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A Visitor’s Guide to Harlem: Things to Do, See, and Eat in New York’s Coolest Neighborhood

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If you’re looking for an amazing and unique New York City experience, look no further than Harlem. This vibrant and historic neighborhood is home to some of the coolest things to do, see, and eat in all of NYC. From soul food restaurants to jazz clubs, there’s something for everyone in Harlem. In this blog post, we’ll give you a comprehensive guide to spending time in this incredible part of town. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to Harlem today!

What is Harlem and what makes it unique ?

Harlem is a neighborhood in New York City that is rich in history and culture. This vibrant community is home to many famous landmarks, including the Apollo Theater and the Cotton Club. Harlem is also well-known for its delicious soul food restaurants and world-renowned jazz clubs. In addition to its amazing food and entertainment, Harlem is also home to some of the best shopping in NYC. From vintage stores to designer boutiques, you’ll find everything you’re looking for in Harlem. Whether you’re planning a trip to New York City or just looking for something new to do, be sure to add Harlem to your list! You won’t regret it.

Things to do in Harlem

There are endless things to do in Harlem, but here are a few of our favorites:

Visit the Apollo Theater: The Apollo Theater is one of the most famous landmarks in Harlem. This world-renowned venue has hosted some of the biggest names in music, including Ella Fitzgerald, James Brown, and Michael Jackson. If you’re a music lover, be sure to add the Apollo Theater to your list of things to do in Harlem.

Check out the Cotton Club: The Cotton Club was a legendary jazz club that was popular in the 1920s and 1930s. This historic venue is now a museum, but it’s still definitely worth a visit. If you’re interested in learning about the history of jazz, the Cotton Club is a must-see.

Explore Harlem’s vintage stores: Harlem is home to some of the best vintage stores in New York City. If you’re looking for unique clothing, jewelry, and home decor, be sure to check out these shops. You’ll find everything from vintage designer clothes to one-of-a-kind antiques.

What to eat in Harlem

Harlem is known for its incredible soul food, and there are plenty of great restaurants to choose from. If you’re looking for a delicious and hearty meal, be sure to check out one of these eateries:

Sylvia’s Restaurant: Sylvia’s is a popular soul food restaurant that has been serving up amazing food since 1962. If you’re looking for traditional comfort foods like fried chicken and collard greens, Sylvia’s is the perfect spot.

Miss Mamie’s Spoonbread Too: Miss Mamie’s is another great option for soul food in Harlem. This restaurant is known for its delicious spoonbread, a Southern specialty. If you’re looking for a truly unique dining experience, Miss Mamie’s is definitely the place to go.

The Cecil: The Cecil is a New American restaurant that offers an upscale twist on traditional soul food. This eatery is perfect for those looking for a sophisticated dining experience. Be sure to try the shrimp and grits, one of Cecil’s signature dishes.

History of Harlem

Harlem has a long and rich history. This neighborhood was originally settled by the Dutch in the 1600s. In the 1800s, Harlem became home to many Irish and German immigrants. By the early 1900s, Harlem had become a major center of African American culture. The Harlem Renaissance, a period of artistic and literary growth, took place in the 1920s. Today, Harlem is one of the most vibrant and diverse neighborhoods in New York City.

If you’re interested in the history of 20th century Harlem, a great book to check out is Homicides in Harlem by Paul Merlino. It provides a fantastic, up-close look at the day-to-day life of Harlem from the perspective of an NYPD detective.

Summary

Whether you’re interested in its history, food, or culture, there’s something for everyone in Harlem. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to this amazing neighborhood today!

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Guides

Travel Souvenirs That Won’t Break The Bank

Spend all of your money on traveling safely then use these tips to take home some free or practically free souvenirs that are great mementos from your fantastic vacation that you can hold onto for a lifetime.

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Traveling costs a lot of money. You spend so much on airline tickets and lodging as well as getting to your destination and visiting all the amazing sites you went there to see. Rarely do you plan on saving enough money to buy souvenirs to remember your trip by. You don’t want to skimp on your lodging or flight just so you can buy some souvenirs. You want to make sure you’re staying somewhere safe and that you make it to that lodging safely and in one piece. So spend all of your money on traveling safely then use these tips to take home some free or practically free souvenirs that are great mementos from your fantastic vacation that you can hold onto for a lifetime.

 

 

Photos

You’re going to take photos when you’re on a trip and those evoke much more memories than some small tchotchke you buy at a souvenir shop. A refrigerator magnet is not worth 1,000 words. In fact, it’s worth about 2 words, refrigerator, and magnet. A photo, however, reminds you of your fantastic trip and there is usually a far more interesting story behind it than the refrigerator magnet. People will much rather look at your photos than your magnets and your trip will seem a whole lot more interesting when you show them that. Also, thanks to your cell phone, taking pictures is absolutely free! Now that’s a good souvenir!

 

 

Postcards

Postcards are like photos that have been taken by somebody else and already printed for your convenience. Postcards aren’t free but they cost hardly anything and they’re sturdy so there’s a strong chance they’ll survive the trip back home. If you buy a vase or something glass then odds are it’ll break when you attempt to transport it home, but a postcard is very hard to break on accident and the designs in foreign countries are very cool and often very different to what you can find back home.

 

 

Sand and Seashells

Talk about cheap! Filling a zip lock bag with sand and shells is the cheapest souvenir possible. You may feel a little funny spending a day on your vacation scooping sand into a bag, but once you get home and throw the sand and shells in a jar you will be left with a beautiful memento from your trip that will surely be the envy of all of your friends.

