Austen herself, photographs of her life's ambition and of the life of New York City.

Brooklyn Superhero Supply

Lost your cape? Never fear, Brooklyn Superhero Supply is here! At this cute little Brooklyn storefront (or online), you can buy anything from Intergalactic Rations to superhero costumes to secret identities. Get yourself a hideaway book to keep all your important stuff safe, pick up some superpowers in a can and be the star of your own show, or even get a one-gallon bucket of Chutzpah, Magnificence, or Immortality. Any purchase at the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co. goes to helping non-profit literacy and writing programs for students 6-18. It's for a good cause, and you can't deny that it's pretty fun to peruse a store full of superpowers!

Stone Street

In the busy, traffic-filled streets of NYC, a spot like Stone Street is a gem. Located in the Financial District, Stone Street was originally known as Brewers Street back in the 17th century. Still paved with cobblestones, this street is noticeably narrower than the taxi filled thoroughfares outside Stone Street's protective enclosure. Today it's pedestrian-only and the shops and restaurants on either side of the road bring out chairs and tables to serve customers al fresco. It's a welcome change of pace, a lovely little historic landmark, and a great way to wile away your lunchtime before you head off in a hurry.

Greenacre Park

There are several parks in New York City that are recognizable to "outsiders" but Greenacre Park perhaps isn't one of them. But it should be! This stunning oasis in the city is like an enchanted garden, complete with lush greenery and a waterfall. Opened in 1971 with the intention of offering New Yorkers a private park retreat and though it isn't big, it casts a relaxing presence over all who are near. The waterfall even helps to drown out the sound of the streets and with all the greenery, you'll forget you're in the country's biggest city.

Fraunces Tavern

Though today, the location is a restaurant, Fraunces Tavern played an important role in pre-Revolution and Revolutionary War history. Headquarters to George Washington himself, a place where they negotiated peace with the British, and the site which housed offices in the early days of post-war America, Fraunces Tavern is quite legitimately one of the most important historical standing structures in the city. Inside is a museum elucidating on the history of the site and of New York's involvement in the Revolutionary War, over nine amazing galleries on the second and third floors of the building. The first floor, however, is still used as a restaurant and you can even eat in the same room as did George Washington!

Roosevelt Island

A narrow island in the East River, Roosevelt Island is a fun little historic destination full of surprises. The island has gone by many names and uses during its long history, even being used principally for hospitals from the 1920s till it was renamed Roosevelt Island in 1971. There are many hidden historical structures on the two-mile long island, and it's just small enough to explore comfortably on foot! Hop over on the airway tram or a bus between Manhattan and Roosevelt and go exploring, visiting sites like the 1889 Chapel of the Good Shepherd or the architecturally significant Octagon. If you aren't looking for history, take a tour of the island's art galleries or sample many of its delicious restaurants.