It doesn’t matter if you’re coming from around the world or from just a couple states away, New York City will always be a huge vacation destination. It’s widely considered the greatest city in the world and is the epitome of an international hub. But with all the tourists that are there at all times, there are some areas in the city that are absolutely out of control. And if you talk to any real New Yorkers, they’ll tell you that they avoid these areas at all costs. So if you’re planning a trip to New York any time soon and want to skip the mayhem, stay away from these six attractions.
Little Italy is sandwiched between Chinatown and SoHo and offers three compact blocks of Italian restaurants, bakeries, and everything in between. But over the years, the area has become gentrified and many of the original Italian families that resided in the area have left, along with the eateries they first opened. So these days many of the restaurants are cheesy knockoffs whose only goal is to take advantage of foolish tourists. If you want an authentic experience, there are plenty of other options scattered throughout the city. You just have to do a little homework.
BIKING THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE
The Brooklyn Bridge is truly a beautiful bridge. And it can be a lovely walk. But, more often than not, the bridge is so full of walking tourists, that trying to bike across it can be a nightmare. So if you want to brave the bridge on a bike of your own, you better bring a lot of patience or be prepared to yell at a lot of people to get out of your way.
FAMOUS DESSERT SHOPS
There are a lot of famous dessert shops around New York City and they’re famous for a reason. They make delicious desserts! Who doesn’t love dessert? But they have become so famous that more often than not it just isn’t worth waiting around the crowded shops for a taste of your own. So, similar to what I said when looking for an authentic Italian experience, just do a little research and find some lesser known dessert spots that offer plenty of just-as-scrumptious goodies.
ROCKEFELLER CENTER CHRISTMAS TREE
Make no mistake, New York in Christmas time can be a very beautiful experience. And the giant tree that goes up in Rockefeller Center is no exception. It’s a wonderful tradition. But it’s so wonderful that around Christmas time, Rockefeller Center is just way too crowded with tourists taking pictures and clogging up the sidewalks. If you’re in New York in December and definitely want to take in the tree, go early. It’s usually lit up as early as 5:30 AM.
Times Square is probably the number one tourist attraction in the entire city. So, of course, it’s constantly brimming with tourists! If you can’t handle big crowds this is the last place you want to be. And the flow of people traffic is even worse thanks to all the people stopping to take pictures and various promoters and vendors screaming at you about whatever they’re trying to sell. So unless you really need to take in the massive billboards and bright lights, stay away from Times Square.
EMPIRE STATE BUILDING
Look, we’re not completely cynical. The Empire State Building is truly an architectural marvel and the views from the top are incredible. But sometimes the lines and the crazy prices ($37 or $65 for express passes) just aren’t worth it. Plus there are other tall buildings and hotel bars that offer incredible views as well. So before you brave the lines, just remember there are other options out there.