 

 

Ticket Stubs

You’re going to go see these wonderful sites and shows while on vacation anyway. So why not save your ticket stubs so you have a free souvenir to not only remember your amazing trip to the museum or theater or concert but to remember your entire trip as well. Ticket stubs make great mementos and are often linked with some of the most memorable parts of your trip. So save the stubs and bring them home and you will have a ton of great memories around the house. All of these souvenirs are way more meaningful than ones you can buy in stores and they’re something you’ll treasure for a lifetime.

 


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Get Out Of The City With These Nearby Outdoor Adventures

If you’ve got the itch to get outside the city and enjoy some wilderness try one of these city adjacent outdoor adventures.

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You love living in the city, but that doesn’t mean you never want to spend your time doing some epic adventures in beautiful nature. The problem is it’s hard to know where the beautiful nature is. If you want to eat a gyro at 3 am you know exactly where to go, but if you want to ride your bike next to a babbling brook you’re clueless. The truth is every city has great public parks that are close enough for you to get there within a half-days drive. No, this isn’t some terrible public park that is just a dumpster surrounded by grass, we’re talking some seriously radical outdoor adventures in some incredibly scenic surroundings.

If you’ve got the itch to get outside the city and enjoy some wilderness try one of these city adjacent outdoor adventures.

Near Atlanta: Great Smoky Mountains National Park

You only have to drive three hours outside of Atlanta to hit the Great Smoky Mountains, National Park. You will find yourself right at the Tennessee-North Carolina border and at the front of a huge park that’s over 500,000 acres. You can hike for 800 miles in this park which also includes part of the Appalachian Trail so you should be able to get your hiking fix. Heads up, this park is also within a three-hour drive of Chattanooga, Nashville, Tellico Lake, Knoxville, and Charlotte so if you live in any of the surrounding cities, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a great option for you to get out in the wilderness.

Near Albuquerque: Sandia Mountains

Albuquerque is actually bordered by the Sandia Mountains on the eastern side, so they should be pretty easy to find. Once you get there, you will find plenty of trails to bike or hike on. If you’re looking to get in the water then hop in the Rio Grande that runs directly through the city and hop on a paddleboard or a kayak and get your adventure on. New Mexico is full of fantastic options for outdoor activities that are easily accessible no matter where you live, so if these two options don’t thrill you then you should have no problem finding another one that is extremely close.

Near Seattle: Mount Rainier National Park

If you live in Seattle then you are less than 90 miles away from the breathtaking Mount Rainier. You can enjoy the many beautiful wildflowers on some amazing day hikes, or if you’re really looking to test yourself you can even hike to the summit of Mount Rainier in an epic three-day adventure. Just make sure you’re in good enough shape first or else this trip will be a total nightmare.

Near Las Vegas: Valley of Fire State Park

If you’ve lost all your money in Vegas then maybe it’s time to try the financially stable activity that is hiking in the beautiful 40,000-acre park known as Valley of Fire State Park. You can hit some of the 25 miles of hiking trails and then when the night hits you can stare at the unbelievable Milky Way that shines brightly through the darkness of this beautiful natural park.

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The World’s Craziest Extreme Sports

If you’re searching for a new sport to try on your next vacation then maybe give ones of these insane extreme sports a try.

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Maybe you’ve already mastered most extreme sports.Have you grown tired of climbed mountains and bungee jumping? Well if you have, you’re probably searching for your next thrill. Extreme sports are only extreme until you’ve mastered them, then they become lame, boring sports. If you’re searching for a new sport to try on your next vacation then maybe give ones of these insane extreme sports a try.

 

Extreme Ironing

Extreme Ironing is a sport where you iron while doing an extreme sport like rock climbing or scuba diving. This may sound like an idea that would never catch on but you’d be wrong. This sport not only has caught on but it became a hit fifteen years ago when the first Extreme Ironing World Championships were held in 2002 in Munich. The winner of that competition was, of course, a man named Hot Pants.

 

Volcano Boarding

Do you love snowboarding but hate the cold? Well, head to Cerro Negro in Nicaragua and board a volcano, bro! The board is made of plywood and metal so it is a little different than your average snowboard but a volcano is a little different than your snow packed mountain you’re used to. Join a tour group and take the one hour hike up the volcano then shred it. All the gear is provided so all you have to do is get totally gnarly on a volcano. Sounds radical to me, dude!

 

Cheese Rolling

Cheese rolling has a fun name but it is actually a pretty intense sport. Cheese rolling goes all the way back to the 1800s or maybe even earlier. In Gloucester, England there is a competition where people chase after an eight-pound wheel of Double Gloucester cheese down a hill that is extremely steep. Whoever crosses the finish line first wins and gets to keep the delicious cheese. The sport gets pretty intense because the hill is so steep that it’s hard not to take some tumbles down the hill when running. A lot of people get injured which is just one of the many reasons why you have to be careful when chasing the cheese.

 

Zorbing

The zorb is a giant hamster ball that humans fit into. The zorb isn’t hard plastic, it’s flexible with air in between two layers for extra cushion. This ball was invented in Rotorua, New Zealand where you can still play in it today. You roll the giant ball around a bit like the American Gladiators except you don’t have to be on land, you can do this in the water as well. Zorbing is without a doubt a very cool sport.

 

Underwater Hockey

If you’ve never heard of underwater hockey where have you been for the last 65 years? It was invented in Portsmouth England so the scuba divers have something to do in the winter. The scuba divers use sticks to hit a puck into a net just like hockey, except for the major factor that it is obviously under water. The sport has taken off and is now a worldwide sensation experiencing its largest success in the United Kingdom, Australia, and South Africa. If you want to join in on the fun then look at the Underwater Hockey World Championships that are held every two years.

 

Now you have some seriously interesting sports around the globe that should keep your adrenaline pumping for the next decade or two.

 

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