Hidden Gems of NYC
New York City is one of my favorite places to visit, as soon as I arrive at LaGuardia Airport (LGA) I feel the excitement rush over me, and I feel right at home. The City is especially beautiful to visit in the fall, but the fact that it’s October means I most definitely won’t be able to watch my beloved Mets at Citi Field.
Each time I arrive at LGA I try to check off at least one of my “NYC Places to Visit” before I inevitably take an airport transfer to visit my family in Connecticut. One of my key rules of traveling is to visit some of the more non-tourist places, and no better place to start than right around the airport. In case you ever need some inspiration on your very own NYC visits, see below for the places nearest to LGA I’ve put on my list:
- Louis Armstrong House (1.8 miles) Please be warned this is not a moon landing exhibit – wrong Armstrong!
- Citi Field (barely 2 miles away!) LET’S GO METS! (and Steve Cohen)
- USTA Stadium (2.3 miles) Specifically Arthur Ashe Stadium – highly recommended for Tennis fans
- Flushing Meadows-Corona Park (2.7 miles) Extremely underrated NYC Park, also the Unisphere is magnificent
- New York Hall of Science (3.2 miles) Amazing interactive learning, perfect for families
- Queens Center Mall (4.0 miles) For all your shopping cravings
When most people think of NYC they think of Manhattan and the skyscrapers, The Empire State Building, Central Park, or the Bronx Zoo. All great places to visit and all within a mere 10 miles of LaGuardia but try not to limit yourself to only some of the classics. Whether you scheduled an early flight, or if you have an afternoon to kill before your flight, think about checking out the below.
- If you’re fortunate to visit in June, The Belmont Racetrack (12 miles from the airport), hosts the annual Belmont Stakes and is an absolute jewel. In addition to the famous Stakes, races typically run year-round. The only thing you’ll need is a ticket, a nice wardrobe, and of course a taste of the famous Belmont Jewel to cool you off from a long day. The Belmont is one of the country’s most elite racetracks and is definitely worth the visit, especially with a larger group.
- Also check out the Aqueduct Racetrack for some other options.
- For the avid golfers, Douglastown Golf Course (9.7 miles from LGA) is a must visit. Golfing is a rarity in major cities, especially New York, but a well-kept and cost-effective course in such a location must be considered a hidden gem. The course offers a country club experience for a fraction of the price and is jut a quick airport transfer away from LaGuardia.
- Another option is the Clearview Golf Course located right on the water and only 6 miles from Douglastown.
- Perhaps one of the least known places on the list is the sleek and new age Museum of the Moving Image (3.4 miles) which is focused predominantly on the history and techniques of film and digital media. Not only is the museum great for critics and movie lovers but it has tons of activities for the kids and isn’t such a bad date night idea either. When I visited my favorite part was when I created a 15 second stop-motion video along complete with the ridiculous added animations.
The big places in “The Big City” aren’t going anywhere and with so many places left to discover its certainly worth budgeting some time on your next trip to unearth a hidden gem or two. Every place on the list is just a quick airport transfer away and could be explored before your flight departs. Whether you’re coming or going, be sure to allot an extra couple of hours on your next trip and check off some places that may have otherwise gone undiscovered.